Review Detail

 
Louisiana
by John Langland     August 16, 2007    
(Updated: January 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
9.1
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
8.0
Research 
 
6.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

Ochsner Orthopaedics Resident Review

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
We have roughly 14 staff and we are covered in every specialty. There are 2 total joint guys, 3 hand/upper extremity specialists, 3 sports, 1 tumor, 1 foot/ankle, 1 traumatologist, 2 peds, and 1 spine. We have essentially a 1:1 faculty to resident ratio. Our new chairman is an upper extremity specialist from the Mayo Clinic who will add more of an academic flavor to our program. Our program director is a tumor guy who bends over backwards to make sure residents are receiving the most of their training. Our sports guys cover the New Orleans Saints and Hornets and a bunch of other professional, college and high school teams.
Didactics / Teaching
We have morning conference every morning from 6:15 to 7:30am beginning with trauma conference followed by a didactic session. There is reading every night for conference in addition to the reading you have to do to prepare for your cases. The 2nd years take the brunt of the “pimping” but none of our conferences are by any means malignant. Daily conference has helped us perform phenomenally well on the OITE each year. As a program we are consistently scoring in the mid-90th percentile. In addition to daily conference are grand rounds every Wednesday. We also have M&M and Staff fracture conference, and journal club once a month.
Operating Experience
Our program is unique in that it's for the most part structured to be a preceptorship. Each resident is assigned to a faculty member meaning you are the intern, resident, and upper level on your “service”. Therefore you are doing all of the cases one on one with your attending. Either you are first assisting him or he/she is first assisting you. Double scrubbing with other residents and fighting over cases or getting cases stolen from you by an upper level is nonexistent at our program. Looking back at my case logs, I have consistently done an average of 8 cases/week thus far and I couldn’t be happier with this aspect of our training. As a 4th and 5th year you spend 4-6 months at Chabert Hospital, a public hospital 1 hour away (housing provided) in Houma, LA. Here you are the essentially THE orthopedist for the hospital. You run your own clinic, book your own cases, operate independently, and see your patients in follow up. Therefore by the time you are a 4th year your operative and clinical skills are strong enough for you to be out on your own without supervision (unless of course you need it).
Clinic Experience
Clinic is about 1-2x week. Again we are a preceptorship so you are one on one with the attending here. You learn on the fly and again, by the time you are a PGY4 or 5 rotating at Chabert Hospital, you will be ready to see 50 patients in one clinic day independently.
Research Opportunities
Thus far this has been one of our weaker areas. We are certainly not a research powerhouse. Some of our staff are heavily involved in research and some are really not at all. Residents are required to complete at least 1 publishable project during residency. Many do much more and present at multiple conferences throughout their residency. Others wait till the last second to do their one required project. I think with the addition of our new chairman, research will be more highly emphasized. We certainly have the resources you would need right at our hospital – a statistics department, a medical publisher in house who can guide you through your project and proofread before you submit it to a journal, ample case volume, and medical students who can do the busy work.
Residents
Everyone is very nice and down to earth. Most of us are from the Southeast but we are trying to get more people from other regions to find out about us. Half of us are married/engaged and half are single. We are not a program where everyone goes out to the same place every Friday night and if you don’t go you are lame. Some residents go out, some stay home to be with their family. Everyone gets along and has respect for one another. I can honestly say you will not meet an unhappy Ochsner resident.
Lifestyle
Many people would call us a cushy program. I think that’s probably accurate when I compare us to other programs. We read and learn a ton but we also operate a ton and still make it home at a reasonable hour of the day. We have little scutwork at our program and everything is very streamlined as we have PAs, and knowledgeable floor nurses that don’t page you about nonsense. Rarely do you ever reach anywhere near the 80 hour work week except when you are the trauma resident. On that rotation you operate until your fingers are calloused. Our call is home call and we are not a level-one trauma center but call can be very busy at times. 2nd years take the most call (7-8/month) followed by 3rd years (4-5/month). As a junior resident you are guaranteed 2 weekends a month off and ACGME rules are strictly regulated. As a 4th and 5th year you take no primary call unless you are at Chabert Hospital. You essentially have every weekend off.
Moonlighting is also permitted in our own ER and you can essentially earn $1,000 a night after taxes but you can only do it twice a month.
Location / Housing
New Orleans is a city that you either hate or love – there’s no in between. When I first arrived in New Orleans I fell in love with the city immediately – the music, the food, the people, the cheap cost of living. I was here for Katrina, the evacuation, and the rebuilding and I can honestly say that New Orleans is bigger and badder than it’s ever been. We are not still under water or covered in an oil spill as the mass media still portrays us as. This is a great city for single people or married people. There are tons of bars, clubs, restaurants, parks, shopping, festivals. Something is always going on for everybody. We have the sugar bowl and the BCS championship a few days away right downtown! It feels like a big city here but New Orleans is pretty small. I live uptown about a 6 minute drive from the hospital around a bunch of nice restaurants and shopping.
Most residents live uptown, but Ochsner also has a bunch of houses that it leases to residents that are right next to the hospital. Some residents with families will choose to live out in the suburbs of Metairie or Kenner where you get a little more space and suburban feel. When you are out at Chabert Hospital in Houma we are put up in apartments by the hospital. Many residents drive home on the weekends if they are not on call and some residents commute from New Orleans to Houma at times.
Limitations
We are not a level-1 trauma center so your residency is not dominated by trauma call. Therefore your call is lighter and you don’t see much “hot” trauma for those of you who may want this in your program. We are however a tertiary referral center in the biggest hospital system in Louisiana so we get plenty of complex trauma (pelvic/acetabulum, pilons, plateaus, polytraumas) that are shipped into us from other surrounding hospitals. Academics and research is not a highlight of our program but this will probably change in the near future.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Again I am a current resident and this post is probably biased. I can honestly tell you that you will not meet an unhappy Ochsner resident. If you are looking for tons of operative and clinical experience and excellent didactics throughout the duration of your residency and want to graduate with the ability to go out into practice right out of residency or get a great fellowship not out of necessity then you should really check us out. Many of our current residents were rotators as well who saw first-hand what we had to offer. Send me a PM if I can answer any questions.

Qualification

I am a current resident of this program.
Date of Rotation
2009-2014
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