Review Detail

 
Louisiana
by John Langland     August 16, 2007    
(Updated: December 12, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
8.1
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
9.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
8.0
Research 
 
4.0
Residents 
 
9.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
5.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

Ochsner Orthopaedics

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Staff: every sub-specialty within orthopedics is covered. Strengths here are total joints and sports; less trauma heavy compared to some programs at busy level 1 centers. Overall we are a smaller program (2 or 3 residents per year).

Chairman: Brand new Chairman from Mayo clinic (Duncan). Previous chair (Warren) is still around but nearing retirement. Chairman Emeritus (Kaye) is also still around and soon retiring. Sometimes a new chairman can be a sign of turmoil in a program- but not here, where we have 2 retired chairmen still practicing. Both previous chairmen have good relationships with hospital admin and were simply ready to relinquish the responsibilities.

Sports: Jones, Suri, Montgomery
Ochsner covers the New Orleans Saints (Dr. Jones) and the New Orleans Hornets (Dr. Montgomery); we have 2 sports fellows, so the sports resident rotates as the “3rd fellow” meaning you will get outstanding, individualized experience in all things arthroscopy related.

Spine: Zavatsky
Very busy service; wide range of adult pathology, occasional pedi spine but this is mostly done while rotating at the children’s hospital

Hand/ Upper Ext.: Duncan, Sisco, Kaye
Good experience with basic hand and wrist pathology as well as shoulder / elbow. Different generational perspectives and approaches between the staff make for a great educational experience.

Trauma: Mautner
Again this is not a high volume trauma center but we do get more than enough transfers and referrals from all over LA and MS. It’s mostly “cold” trauma when talking about pelvis and acetabular injuries. Plenty of bread and butter trauma coming through the ER. Similar to most single specialty private groups, the other attendings refer their “on call” trauma to Dr. Mautner so they can tend to their sub specialty practice.

Foot/Ankle: Treuting
There are plenty of stinky feet to examine with Dr. Treuting… who is very easy to get along with… you will do everything from ankle arthroscopy to TTC arthrodesis.

Oncology: Meyer
Again the residents past and present can’t say enough good things about Dr. Meyer. He is brilliant. And just when you think you know something about musculoskeletal oncology, he will put you in your place. He is a true master of pimping. As long as he is a part of resident education at Ochsner, this will remain a superior place to train.
His practice is supplemented with routine adult reconstruction when he is not taking out osteosarcomas and the like.

Joints: Chimento, Ochsner
Most residents will leave this program able to TEACH primary hip and knee arthroplasty. Dr. Ochsner and Chimento are both outstanding in different ways. Dr. Chimento has become the local THA and TKA revision expert and gets plenty of distant referrals. The downside to the service is rounding on all of the inpatients, but the operative experience is worth it. Often you are in the OR 5 days a week on this service (1 resident : 2 staff)

Peds: Warren, Waldron
The service covers basic pediatric orthopedics. This is supplemented with a 3 month rotation during PGY-3 at Children’s hospital of New Orleans with the staff from LSU.
Didactics / Teaching
OITE scores ~90%tile consistantly. This doesn't mean the residents are "smarter" than those other programs, but we have required academic time to prepare for boards- balancing service with education.

PD- Dr. Mark Meyer is probably nicest, most intelligent, and most down to earth PD in the nation. He makes sure that our academic time is protected.

We have daily (M-F) didactic sessions from 6:15-7:30am. Monthly journal club. Required quarterly Arthroscopy "wet labs" (2-3 residents per cadaver). Bi-Monthly cadaveric dissections in the morgue.

All expense paid required meetings:
PGY2- AO Basic Fracture Course
PGY3- Enneking Tumor Review
PGY4- Dallas short course Orthootics/Prosthetics
PGY5- AAOS or any elective course
Operating Experience
Tons...
Clinic Experience
Adequate. You are not going into ortho for the clinic work.
Research Opportunities
This is somewhat limited relative to other BIG TIME research places. We dont have a team of PH.D.'s waiting around the lab with projects waiting for you. We dont have x million dollars in NIH grants. If you want to produce papers, we have the essentials but not all the bells and whistles.

1 publishable paper is required before you can finish residency.
Residents
More importantly, all of the residents are happy with their experience and get along great.

They have consistantly obtained Fellowships at top notch institutions... some recent ones include: Harvard- Trauma (2), CHOP- Peds, MD Anderson- Oncology among others. About half go into practice (military or private) and half do fellowships, although the nationwide trend is towards fellowship training.
Lifestyle
No one goes into ortho for the lifestyle… BUT I would say the general lifestyle of the ortho residents here is balanced relative to many other programs. ACGME rules are strictly enforced (for better or worse).
Location / Housing
New Orleans is the true origin of the term "dirty south". Most people love it here. Some hate it. There is a lot of crime, political corruption and the public schools systems are crap. Private schools are expensive but worth it, if you have kids.

The night life is unlimited (literally there is no "last call") and there is a drive-thru daiquiri right across the street from the hospital.

For New Orleans in general, the food is unparalleled and the unique culture make it a special place. Did I mention that Mardi Gras is an official hospital holiday?
Limitations
1)Research (see above)
2)One short out-of-town rotation (but ALL of the residents view the Chabert rotation as a strength, plus its an easy 1hr commute)
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Ochsner Ortho was formerly known as a "country club" program 15 years ago. Significant growth and academic emphasis had changed us into a regionally (maybe nationally?) recognized institution that is very well respected. (FYI- I had not heard of this institution until I started applying for residency).

For Current applicants considering away rotations: As with many programs, you VASTLY improve your chances of matching here by performing well on a visiting 4th year elective at Ochsner. We take 2 or 3 residents per year and most years at least one rotated with us as a 4th year med student. Recent match statistics- ~500 applications, ~35 interviews, matched 2 of our top 5 ranked applicants. The match doesn’t always work that well per se, but it gives you an idea of the competitiveness of orthopaedics in general (not just at our institution).

A note on Hurricane Katrina in 2005: Ochsner didn’t close for a single day. The hospital is situated next to the Mississippi river levy and didn’t even come close to flooding. There was no exodus of staff or residents post Katrina. In fact, Ochsner has purchased several other hospitals in the post Katrina era. Other academic teaching hospitals weren’t so lucky (e.g. LSU, Tulane), but overall the city has completely recovered despite what the media may say. For example, in 2012 New Orleans is hosting- Sugar Bowl, BCS national championship, NCAA Final Four, among others… in 2013 the super bowl… In 2014, the AAOS annual meeting.
Also, we share a strong camaraderie and mutual respect with the residents from LSU and Tulane since we all work together at Childrens hospital, and we frequently share city wide lectures/conferences/professorships.

Qualification

I am an alumnus of this program.
Date of Rotation
2012
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