Why Choose Wash U
Nisha Jain, CA-2
At the completion of the interview trail, I realized that several programs offered comparable pros and cons, and I felt as if the experiences were unable to guide me toward a decision. However, as I sat down and digested all of the information I had accumulated along the trail, I noticed what truly colored my impression of each institution was the sense of culture it had created and portrayed. Being a Wash U medical student, I initially felt biased toward Wash U, knowing I had obviously picked Anesthesia after my experience here, but later my admiration for the program's uniquely warm culture remained salient. I was impressed with how readily our faculty embraced new residents, learned their names and interests, and offered their mentoring and support with various research/academic projects. Warmth and support extended beyond the Anesthesia department and included Surgery faculty and nursing staff. This was of particular importance for me since these relationships directly impact the resident overall experience and contribute to job satisfaction.
Wash U is dedicated to excellent training through a variety of approaches that include integrating innovative learning technology while also incorporating traditional educational approaches. Residents are given a diverse set of learning tools and given the independence to learn their optimal learning strategies and environments. Additionally, the department promotes creativity in the range of projects residents can take on as well as in their curriculum. For example, if someone is interested in learning the business behind medicine, they can create and elective that focuses on it. Our faculty have very diverse backgrounds, and finding support for just about any endeavor is likely, which I found also to be unique to Wash U.
I have appreciated meeting well-rounded CA-3's that not only feel confident as clinicians treating patients of varying levels of complexity spanning from neonates to centenarians, but also who feel ready to take on leadership positions in research and peri-operative management. A year later into the program, I continue to be confident and reassured in my decision on staying at Wash U for residency.
Isabella Rossi, CA-2
Having grown up in a small town in central Illinois, I knew I wanted to stay in the Midwest to complete my residency in anesthesiology. What I did not fully grasp at the time of applying to residency programs was what an exceptional training program Washington University has to offer and the perks of being located in a ‘big-small town’ like St. Louis.
As I start my second year, I have come to realize the unique training I am receiving at Washington University will provide me with not only a broad exposure to general anesthesia, but also an incredible platform to launch into any subspecialty I may choose. Here at Washington University, expert anesthesiologists train us as we rotate through each field. These attending physicians come from diverse backgrounds and offer a variety of clinical perspectives. In addition, we are provided the opportunity to work with world-renown surgeons at an institution at the forefront of cutting edge technology. With the Barnes-Jewish Hospital as a major referral center for the Midwest, we are exposed to numerous and varied complex cases. For example, just weeks into CA-1 year I was already being assigned to transplant cases and major vascular cases with accessible faculty.
The focus on academics and research is something our program prides itself on. From case selection to non-clinical education days, residents are given a special priority. Approachable faculty, staff, and fellows are proactive and find time to teach us both in the clinical and classroom setting. Furthermore, with Washington University as a leader in biomedical research, there are extensive opportunities for resident involvement at a variety of levels of investigation.
One of my favorite aspects of this program is that it offers an extremely supportive group of co-residents allowing us to reflect on and share our clinical experiences together. A special effort is also made to bond outside of the hospital and we have had many adventures together exploring the city of St. Louis, which is a new home to many of us. There are a variety of vibrant neighborhoods with young professionals and families as well as a unique and extensive culinary scene. From the vastness of Forest Park with concerts and festivals to professional sporting events to a variety of outdoor physical activities, this city has something to offer for everyone. And additionally, its central location and international airport make last minute weekend getaways easy.
As you look into the world-class program here at Washington University, I am confident you, too, will be pleasantly surprised by all St. Louis has to offer!
Minna Wang CA-1
“You will work hard, but we promise not to waste your time.” If I had to pick one thing that I remembered about each program, this was what I remembered about Wash U at the end of my interview season. After a dozen interviews and 15 one-way flights from coast to coast, I had no doubt that several programs would provide excellent training in terms of case load/variety/complexity, research opportunities, management skill and international opportunities. What made Wash U stand out for me was its dedication to a culture for learning and its vision of the future of the field of anesthesiology. Three months into residency, the department’s effort on creating a learning environment, a collegial culture and a balanced scheduled is easily evident.
I was also attracted to Wash U because of its location. Finding a place which would be great for the careers of both my significant other and me had always been central to me. St. Louis offers ample career opportunities in many fields in addition to medicine. Coming from Seattle, there are sure times when I miss the Pacific Northwest and being close to home, but St. Louis city itself is a great place for residency. It has the convenience that is typical for a smaller city, but at the same time has plenty to offer. Also, situated in the middle of the Midwest means it is not too far away from anywhere! I was also pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the city, and found seeing medicine practiced in a different part of the county a very valuable experience. I considered myself lucky to be here, and would choose it again.
Hawa Abubakar, PGY-1
In late January, I began earnestly reflecting upon my interview experience and it became increasingly clear I wanted a program that was educationally rigorous with a supportive, team oriented, family-like culture. As I looked over my notes which I often wrote while waiting for my next flight, it became clear that Wash U was the right choice for me. What makes Wash U unique is its commitment to excellence in anesthesia both through clinical training and research. Having completed my first three months, I am certain I made the right decision. The department’s commitment to ensuring that residents have the right mix of rotations is clearly evident. So far I have completed rotations in medicine, critical care medicine, emergency medicine and thoracic surgery. These rotations are providing a solid foundation on which to build my future anesthesia practice. Although the bulk of intern year is spent on off-service rotations, the department ensures that we are fully integrated into the department both in the hospital and outside with rotations in CPAP clinic, the OR, simulation and monthly department sponsored get-togethers.
Perhaps a less recognized bonus of choosing Wash U is the city of St. Louis. Coming from a big city, I have appreciated the perks that come with living in a smaller city- like shorter commutes! There is a lot to do around the city with free access to The Zoo, City garden, The Art Museum and Grant’s Farm to name a few. There are great walking/ hiking trails close by which makes it easy and convenient to arrange a last minute getaway.
If I had to make the decision again, I would choose Wash U without hesitation because I believe I will flourish clinically and St Louis is a lovely city to live and work in.