Frequently Asked Questions
Where do most residents live?
About half of our residents live near the hospitals in New Jersey; the others live in Philadelphia. There are pros and cons to both, but it all depends what you are looking for. Keep in mind, living in Philadelphia, there is additional city wage tax on your paycheck and a $5 toll to cross the bridge.
How many shifts do residents work on EM blocks?
-PGY1: eighteen shifts / 12 hours
-PGY2: seventeen shifts / 12 hours (swing shifts 11 hours)
-PGY3: sixteen shifts / 12 hours (swing shifts 10 hours)
*can vary slightly depending on coverage / number of people off service.
Do you have a dedicated ultrasound rotation?
No, but we do have dedicated ultrasound shifts that are incorporated into our EM blocks. Dr. Gardecki is our fellowship trained ultrasound director.
What is each hospital like?
Washington Township: ~70 ER beds. High acuity. Fast paced. Pediatric ER with pediatric coverage. Comprehensive stroke center with both neurosurgical and medical ICUs. A lot happens here. Very typical for the waiting room to always be full.
Cherry Hill: ~45 ER beds. A lot of mental health due to inpatient crisis/psych unit. Large elderly population due to number of surrounding nursing homes/LTACs/rehabs within a few mile radius.
Stratford: ~35 ER beds. Diverse patient population.
Which hospital do you work at the most?
It varies. Generally speaking, we work at all three a similar amount. Washington Township is our busiest ER and requires more resident coverage, so residents tend to have a few more shifts at that location.
How much vacation time do you have per year?
We are allotted 4 weeks of total vacation time per year. Each vacation is 9 days in length (Saturday through the following Sunday).
Do you work closely with attendings?
Yes! We work directly with attendings for each patient we see. We present directly to them.
What EMR do you use?
Do you get enough procedures?
Definitely. Most residents meet the ACGME requirements for procedures during their PGY1 year (the exception is rarer procedures like cricothyrotomy, transvenous pacers, pericardiocentesis, etc.).
What are your didactics like?
Our didactics are every Wednesday from 7am-12pm. We have multiple guest lecturers, mock cases in an oral boards format, resident lectures, literature reviews, and review interesting cases we have had as a group. It is protected time for all residents, meaning we are not scheduled to work shifts during that morning.
Thoughts on 3 vs 4 year program?
This really comes down to individual preference. Our program is a three year program that is very EM heavy. We work a lot and the majority of our rotations are EM. We transitioned a few years ago from a four year program to a three year program, but we kept the same amount of EM blocks in the curriculum. Our residents are very prepared at the end of the three years. Ultimately, it depends on your learning style and what you feel comfortable with, but you will become a great ER doctor regardless of the length of program you choose.
What is the relationship among the residents like?
Students who rotate with us seem to always notice how much fun we have at work. We have great relationships with our attendings. It is a very supportive environment without competition (anything that comes in is your procedure). It is very common for the senior residents to give away their procedures to the PGY1s. We try to hang out with each other outside of work on a regular basis as well.
Do you have tiered responsibilities?
Nope. You can see whatever patients you want from day 1 as a PGY1. If it is your patient, it is your procedure. You are expected to see sick patients early on. Senior residents are there to help you and will often give you procedures on their patients.
Do you have a mentoring program?
Yes. Every resident has an attending mentor of their choosing. We also double cover shifts for at least the first half of the year, so PGY1s are paired on shift with a PGY2 or PGY3 for support.