Review Detail

9.3 1 10
Virginia August 28, 2007 9647
MCV/VCU - Solid program
(Updated: January 30, 2013)
Overall rating
Staff Surgeons
Operating Experience
Clinical Experience
Overall Experience

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
The program has 17 full time staff covering all subspecialties. The staff all seems to get along well, covering cases for each other that come in based on area of expertise. There are really no harsh personalities amongst the staff and the residents seem to get along with them and know them well. The Chairman, Dr. Adelaar, is extremely hardworking and known in the Foot/Ankle field. Rumor is he might be retiring after another 4-5 years though. It seems like a lot of the staff (maybe half) were also residents at MCV once, so that speaks for the program since people wanted to come back.<br />
Other Pros: The program has two tumor guys, the only place in the state for musculoskeletal oncology. Dr. Domson actually goes to UVA one day a week for their sole Tumor exposure. All Attendings are centralized at MCV Hospital. The only off site rotations the residents have is at the VA and with two private Peds Ortho guys in town, which is very highly regarded from what I heard.
Didactics / Teaching
Residents have Fracture Conference every Monday AM, Basic Science review for 1's and 2's on Tuesday, resident run conference on Trauma topics on Thursdays and three hours of faculty based didactics Friday morning. It seems like they get taught a good amount. Scheduling for the talks is a little disorganized (it seems topics aren't sent out until a few days beforehand) but the lectures I attended were all very good quality. It seems they get big name guest speakers every few months as well.
Operating Experience
A definite strength of the program. Chief residents are highly skilled and often doing cases completely by themselves. They get a lot of trauma exposure so by chief year they all seem very comfortable with all types of trauma. Good Joints experience. Dr. Jiranek is a big name and a good teacher. 4th years are the primary surgeon for primary joints. Like I said, great Tumor exposure and Dr. Foster is a great teacher in the OR. The Program Director is also the OR Director so it seems that Ortho kinda runs the show. OR Staff is helpful and fun to work with.<br />
There are lots of Attendings and only 2 fellows (one joints, one trauma), so residents hardly ever double scrub behind another resident. Interns don't really go to the OR much but 2nd years get to go a lot while on Trauma and Hand.
Clinic Experience
Clinics are again centralized downtown but there is also a more posh outpatient clinic in the west end. Residents run the indigent clinic MWF with one Attending supervising. I think they see like 50-60 patients a day, which seems manageable with 3 residents and a PA. Residents attend private clinics based on what rotation they are on. Most Attendings seem to run these clinics with residents helping with consents and H&P's.
Research Opportunities
From what I learned, all residents are required to do one Basic Science and one Clinical research project. They have a 10 week research rotation in their 3rd year where most of this gets done. There is a lab (which I never went to) on campus run by a PhD and some other grad students that help residents with projects. They seem to use the Instron for a lot of biomechanical projects. Overall however, research does not seem like a major focus of the program.
The residents are a great group of guys (and girls). There are 5 residents a year, and each group/year seems to be pretty tight (sitting together in conference, etc). Since the program is centralized at MCV it seems there are a lot of residents around, which is great since they all seem to pitch in to help each other out. Overall the residents seem very happy and I didn't once notice conflict or talking $h*t behind each other's backs. Chief residents take the time to teach the juniors and the camraderie seems great. Like I mentioned it seems like there are a lot of Attendings and thus the residents seem to function alone and have autonomy on a lot of their rotations.<br />
The majority of the residents are married, and I would say a slight negative is that there doesn't seem to be much socializing outside of work (as singles or couples). There was a rumor that residents all go to Capital Ale House every Monday or Tuesday but I didn't see that happen recently.
Nightfloat system with one 2nd year and one 4th year in house at all times. It seems the 2nd year is the ER consultant and the 4th year does any cases that come in - which happens often. Those not on nights take 5 weekends of call out of a three month period.<br />
No moonlighting as far as I could tell.
Location / Housing
Richmond is a great town (I'm biased however). It's the capital and a big city, but not too big. Traffic is never a problem (although some people still whine). There is plenty to do, everything a big city would have. The National is a great concert venue. There's history here, there are museums. The city is also unique as a river runs through downtown and there are lots of trails along side for mountain biking. The river is also good for kayaking, or there are a few islands that you can get to by foot-bridge which are good for hiking, etc. Some people go lay out out there (rednecks) but its fun people watching.<br />
Also you're about 1.5 hours from three great things: Washington DC, the mountains (west) for skiing, or Virginia Beach.<br />
Housing is affordable. There are pretty sweet condos downtown (often converted from warehouses) or nice homes out west or south. Most residents (and a lot of students) have bought homes or condos.<br />
Cons: The airport is kinda small and there are no professional sports in Richmond.
I don't think there are many. I'd say perhaps the residents don't get a lot of spine exposure. Neurosurgery takes the large majority of spine call and there is only one Ortho Spine Attending. Research isn't highly emphasized. Their Sports exposure seems really good but not superb. The residents seem to get along great but I didn't get the feeling they hang out much outside of the hospital (apart from the rare happy hour or golf round).
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Overall students are welcomed but not extremely useful. Residents have to write the notes so in the AM I was best of help changing dressings, getting vitals, etc. The rotating students basically meet and divide up the weeks based on subspecialty. This way you work with a different Attending and resident each week. We spent a lot of time in the OR and also occasionally helped out in the general clinic or private clinics. You are asked to give a talk at the end of your rotation on an interesting/unique topic.<br />
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Overall I had a great experience at MCV. I think the residents work hard, get great operative exposure and seem very competent, confident and fun. I would be very happy to match here.


I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
September 2010
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