I did my first audition rotation in Ob/Gyn at an AOA program in Michigan. This was a really insightful experience and I think it will serve as a good baseline for my future rotations. Here’s a quick summary of things I noticed/recommend:
- What can they do? This program produces AMAZING surgeons. I saw a fourth year resident do a full (open to close) c-section in 17 minutes, do a robotic hysterectomy in 45 minutes, and do a pelvic mass excision, exploratory laparotomy, and bilateral sapingooophorectomy as the lead surgeon. They start training on c-sections from day one and are incredible by their second year.
- Do they have someone looking over their shoulder or autonomy? Do they have a lot of guidance or are they left to hang dry? Look at the fourth year students–are they competent? The second years take call every other week for 24 hours at a time and attending s are not looking over their shoulders–they run the floor. By their third year, they are so knowledgeable.
- Are there other residency programs? It might be good to be unopposed for family medicine or to be in a place with other programs to meet more people and have friends outside of your residency program?
- How far along the accreditation process is this program? This hospital system is VERY on top of their accreditation for the ACGME merger.
- How on top of things is the program? They are VERY on top of administrative issues: their residents take boards during their third year, freeing up their fourth year to look for jobs and get cases.
- Do residents go into fellowships?
- Do residents have families? Kids?
- How do the residents gel with each other? What’s the vibe? Does it seem malignant? Do the residents seem jaded? how do they interact with med students? Other residents from different programs? Do you gel with them? Does your personality fit?
- How are the didactics? Resident led? Conferences? Michigan state DO programs all meet once a month and do a day of learning for the residents.Lots of conferences and education opportunities.
- How is the volume? Are residents getting the cases they need? The volume was not too crazy so there was time to learn. , but not too low… the residents still got their cases.
- How is the resident and attending relationship? The attendings were not mean or demeaning. They just helped the residents learn.
- Are their opportunities to learn? The attendings gave daily lectures to the med students.
- Do the residents close using staples or suture? It might be good to train with suture and get really good at it… you can always switch to staples later on.
- Are you doing a 2 or 4 week rotation?
- 2 week: 24 hour shift, 1 week Gyn, 1 week Ob, 1 presentation 1/2 day in clinic, we started everyday at 5:30 am (round on patients); on Gyn – go to surgeries (assigned); on Ob – watch the board, triage, c-sections, NSVDs, post partum patients
- 4 week: all of the above + 1 week nights, +1 week Gyn
- AOA vs ACGME: AOA programs are merging with ACGME programs, so it’s important to check that the program is on track to merge. Some programs have not been able to fulfill some of the ACGME requirements and are getting shut down. I would recommend doing a few AOA and a few ACGME rotations in order to compare the two.
- KIT: Keep in touch. Make at least one friend among the residents, which can be tough. Exchange numbers and message them every so often to check in and let them know how rotations are going/if they are still your first choice. This is especially important in AOA programs.
- Remember that you are ON when you are on your auditions. It was tough going from the west coast to the east coast and trying to adjust to the time change, but you have to do it and do it graciously. Wake up early, get ready, and go! Be there before the residents, see patients, and give a solid presentation (something I still struggle with). Stay late but go home when you are dismissed.
- Take time for yourself. Auditions are stressful. Take a night off, watch a movie, meditate, go for a walk, do Yoga, listen to music, talk to people you love.
- Location? What’s the location like? Will you be happy here? Are there things that you need that are close by? Do you like to hike? What about a temple nearby? Is the area diverse?
- Food? What’s the cafeteria like? Do residents get a stipend? is it only useful for the cafeteria or is money deposited in your pay check? Is it Vegetarian friendly food? Are there nice restaurants in the area?
- Do they offer classes on billing? Do they help you with loan management?
I didn’t give a full review/ name the program I went to as I am applying there, but it was a great learning experience. I learned a lot about myself as well. Anyhoo, hope this helps!