New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia Campus)

New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia Campus)

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City
New York
State/Province
New York

Program Information

Residents per class
6
New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia Campus) Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program

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Columbia

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Even though Dr. Levine has moved into the chair position, he is still very involved with medical student and resident education. Since he became chair, the department has grown immensely (i.e. recruiting some of the top ortho spine surgeons and creating a spine hospital, expanding bench research etc.) and will likely continue on an upward trajectory. In general, the department is small enough were all attending know all residents and most are friendly and supportive, even the big names. The size also facilitates mentor relationships
Didactics / Teaching
A good mix of resident-led and attending-led didactics, for 30 min to an hour most days of the week. Fracture and Indications conferences are definitely a highlight, with multiple attending a at each.
Operating Experience
The structure and size of the department mean attendings know residents and what they're capable of. I think this leads to less time spent proving yourself or feeling out the situation and more time working at the level that promotes your growth. There are fellows but for the most part they run a room with a junior and act as a near-peer teacher which is a great experience.
Clinic Experience
The resident clinic here is a great opportunity for graduated autonomy and to take care of the (often high needs) Washington Heights (often Dominican) community. Yes, it requires patience and Spanish fluency is a huge advantage but it's a great counterbalance to the patients who drive or fly in from afar for the Columbia name.
Research Opportunities
What seems like endless opportunities including bench research with the addition of Thomopoulos. There seems to be a recent effort to be more supportive of resident research and to continue to push for high quality, not just quantity. The peds department also has a research machine (several staff members and a handful of medical students available to help on projects).
Residents
The most cohesive and supportive group I've met after several sub-Is and interviews. A lot of friendships and mentorships across class years.
Lifestyle
Milstein has its inefficiencies though they're actively working on many of them (eg timing turn overs etc). That said, the floor intern and night float systems take a lot of pressure off the rest of the residents and I think the workload is about average for ortho. The pay is solid, though it comes with NYC prices. There are also 20 days of vacation off a year, and most classes make a concerted effort to swap weekend call days so everyone gets a solid 4 weeks (9 days x 4).
Location / Housing
New York isn't for everyone. That said, no matter when you get out for the night or what day of the week you have off, there are restaurants, shows and events to partake in. Many people choose to live outside of Washington Heights and the Upper West Side is only about 25 min by train away.
Limitations
Not many. They do have to rotate in Baltimore twice, but it's at Shock Trauma. There's nothing near comparable in terms of trauma training in New York City
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
My rotation here was the most intense, most instructive and most fun of the 3 I did.

In general, this is a strong and continually improving, tight-knit, supportive program in an attractive location with all of the resources you could ask for.

Qualification

I am a medical student at this school.
Date of Rotation
03/2016
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Columbia/NYP

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
The faculty at Columbia know all of the residents. With the tight bond comes trust and with trust comes opportunities in the OR, so by the time you have earned your stripes as a PGY 3 or 4 you are ready to really get your hands dirty. The chairman, Dr. Levine, is unflagging in his support of residents. His energy sets the tone for the whole department, and you have a group that works hard and supports one another.
Didactics / Teaching
Weekly conferences by subspecialty. Weekly didactic lectures for all residents. Be ready to get roasted in sports indication conference.
Operating Experience
The knock on this program is that you don't get to operate early on. The response to this criticism is that: perhaps this is true and there are interns out there flying through nails and whatnot. However, by the time Columbia residents are in fellowship and working as attendings their operative ability is second to none.
Clinic Experience
The medicaid/medicare clinic allows for superior resident autonomy, but it's not for the faint of heart, as it can be busy and your Spanish will get very good.
Research Opportunities
Some of the best in the country. Columbia is a publishing powerhouse.
Residents
The residents at Columbia were my favorite ones that I met during rotation and interview season, hands down. The group is energetic, fun, funny, and know how to get to work.
Lifestyle
It's New York City...on your days off you can see Picassos or an Opera, or head to Brooklyn for a delicious hipster meal. I'm an outdoorsy person and I'm happy that I can drive 2 hours to be in the Catskills or fly nonstop almost anywhere (e.g. Jackson Wyoming).
Location / Housing
Washington Heights isn't the best neighborhood to live in especially if you have kids, but it is extremely affordable for Manhattan. The general idea is that if you have a family you will probably live somewhere with a 20-30 minute commute. If you are single or living with one significant other then Washington Heights is a great option.
Limitations
Early operative exposure probably lacking (hopefully with all the feedback they get on this issue it will change), unionized nurses who at times are looking toward the end of their shifts more than patient care
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
This rotation is awesome - you learn a lot, meet great people, and get to know a great part of the country in New York City.

Qualification

I am a medical student at this school.
Date of Rotation
April 2016
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(Updated: April 09, 2017)

Columbia

N/A

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
I was extremely impressed by Dr. Levine during my rotation and the interview process. He is respected by his residents, and they feel that the program is heading in a very positive direction with him at the helm. Dr. Levine is very active in medical student, resident, and fellow education. He meets with rotators once a week to discuss topics in orthopedics, along with tips regarding the application process. He and the other faculty members are at Columbia because they are committed to teaching residents.
Didactics / Teaching
Medical students and residents present operative treatments of fractures that came in over the past week at fracture conference, and there is grand rounds every week. There is also anatomy teaching once a week over the summer which is led by the residents. Each service also has a weekly indications conference in which students and residents interpret radiographs and discuss the indications for upcoming surgeries that week.
Operating Experience
Like other large academic medical centers, there is a fair amount of residents and fellows scrubbing on cases together. That being said, the residents and fellows are given significant autonomy in the OR. With the exception of a few attendings, residents and fellows run the show in the OR, and attendings are there to supervise and help when residents and fellows reach difficult portions of the operation. Fellows walk residents through approaches during cases. Medical students are often 2nd or 3rd assist in cases but are relied on to set up the OR and make sure the relevant radiology is in the room.
Clinic Experience
Students and residents work autonomously in the clinic, and they make the majority of the clinical decisions on their own. Students' notes are reviewed by residents and attendings. Many patients speak Spanish, and while there are interpreters present, you will often have to wait for an interpreter to help you see your patient.
Research Opportunities
Attendings are approachable regarding starting research projects. Columbia medical students often help with research projects. There is a dedicated research block during the residency, and some residents take time off to do more research.
Residents
Easily my favorite group of residents on the rotation/interview trail. There are six residents per year, and Columbia prides itself on its familial feel in the context of NYC where other major programs have large resident classes. Residents are down to earth and hang out very frequently with each other. They respect their rotating medical students and appreciate the help.
Lifestyle
NYP is a busy hospital, and the orthopedic service is busy across all subspecialties. Residents work hard, though they are able to keep their hobbies. While there is plenty to do in New York City, it is an expensive city and can seem large and impersonal at times.
Location / Housing
The hospital is uptown (168th and Broadway) in the Washington Heights area. You can find great apartments around the hospital for not much money. However, many residents choose to live on the Upper West Side (20-30 minute commute) because it is closer to downtown NYC. The hospital is easily accessible by subway.
Limitations
The presence of fellows means that junior residents and rotating medical students don't do much in the operating room. Though I felt extremely useful as a rotator, the sub-I is rigorous and the hours are long.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
This was my most rigorous rotation as a medical student, though it was also the rotation in which I felt the most useful. Residents and attendings are committed to student education, and students are highly valued members of their respective teams. The residents are down to earth and enjoy each other's company. Dr. Levine was by far the most impressive chairman that I encountered along the rotation and interview trail, and everyone in the department feels that the residency program is in extremely capable hands.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
2016
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: February 23, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
9.8
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
9.0
Clinical Experience 
 
10.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
9.0
Overall Experience 
 
10.0

Columbia

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Dr. Levine is the most involved and motivated chair in the country, period. Everyone here on orthogate knows how involved he gets in medical student and resident education (considering how much he helps us random people on these forums, imagine what he’d do for you as a resident). The fact that he is now the chairman means that the department is set to grow by leaps and bounds in the next few years. Dr. Geller is an awesome, down-to-earth, and hilarious PD who gets along quite well with all of the residents. He has a very non-NYC vibe in terms of how friendly and approachable he is, and he plays Katy Perry in the OR. Big names in all subspecialties, with a culture that focuses on resident education.
Didactics / Teaching
Excellent didactics, good mix of attending- and resident-led specialty conferences with fracture conferences weekly. Indications conferences were the best I’ve seen on the sub-I trail, which shows the focus here is not just on resident training, but also education. Lots of one-on-one mentorship by the (very well-connected) attendings, which translates into the best fellowships every single year (I know every program says that, but take a look at the actual list). Microsurgery course and international electives are pretty unique to this program too.
Operating Experience
Possibly the only knock on the program is that the operative experience is top-heavy. Not as much operative autonomy as a PGY-1 or 2, but in terms of operative skill, the 4s/5s here were outclassing many of the senior residents and even fellows I saw at other supposedly operatively heavy places. A large part of that is likely due to the fact that all the attendings actually know the residents’ names and can trust them and teach them more as time goes on. By nature of being in NYC, you're not going to see a lot of high-speed blunt trauma here, but 4 months at Shock Trauma in Baltimore is probably the most advanced trauma experience you’d get coming out of an NYC residency.
Clinic Experience
Lots of autonomy in the clinic, and attendings really challenge the residents to become proficient at indicating and pre-/post-operative care. The majority of the patients in clinic do speak Spanish, and although there are in-person and phone translators, it can slow you down if you don’t have at least a basic command of the language. Same when it comes to inpatient rounding.
Research Opportunities
Fantastic research opportunities, which are continuously growing (e.g. brand new Carroll basic science laboratories). Proven track record of quality and quantity of resident publications. Research labs have full-time staff who are motivated and interested in working with residents on projects, along with plenty of biostats, biomechanics, and microsurgery/veterinary support for your projects.
Residents
My favorite group of residents from the sub-I/interview trail, and certainly a strength of the program. A cohesive group of really down-to-earth, interesting, and normal people who have lives outside of work. The residents seem like they truly enjoy working together and hanging out with each other, which is a good sign as a prospective ortho resident knowing you’ll be spending more time with your co-residents than your family sometimes.
Lifestyle
A huge draw of Columbia. Residents obviously work hard and learn what they need to, and get killed during PGY-2 year (like anywhere else). But unlike a lot of other programs, PGY-3 year is great, and life continues to be fantastic 4th and 5th year. Night float also means residents have time to go home and enjoy life and read up for the next day’s cases.
Location / Housing
NYC is great, but Washington Heights isn’t the most happening neighborhood; it is a great inexpensive option though if you don’t mind living near the hospital. Most residents live on the Upper West Side, but some commute in from further downtown, Jersey, Upper East Side, Brooklyn, etc.
Limitations
Less operative experience in the first 2 years of residency, but a more thought-out mentorship model means that residents don’t have to introduce themselves to attendings as a senior resident, so you’re actually trusted to do more in the OR by the time you’re a senior. Clinic/rounding can be difficult if you don’t have basic Spanish language skills coming into residency. Going away for four months for trauma can be a pain, but if you’re going to go anywhere, might as well go to the best trauma hospital in the northeast and learn from leaders in the field.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Everything that a premier academic program has to offer, in the greatest city in the world. Incredibly happy and cohesive residents who enjoy access to unparalleled mentorship and academic resources. Resident-focused program results in the best fellowship match every year, and consistently produces leaders in the field who are not just excellent technicians, but also thoughtful and well-rounded surgeons.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
2014
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: January 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
7.6
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
9.0
Operating Experience 
 
6.0
Clinical Experience 
 
8.0
Research 
 
9.0
Residents 
 
4.0
Lifestyle 
 
7.0
Location 
 
9.0
Overall Experience 
 
7.0

Columbia at NY Presby

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Big names in their field. The chairman is well known, well published. Their strength is shoulder/elbow. The team doc for the New York Yankees belongs here. Otherwise, they have a few big names around but not necessarily that many great teachers that are willing to really take the time to help the residents learn to operate
Didactics / Teaching
Strong didactics for the most part. There is better out there, but certainly a lot worse too.
Operating Experience
For simple operations, upper level residents can find themselves doing the case. For the glamour operations, esp sports or shoulder /elbow, get prepared to stand behind one or maybe even two attendings, and a fellow. The junior residents get perhaps one of the poorest operative experiences I have seen anywhere around. Even the twos appear largely to function as interns on many services.
Clinic Experience
It is necessarily inefficient, as being in Washington Heights, it is as much an exercise in translation as it is in determining necessary follow up/pre-op planning. Residents also get sent to satellite clinics to the upper Bronx, which is equally painful.
Research Opportunities
Definitely there if you seek them. Most of the depts here know how to publish... often, and in top-notch journals.
Residents
Something about New York City that does not attract the top personalities. Perhaps the least down-to-earth group of residents I've met. Even simple jokes or greetings will often be met with rebukes of some sort and/or explanation of how the universe actually works
Lifestyle
Its Ortho. A few inefficiencies and an older school mentality, not to mention the unionized nature of New York City nurses, make the hours drag out a little longer than they ideally ought to.
Location / Housing
New York city, while not for everyone, can certainly be one of the greatest cities on earth. That being said, the Wash Heights/upper west side area, out of the various Manhattan Ortho programs and even many of the ones in Brooklyn, is by far the least sexy and least happening of any of the various locales. Most residents opt for the longer commute, and live away from the hospital
Limitations
Older facilities, intrinsic language barrier btwn faculty/residents and approx 70% of your patients (although you learn to speak Spanish fairly quickly and be functional, esp if you have any type of background in it), unionized nature of nurses, and old school mentality of attendings which trickles down to residents.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Location is the number one attraction, combined with the Ivy name. Operative experience and residents are the major downside. Overall, too many people rotate here and their selection process to incestuous to recommend the externship to anyone outside an Ivy league med school. I, personally, was attracted to the prospect of an NYC program, but perhaps chose the wrong program to rotate at.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
2010
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New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia Campus) Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program
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