Sunday, November 6, 2011

Residency Interview - The Seventh

Only one day into my new rotation I found myself standing in the long line at the airport awaiting security checkpoints before the sun reached the horizon. I would be spending the rest of the day in transit from one coast to the other losing hours fast as we crossed numerous time zones.

St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center

Waking up at 5am on the east coast was a rough task when my internal clock was screaming it was still 2 in the morning. My anxiety driven agenda helped get me out of bed, dressed and to the hospital in time to follow the medical staff into the underbelly of the large hospital. Recent construction has foot traffic rerouted on the outside, but the inside looked like a contemporary museum or lounge. Welcome to St. Joseph's in the heart of Paterson, New Jersey. Our morning started among the residents in a newly constructed auditorium reviewing cases and discussing medicine. Refreshments from the in-house Au Bon Pain worked our palates into submission before a tour of the facilities.

Among other things, the renovations have brought a whole new tower to the campus with state-of-the-art ICU, floors and revamped emergency department. Everything was so clean, colorful and busy. With various fellowships available, the latest technologies and seemingly satisfied residents, this program puts up quite a fight for a leading residency. Despite being an accredited Trauma II center, they have their fair share of trauma with what sounds like a procedure intense training. There is no lack of pediatrics and they are even gearing up for a geriatric oriented emergency unit, one of the first in the country.

Interviews were conducted after a lunch with residents in a panel format that consisted of program director, assistant program director, department manager, and resident. I felt at ease throughout the process and was intrigued by the clinical case exercise. It was done in the style of an oral board exam, something I have never practiced. Despite my travel fatigue, my answers portrayed my personality and came across the way I would have answered in a no-stress situation. I left feeling this program was a shining star among programs and was honored to interview as a guest on their campus.

Question of the Week
If one were to ask a friend of yours what one weakness you have, what would it be?

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