Why I Chose My Residency Program (Things You Should Look for when choosing a Residency Program)

Resident Autonomy

  • Our Program provides a great deal of resident autonomy in the O.R. , clinic, and with inpatient hospital management. We single scrub all of our cases which allows us to experience a more hands-on approach to surgery. We also see our own patients in clinic under the supervision of our attendings. We typically see around 20 patients per resident in our weekly resident run clinic. During our clinic time, we see our own post-op patients and develop our own surgical/treatment plans for new consults.  We also admit many of our own patients and therefore must be able to manage them from a medical standpoint.

Level1 Trauma Center

  • Being at a Level1 trauma center provides a very diverse and large quantity of pathology, both while on podiatry service and on our off-service rotations.  This allows us to be more experienced in dealing with and working up more complex podiatric cases.

Relationship between Orthopedics/Podiatry

  • We work alongside multiple foot and ankle Orthopods and Traumatologists. We spend approx. 6 months on Ortho Trauma service where we take call and scrub daily with the Orthopedic trauma team at the hospital. Also, all of our academics include our orthopedic colleagues. We attend a weekly orthopedic fracture conference, and the orthopedic residents attend our weekly foot and ankle conference. While on podiatry service, we also take Foot and Ankle Ortho Call which means that we get consulted on any lower extremity fracture that comes through the Emergency Department.

Balance of OR and Clinic

  • Finding a balance between time in the clinic and the O.R. is a necessity. We have a very busy wound care clinic, orthopedic clinic, and resident’s clinic. Our time in clinic allows us to see patients both preoperatively and postoperatively. Also, spending a lot of time in the clinic helps us to become more efficient in diagnosing and treating our patients which will benefit us when we leave our residency.  

Strong Off-Service Rotations

We do off-service rotations in Internal Medicine, Vascular Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Infectious Disease, Radiology, Pathology, General Surgery, and Psychiatry. These rotations provide a foundation that aids in medical management of our patients. Many of our patients have multiple comorbidities which will drive our treatment/surgical approach and plan. It is important that we understand the basics of these comorbidities and that we be able to effectively communicate in an intelligent way with our MD/DO colleagues.

 Competent Attendings

  • Last but not least, the most important aspect of any program are the attendings. Your attednings will mentor, guide, and shape your career and skillset. The director of our program, Dr. Clements, is the main reason that I wanted to do residency at Carilion. He is a very busy doctor and is highly skilled.  It is important to choose a program with attendings who are interested in and treat pathology that interests you. The quality of attendings is more important than the quantity of attendings at a program.  It’s also important to find programs with attending personalities that you mesh well with. 

Blayne Patton, IPED member
Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital – PGY-2
KSUCPM Salutatorian Class of 2015