Review Detail

9.2 3 10
Pennsylvania August 28, 2007 16248
UPenn Away Rotation
(Updated: January 01, 2012)
Overall rating
Staff Surgeons
Operating Experience
Clinical Experience
Overall Experience
For those doing an away rotation:
1. Try to stay at Penn Guest Housing at Sansom Place ~ 1,000/month, free washers and dryers, right in the middle of Presbyterian Hospital and Hospital of Pennsylvania where you will likely be working.
2. Try the Yuengling Black and Tan - Stout beer made in Philly, it's awesome
3. If you are living on campus, walk up Walnut St, passed 38th and try Bobby's Burger Palace, the Philly burger is awesome.

** Of course work hard, learn the academic culture here (if your from the West) and adapt quickly. It will be a great rotation. And, take call! It is optional on this rotation but is well worth it.

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
In 2009 Dr. Scott Levine took over for Dr. Richard Lackman and has done an outstanding job of making the University of Pennsylvania orthopaedic residency even more well known. In fact, his mission was to take UPenn to be "in five years a top five orthopaedic institute".He has focused his attention on creating a very "resident-centered" program and I believe he has done an excellent job of this. Although I did not work with Dr. Levine during my away rotation I did interact with him during Grand Rounds and spoke with him while I was taking call. He works non-stop, it's quite impressive. All that being said, he is a very formal person and believes firmly in a sense of professionalism at all times. For example, you are not to come to Grand Rounds or clinic in scrubs or unshaven, and must be dressed professionally and wear a tie.

I did Sports Medicine and worked with Dr. Brian Sennett who is a master arthroscopist who only sees shoulders and knees. He is a machine, very fast in the OR, runs two rooms but still finds time to do a lot of excellent teaching to the residents during the cases. I also worked closely with Dr. James Carey, who is a cartilage Master Mind. He is part of an osteochondritis dissecans work group called ROCK and does a ton of very complex cartilage repair techniques. He is absolutely outstanding and one of the best attending teachers I have ever met. Additionally, I worked with Dr. John Kelly who has to be simply the nicest attending I have ever worked with. His OR is a "positive place", which does NOT allow any form of pimping. He is extremely happy all the time and tells a lot of jokes in the OR and in clinic.
Didactics / Teaching
There was more than enough teaching at this residency. In fact, some of the residents expressed that possibly too much teaching (I believe they were being dramatic). There is always lectures in the mornings and evenings, journal clubs, saw bone labs, cadaver labs, etc. that are going on.
Operating Experience
This, like all programs, is attending specific as to how much the residents get to do. For example, on sports the residents did a ton, Trauma is unparalleled at UPenn however, from what I heard from the residents Foot and Ankle is pretty weak in terms of actual hands on training.
Clinic Experience
Clinical experience was outstanding. The residents did a ton! It was the traditional: see the patient, view any imaging, formulate a diagnosis and plan, and then come out present this to the attending.
Research Opportunities
More than enough. It has been said that the average publications from the UPenn residents by the time they graduate is 24. There is a lot of research opportunity and although the requirement for graduation is 1 project, the faculty and fellow residents frown upon those that are not involved in multiple projects. The bar is set high for them and being someone who is very interested and involved in research I thought this was outstanding.
Some of the best residents that I have ever worked with - both on a personal attitude level and a technical level. I never met a single malignant resident while I was on my rotation. In fact, the residents at UPenn were some of the most kind, intelligent, humble, and helpful residents that I have met. I was very, very impressed with them.
Lifestyle is pretty good. The residents do work a lot especially as interns and 2nd years but after that it seemed like they had it pretty good. Of course they are surgery residents so they work a lot, but not so much that everyone was getting a divorce (that was married). The married guys I talked to seemed happy and the single guys I talked to seemed happy.
Location / Housing
It is Philadelphia so I think housing prices are reasonable, comparatively speaking - to the East Coast. Most residents lived in Center City, which is like 5-10 minutes from the hospital, some would just walk. It being Philadelphia though there are several areas that are shady but where UPenn Hospital is, I thought it was pretty safe.
Didn't really identify any limitations that I can speak of. One thing that struck me about the program however, was how formal it was. There is a very distinct hierarchy that is well recognized by everyone and adhered to strictly. This was something that I was not used to (coming from the West Coast).
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
My overall rotation experience was excellent. As a medical student, I personally did not get to do much at all (did not touch a suture or an instrument once, never saw a single patient by myself either) but having had this experience I don't think that is the point of an away rotation. More importantly, I did have a great time working with the residents and observing the inner workings of this residency program and what it is all about. I believe this is one of the best residency programs in the East.


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