McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University

McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University

Hot
John Langland  
 
0.0
 
8.0 (5)
18322   0
Write Review

Contact Information

City
Chicago
State/Province
Illinois

Program Information

Residents per class
2
McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program

User reviews

5 reviews

Overall rating 
 
8.0
Staff Surgeons 
 
8.2  (5)
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0  (5)
Operating Experience 
 
6.6  (5)
Clinical Experience 
 
7.6  (5)
Research 
 
6.8  (5)
Residents 
 
7.8  (5)
Lifestyle 
 
8.0  (5)
Location 
 
9.8  (5)
Overall Experience 
 
7.4  (5)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Staff Surgeons 
 
6.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
2.0
Clinical Experience 
 
3.0
Research 
 
7.0
Residents 
 
1.0
Lifestyle 
 
1.0
Location 
 
9.0
Overall Experience 
 
2.0

NU review

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Faculty don't pass the scalpel at all. Most faculty have a private practice mentality and dealing with students/resident is unfavorable to them. Peabody is the chair and has tried to change the culture. Seems friendly with residents.
Didactics / Teaching
Very well-organized and structured. Good teaching, but residents get pimped all day. Have Saturday didactics for a couple months. Residents come out probably performing the highest on their in house exams and know their anatomy the best.
Operating Experience
Retracting as a 3rd. Supposed to lose the training wheels at the VA/county hospital but those rotations are in jeopardy and have cracked down. Compared to my other aways and home program, NU was the most graduated experience.

During my rotation, some PGY-4s had difficulty performing routine shoulder scopes. Lack of experience showed.
Clinic Experience
Standard. Well-run to due to ample support. Seemed efficient. Residents seemed to have strong clinical knowledge for developing plans for patients.
Research Opportunities
Research is there. Faculty are trying to increase opportunities.
Residents
Previously 9/class. Recently came down to 6. Not your standard group of ortho residents. Have a IM residency personality. Have a more "nerdy" personality than "bro." Residents didn't get along as well as I've seen at other places. Academically, seniors will push/pimp juniors pretty hard.
Lifestyle
On the tougher end of the spectrum. Contrary to previous reports, they brought back Saturday morning conference. Juniors told me they usually have to spend all nighters on Friday to prepare.
Location / Housing
Downtown chicago! Great location...also means paying 1600-3000 for rent.
Limitations
Tough lifestyle + unique resident culture + graduated operative experience.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Not impressed as I hoped to be. Residents manage to get great fellowships but comes at a cost of tough lifestyle, distant resident culture and graduated operative experience. Went into my rotation thinking it was my #1 but that changed after.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
2014
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: October 28, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
9.3
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
9.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
8.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

Northwestern Orthopaedics Residency Review

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
.
Didactics / Teaching
.
Operating Experience
.
Clinic Experience
.
Research Opportunities
.
Residents
.
Lifestyle
.
Location / Housing
.
Limitations
.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
October
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: January 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
9.2
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
9.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
8.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
9.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

Rotation

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
The new chairman is Dr. Peabody, who previously was the chair at U of Chicago. Dr. Peabody is one of the greatest guys I have met in the orthopedic community. He is a great teacher and strong advocate for residents. In the short time he has been chairman at NW he removed the saturday conference day and also has brought in new faculty members. During my rotation there it was obvious that the residents really liked him and met with him weekly to discuss things that worked and didn't work in the program. Dr. Peabody and Dr. Schafer also met with the rotators at the end of the rotation to discuss the program and answer any questions. Both were very nice and seemed approachable and accessible. As for the faculty, I can only speak to the ones I worked with on the Pediatric Orthopedic service at Children's Memorial Hospital and they were also top notch teachers. It seemed like it was a mentorship model, so each resident while on the service works with the attending one on one. As rotators you also meet with Dr. Giegerich, the chair of the admissions committee each week and present cases. He is also a really nice guy and outside of presenting cases to him, he also asks you questions about yourself to get to know you a little better. We also used this time with him to ask about the program.
Didactics / Teaching
Out of all the orthopedic rotations I went on during my 4th year, the didactics at NW are by far the best I have ever seen. You have conference every morning for one hour and one afternoon conference on Tuesdays. There were no Saturday conferences when I was there since Dr. Peabody eliminated it. The didactics are well structured and not malignant. It was very clear that the residents were well versed in orthopedic book knowledge.
Operating Experience
Prior to rotating at NW, I was told that the program was top heavy when it came to the operating room. It was evident that NW is the type of program that wants you to learn the material before you start operating on someone. However, I still saw the junior residents operating, especially at Children's and from what I hear are the same at Cook County and the VA. The senior residents were confident in the OR and very good, so whatever model you want to call it is clearly working.
Clinic Experience
Clinic was very busy and the residents were there once or twice a week. Again, it depends on when the attending you were working with was in clinic. I will say you see a lot of diverse musculoskeletal pathology at children's memorial and the attendings still did a lot of teaching during clinic.
Research Opportunities
In the past research was not as highly emphasized but it seems under Peabody's leadership this is something that will become a great deal of importance. I believe research depended on the resident. The resources are available at NW and you have dedicated research time as a 3rd year resident. There are also some very active ortho research labs like Dr. Hsu's lab. So if you want to do a lot of research the opportunity is available.
Residents
Probably the best part of the program. They are a great group and really look out for each other. I met one resident prior to rotating at their residency showcase and he kept in touch with me from the time I met him at the end of 3rd year, during my 4th year electives, during interview season and all the way up until match day. They really mentor each other and the medical students that rotate at NW. I remember the chief residents emailing us before, during, and after the rotation to assist us in anything we needed. Since they do like to take rotators, I believe it is advantageous for them because they can really pick out people they know and will fit in to their program. They are also the type of group that had a strong work ethic and worked extremely hard. Yet they did find the time to play hard at various resident social gatherings.
Lifestyle
I must agree with other posts that the lifestyle is great. You take nightfloat for 6 weeks as a 3rd year and since there are so many residents the call pool is enormous. By the time you are a senior resident, you really are only coming in to operate. About half the residents are married and a couple with kids. It seemed like they had time to spend with their families and those that were single had the opportunity to enjoy the social life in chicago.
Location / Housing
Northwestern Memorial Hospital is located in the best part of the city in streeterville. Lots of shopping, restaurants, museums etc. Housing was a little expensive in streeterville but I lived in Lincoln Park during my rotation which was a little cheaper and the commute was 20 minutes on the train to NW. However, I was in walking distance to Children's Memorial Hospital, which is located in Lincoln Park but the new children's hospital is opening in June 2012 downtown next to NW. They are also building a Musculoskeletal Institute downtown next to NW that is to be opening in 2013 which will be NW's new orthopedic hospital.
Limitations
I didn't see a lot of trauma while on call at NMH but I believe you get a lot of your trauma experience at Cook County.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Overall was a great rotation experience with a well defined role for the 4th year medical student. You learn A LOT about orthopedics, probably the most I learned during of my away electives. If you are looking for a bigger program with happy residents and a great orthopedic learning environment, NW is the right program. If you are interested, I would highly recommend rotating.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
November 2012
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: December 10, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
8.8
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
6.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
6.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

Rotation

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
The outgoing chairman in Dr. Schafer who is very nice and approachable. However, he has been in the process of stepping down for the past several years and it looks like the new chairman will finally be named this spring. Dr. Yasko, a tumor surgeon from MD Anderson is the leading internal candidate. He looks to inject a lot of energy into the program and further utilizing all the resources Northwestern has to offer. The residents seem to like him and he is quite well known in his field. The faculty setup at NW is a little different then most academic programs in that nearly half of faculty are private affiliated docs. With so many faculty their were often issue with residents and attendings being unfamiliar with each other leading to decreased opportunities in the OR. However, this past year the program switch to a mentorship style of rotation where you are assigned to specific faculty member for the whole rotation. This seems to have helped increase the role of residents in the OR, especially for junior residents.
Didactics / Teaching
By far the best didactics I have seen. Learned the most clinical knowledge during this rotation. The residents really know their stuff and are always helpful to teach. Something you dont get as much at some of the crazy busy residencies. The sessions are usually one hour every morning, 1 session a week in the late afternoon, and 2 saturdays mornings a month several months a year . It sounds like a lot but the sessions are often interactive, non-malignant, high yield, and I think it is much preferred to have 45min-1hr sessions then 4hr chunks 1 time a week. The saturday sessions may sound rough, but you are usually having to go in to round on pts anyways, and the sessions in the summer are very high yield cadaver lab, sawbones, etc. In the summer we usually got done by 10:00.
Operating Experience
This is probably the part of the program that most people are concerned about. It is definitely a later operating experience that is back weighted. The 2nd year is much more focused on learning orthopedics then learning how to operate. That being said you now get to go to Cook County second year, and after you spend a lot of time at Childrens and the VA, both of which residents say are great because you get to start operating a lot, you come back to NMH and they seem to let you loose as a senior resident. Most of the senior residents I watched were confident and good in the OR so they must be picking it up somewhere. The final product is a good surgeon. However, if you want to be putting in nails on day 1 of 2nd year this is not the program for you.
Clinic Experience
Clinic is clinic. Some attendings are better then others. You are supposed to go once a week with your assigned mentor but often residents duck out after lunch. The clinics are all beautiful and brand new.
Research Opportunities
Despite the resources and academic name of Northwestern, research is not a big part of the program. They just started a research block during 3rd year and it is likely the new chair will bring a strong push towards research. There is a little ancillary staff or basic science labs. However, if you take the initiative there are plenty of clinical studies floating around to jump on.
Residents
In my opinion the best part of the program. They are back to 9 a year, after only taking 8 last year as they adjusted to losing Evanston before they picked up Cook County. They are very heavy on taking rotators. I think there are less then 3 residents in the whole program that were non rotators. However, this allows them to pick classes that really seem to fit together as opposed to just great individuals. With few exceptions they all seem to be fun interesting people interested in helping out each other and medical students.
Lifestyle
Definitely the best compared to the other places I rotated. They have night float at NMH during 3rd year for 6-8wks and then you are done. Plus comparatively night float is not busy with much trauma. I am unaware of call for childeren's, VA, and cook. Once you are a senior resident, at least at NMH, you mostly come in to operate and take home backup call.
Location / Housing
Beautiful facilities located in nicest part of Chicago. Main Hospital and outpatient surgical center are approx. 10 years old, just finished brand new Prentice, and currently building Children's hospital all within a block of each other. In my opinion Chicago is a great city, 2nd biggest urban city in US yet housing is much more affordable when compared to NYC, San Francisio, Boston or DC. Yes its cold but so are most places in the North and the summer can simply not be beat.
Limitations
If you are looking for lots of trauma and getting your hands dirt early in residency this programs is probably not for you. You may leave the program uncomfortable with seeing anything but simple trauma when on call.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Strong program where the residents are very happy. If very interested an away rotation is a must.

Qualification

I am a medical student at this school.
Date of Rotation
Summer 2009
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: January 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
8.2
Staff Surgeons 
 
8.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
7.0
Clinical Experience 
 
8.0
Research 
 
5.0
Residents 
 
8.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
8.0

Northwestern Review

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Chairman is Michael F. Schafer, MD. He is a sincerely nice person, former team doctor of the Chicago Cubs, does spine and sports, has done a nice job over the years with this program. He will be stepping down as chairman over the next five years but is not leaving the institution. He is looking to have a very smooth transition and is committed to "doing things right". Most likely, the next chairman will be Alan W. Yasko, MD, MBA, FACS, a tumor surgeon who came from MD Anderson a few years ago. He shows great potential. He is a great surgeon, well published and generally gets along well with residents. He expects you to know your stuff (anatomy for student, everything pertinent for resident). Otherwise, staff surgeons at Northwestern are generally very approachable and friendly. There are several sites that residents rotate at so it's hard to know everything about the staff. However, there are many, many surgeons on staff for this program who have teaching responsibility. There is a university based practice who plays a bigger role in education, but there are also many private docs with operating privileges at NW. This could potentially create a situation in which resident doesn't know attending and patient as well and attending is less likely to let resident do full cases. More on this to come. Overall though, very competent, kind, humane attendings who are decent at teaching.
Didactics / Teaching
Didactics is known to be a strength at NW. They used to have Saturday AM conference every week but now it is only every other week. Didactics are most days of the week at 6:30 AM, some are service specific, some are for everybody. There is also fx conference at 5PM once/week. Grand rounds/M&M occurs once/week in the morning. Teaching is unparalleled at these conferences. In the OR and clinic, teaching will vary. I would say it's above average, but not superior. NW residents are known to "know their stuff" and do well on OITE. Residents from other chicago programs are often impressed at how much they know.
Operating Experience
This is one red flag that people talk about with this program. Given the nature of the large amount of private practice attendings and all the different rotation sites, many people think the residents have a subpar operative experience. However, they are known to have a phenomenal arthroscopy experience, which yes, is very important, especially for the community orthopedist. Joints and spine are known to be subpar in terms of operating. Many, many patients, and very little autonomy, though there are some gems in the joints department like Dr. Stulberg (who may be the best known surgeon at the program) that are at least enjoyable to work with and very friendly. OR experience has always been a concern at this program and it's probably a difficult one to solve given the way the program is organized. Luckily, there are no fellows at all to get in the way.
Clinic Experience
From what I observed clinic experience is good. Residents either shadow or see their own patients. Teaching is pretty good. Clinics are beautiful. Again, I only saw a snapshot, but this was my impression. They probably spend 40% in clinic and I think they value the time.
Research Opportunities
Despite having the Northwestern name, the ortho program doesn't have a very good musculoskeletal research infrastructure. Of course, you can find things to do without a problem. But this is not an academic/research powerhouse. There is not an emphasis on publishing for the faculty. Again, there are some exceptions like Yakso and Stulberg, who throughout their careers have been intimately involved in the research community.
Residents
They take nine per year. Makes for a big group which of course has its pros and cons. Luckily, no fellows. The residents tended to be very nice, approachable, interested in teaching, interested in making you (med student) look good, etc. I think they do a good job of selecting smart people with quality personalities.
Lifestyle
I don't know if you'd call this a gentleman's program, but it is known to have a rather good lifestyle. I saw some of the rougher rotations like joints and spine, but I think in general, residents have a fair amount of free time, the intern year is "not bad at all", second year is rough (they have night float), and things get pretty cush 3,4,5. I would rate lifestyle overall as excellent.
Location / Housing
Located in the "nicest part of Chicago". It's literally downtown amongst all the skyscrapers right off Michigan Ave. Facilities are amazing. NW as a whole has a lot of money. Just built new woman's hospital. Children's Memorial Hosp is moving right next to NMH (northwestern memorial hospital) in a few years. NW just has beautiful building after building. A nice condo/apt. won't be cheap but better than NY, SF, or LA. Chicago is an amazing city, very green, voted best place to eat in America I think, ranks up there in all categories every year. The lake is amazing. Amazing neighborhoods. A couple downsides: can get very cold, can get very hot, highest tax in the country and they just increased it more this year, etc.
Limitations
Operative experience overall may leave you "needing" a fellowship. This isn't just my opinion. I have heard this from many people and seen it first hand to some degree. This is not a research powerhouse but you will have no problem finding opportunities. They don't have many "big names" but they have a few.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Despite the few limitations I discussed, this is still a very sought after program especially for those wanting a nice lifestyle, an amazing location and who are not quite as academic/research minded (though you can definitely do it coming out of this program). For med students, you do 2 weeks on one serive and 2 weeks on another. You cannot request what service you want to be on. Admissions comittee includes: Michael F. Schafer, MD, Bradley R. Merk, MD, Lalit Puri, MD, Nasim A. Rana, MD, Clare R. Giegerich, MD (head), Brian J. Hartigan, MD, Steven D. Levin (Evanston), MD, Erik C. King (Children's), MD. Overall, I worked very, very hard (harder than any other rotation in med school) but can also say I had an enjoyable time. Of the interviews offered, 90%+ are to rotators. If you are at all interested, you must rotate to have a chance. Fellowship placement is good (SCOI for sports, UW for shoulder/elbow) but also saw some PGY4s a little frustrated during the interview process for sports. I would say an excellent fellowship is not guaranteed coming out of this program but is very likely.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
July 2007
Was this review helpful to you? 

Orthogate Reviews Widget

 
8.0 (5)
Category: Illinois
McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program
NU review (Written by stonenbone, April 05, 2015)
 
4.6
Northwestern Orthopaedics Residency Review (Written by Username234, May 10, 2012)
 
9.3
Rotation (Written by Linda Suleiman, April 26, 2012)
 
9.2
Rotation (Written by Diego Villacis, January 17, 2010)
 
8.8
Northwestern Review (Written by Jim Thompson, March 18, 2008)
 
8.2

image
Get this widget View all widgets