Review Detail

 
New Jersey
by John Langland     August 20, 2007    
(Updated: January 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
8.7
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
7.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
8.0
Research 
 
6.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
9.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

A Hidden Gem

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Program director and chairman were both great people, easy to get along with and seem to have their residents backs. The rest of the faculty that I met seemed very down to earth. Residents said that the faculty was happy to teach and also loved to pass the scalpel. They really get to know you since it is a small program, and with those relationships comes trust and increased operative experience.
Didactics / Teaching
There is a daily didactic with faculty usually present. Additionally there are monthly/semi-monthly journal club, etc. Residents seemed to enjoy all of these didactics and felt that the helped to prepare them for boards and the OR. There didn't seem to be a set curriculum that was followed which might be somewhat disorganized. But in all, there is definitely a focus on didactics but it didn't appear as refined as I saw at other places.
Operating Experience
This is the highlight of this program. These guys operate early and often. The chief had logged as many cases as anyone that I had seen during my interviews. The program is technically has "rotations" while you are at Monmouth Medical Center, however in reality the residents pretty much select the cases that they want to do each day, and get to scrub them. The chief is doing a Spine fellowship at Stanford and basically spent most of the year doing a variety of spine cases so that he is a beast during his fellowship. Recently the program partnered with like 4 surgery centers, so they greatly expanded their access to sports, foot and ankle, and hand cases. This is a huge plus for this program. All of the residents said that they felt very comfortable int he OR as early as PGY2.

The majority of your 5 years is at Monmouth Medical Center, however they do 6 months in PGY3 at Newark for trauma and 5 months in PGY4 at CHOP for peds. Therefore you get training in trauma and peds at worldclass institutes to fill-in the gaps that the Level 2 or 3 Monmouth hospital does not provide. It seems to be a great balance and the residents speak highly of these opportunities. This program provides a great operative experience in all fields and puts out great residents that match into top fellowships around the country each year.
Clinic Experience
This wasn't stressed much on interview day and is hard to assess unless you rotate somewhere. However I believe that there is a resident run clinic that allows you the opportunity to see patients and book cases. Additionally you cover various attendings clinics. The residents said that it is a good balance of clinic and OR.
Research Opportunities
This program does not have the resources or focus on research that the top academic institutes have. However residents are required to produce at least one publishable project each year with many doing much more. The attendings seem supportive of research and help residents with their projects. There is definitely the possible to produce some great projects while at this program, however you will likely have to be self-motivated to do so. That said the residents are all presenting at conferences and always seem to match well for fellowships.
Residents
A great group of guys. The program has traditionally been all male, however they have one girl in the upcoming PGY2 class. It is 2 residents per year which has its pros and cons. Everyone is very close and they were a great group of people. Very fun to hang out with on the interview social. Everyone had a great attitude and seemed to genuinely love the program. Being a small group, there is no where to hid though. So resident's with deficiencies are quickly recognized and provide the necessary assistance. Everyone is looking for something different in a program, and if a small tight-knit group is what you are looking for, this is it.
Lifestyle
The residents split call from PGY2-5. So PGY5 does take a few calls per month. It is home-call and you leave between 10-12 the next morning. Since it is not a Level 1 trauma center, calls are not too crazy. However you do get your big trauma experience while at Newark and that can be a crazy experience per the residents but it is only 6 moths and then you get to return home. The same thing with Peds at CHOP. Housing is provided during both "aways" but some residents have commuted to Newark (45 mins away).

Operative days can be long/ short depending on the day/ cases/ add-ons/ etc. Things are variable in terms of hours as they are anywhere. I believe that they get to the hospital at around 6-6:15 for rounds and then didactics. The PGY2s seemed to be enjoying themselves and weren't stressed out, which is a good sign. Intern year is a split between Gen surg and Ortho, with the gen surg portion being infinitely worse than the Ortho portion.

I believe that about half of the residents are married, no kids. And for those that care, you get 4 weeks of vacation each year PGY1-5.
Location / Housing
Though it is New Jersey (which to some may be a negative), the hospital is located two blocks form the beach -- and this is the nice part of the Jersey Shore (no Snooki). The boardwalk was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy but they are supposed to rebuild it for this beach season.

You are also 45 min from NYC and ~1hr from Philly. Residents live in a variety of locations all within 10-15 mins of the hospital. A couple residents live in beach front apartments. The area is safe and there is a lot to do. The area around the hospital is pretty much suburban with all of the expected stores, malls, etc. The population of the city more than doubles in the summer vs the winter due to the beaches. Residents have been known to eat lunch on the beach between cases from time to time. Seems like a pretty cool place to live for 5 years.
Limitations
Research is not a primary focus but is there if you look for it. Didactics are a focus but seemed to possibly be a little more disorganized than at other places. There are journal clubs, etc.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
I think that this program is a hidden gem that I had not even heard of until application time. It is a community program that provides residents with an amazing operative/ clinic experience over 5 years. What it lacks in big trauma/ complicated Peds it covers with its rotations at Neward/CHOP. Residents seemed happy, well trained, and were a lot fo fun to hang out with after the interview. They get great fellowships in a variety of specialties and many of the residents come back to Monmouth as faculty after fellowship. It is a great program that no one is talking about. I would have been happy to have ended up here for my ortho training.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
01/01/2013
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