Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Northwestern Residency Showcase

(Written by Marissa; edited by the medical student)
This past Saturday Northwestern hosted a "Residency Showcase" or informational about their residency program. I found the information online several weeks ago and had Drew RSVP because we figured it would be a good experience. Drew took the train into Chicago and then walked 1.7 miles along the lake to Northwestern's campus. The invitation said the dress code was "business casual" so Drew decided to wear a dress shirt and bring a tie. When he arrived he noticed most people were in ties so he ducked into a bathroom before he was spotted and put on his tie. Most of the other male students erred on the side of caution and had ties on and some even wore suits. The faculty however was a little closer to the dress code, Drew described an attending as wearing jeans with a sport coat.
The first forty-five minutes they broke up into two groups (of about 75) with two different panels. One was a panel of faculty and the other was a panel of residents. It was a question and answer session. Then the two groups switched and attended the other panel. After this there was a lunch or refreshments and all the programs were set up by table. Rather that getting something to eat right away Drew went straight to talk to staff. He met the chief resident and an attending. Drew said he found both of them to be very down to earth and easy to relate to. The attending even mentioned that he was looking forward to getting something to eat because he had been running around chasing his kids all day. They also talked about their hobbies and interests. I think Drew found this encouraging because it meant that while their jobs were a huge part of their lives it wasn't all of their lives - something that is important to us because while we know medicine is going to be a priority we still want to have a family. One of the two even mentioned that they have "no divorces," while I am sure he meant it somewhat jokingly it is actually somewhat comforting. One of them even spoke about how the road is tough and that there will even come a day where you want to flush your pager and throw in the towel, but he said that everyone goes through this and you get through it. I liked hearing this because I thought it was nice that they weren't negative but they also didn't sugar coat anything. Drew also observed that none of the residents or staff looked ragged or miserable. Although I am sure they work ridiculously long hours he said that they still seemed genuinely happy. This is something important because I think it can be an indication of the program. Residency is going to be hard anywhere but I think that some programs are going to make it more bearable.

1 comment:

Mrs T #3 said...

I follow your blog (along with Lives of Doctor Wives) and perked up when I saw this post! My husband is (almost) an M3 and his heart has been set on ortho since day 1...our IDEAL residency is Northwestern! How did your husband find out about the showcase? Is it invite only? I would love to know when you get a chance!