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FAQ

One of the challenges of interview season is getting to know a program in a short amount of time. This list of questions and answers was compiled by the chief residents to provide you with an insider's perspective of our residency program. Please contact us if you need any other information.

The program recognizes that working grueling hours is not the best means to educate residents; therefore, the program is strict about the 80-hour rule and patient caps. The program demands residents work hard, but not to the point where they are too exhausted during the learning process. Neither we nor patients gain when we, as residents, are burnt out.

Details on call/shift schedules for different rotations can be seen in the “Rotations” section of the “Curriculum” tab on our website.
Yes. Each wards team has a teaching attending with whom you round daily. The teaching attending is either an internist or a sub-specialist, who will be with you for the entire rotation. You will be the primary decision-maker for your patients, with supervision and guidance from your attending. Attendings are not allowed to write orders, except in cases of emergency, so house staff have complete ownership of their patients. This allows for the right balance of autonomy and supervision in patient care.

A key distinction in our hospital is that we have a substantial non-teaching service. Cases deemed appropriate for educational purposes are assigned to the teaching service or "A Medicine." These patients are taken care of by the resident teams, whereas patients assigned to B medicine, the nonteaching service, are cared for by hospitalists and nurse practitioners.
The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) allows a maximum of 4 paid weeks of vacation per year. Since time off is crucial for residents to recharge and rest, the program offers additional time off during the holidays; every resident gets an additional six days including either New Year's or Christmas holidays.

Categorical interns will have three weeks off distributed throughout the academic year, and at the end of the academic year, they will have a week off before returning as a resident which would constitute the fourth week of vacation. Preliminary interns will have four weeks throughout the year in addition to the six days off during the holidays.
There are daily noon conferences that focus on the most pertinent topics that you will encounter on the wards. Each week, noon conferences concentrate on a different subspecialty. Grand Rounds are scheduled on Wednesdays in lieu of the noon conference. A visiting or local expert from varying specialties leads the discussion.

Every morning (except Wednesdays and Fridays), there is resident morning report. Intern morning reports take place on Wednesday mornings. On Friday mornings, we attend Chairman’s conference.

There are also several other conferences held by the subspecialty medicine programs that you can attend (cardiology grand rounds, rheumatology, neurology, etc). Residents also get the chance to rotate through the simulation lab learning procedural skills, ventilator associated issues, and ACLS skills.
Absolutely! With our wards call schedule, you are not on overnight call. We have a very well-organized night-float system, which allows our team greater flexibility and free time to recharge for the next day. When you are done with your work, you may sign out to the cross-cover as early as 4 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on the weekends. This system allows you to have most of your evenings free and most of your daytime during weekends to spend with your family and friends, read, explore, run errands, and enjoy the many activities available in D.C.

The program strongly believes your hard work should be appreciated. A variety of events are organized throughout the year, including happy hours, bowling nights, departmental retreats, an end-of-year banquet and holiday parties. Camaraderie allows us to work stronger together as a team, and one of the best ways to build this camaraderie is through such social gatherings.
This program emphasizes teamwork rather than encouraging the traditional hierarchy seen at many programs. We welcome and encourage interaction between all levels of the teams on the wards and in the intensive care units. We believe an open dialogue enriches the educational process, and we do not stifle interns, nor expect them to learn alone: we work and grow as a team.
The hospital has a host of ancillary services that perform many functions, including phlebotomy, IV therapy, respiratory therapists, PICC line nurses, EKG technicians, patient transport, etc. The availability of these ancillary services allows residents to focus on learning and enhances the clinical experience.
Working in Washington provides you with many choices for places of living. You may live as close as the trendy Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Woodley Park, NoMa, Columbia Heights (Metro, bus, and bike accessible) or as far as Silver Spring, MD and Arlington, VA. It all depends on your budget and lifestyle. In D.C., most of us pay $1400-$1800/month for a one-bedroom apartment. There are many options all around D.C. if you wish to seek roommates, furnished housing, etc.

Most residents commute by car, though some of us prefer to commute via public transport (bus, Metro and shuttle). Parking at the hospital is free.

There are three places in the hospital to get food:

  • The main cafeteria: a large public dining hall with a daily buffet and options like sushi, Mexican cuisine, salads, a burger bar, a sandwich bar, an ice cream bar, and a coffee bar. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Physicians' cafeteria: private area accessed only by doctors
  • Panera Bread: Full café with capability for online ordering via smart phones
Residents are allotted $1300 annual food credit by the GME, this covers in-house dining expenses at the main cafeteria and the physicians’ cafeteria.
A great program evolves only with creative and honest feedback from the residents and faculty. Informal comments can always be directed to the chief residents, program director or your mentor. You can also provide anonymous feedback through our online program site. There are regular house staff committee meetings, chaired by the chief residents, in which all residents participate and provide input and feedback. A bimonthly program update chaired by the program director is another platform to provide feedback and to ensure effective communication between residents and program leadership.

Other formal events when residents can share their concerns with the group include the annual intern and resident lunches, the annual retreat held each spring where residents discuss potential program changes in workgroups. These events allow residents to voice their concerns and suggest changes based on what they learned and witnessed during the academic year.
The program underwent a regularly scheduled ACGME site visit in June 2018 and was awarded full accreditation without citations for 10 years.
Passing the boards is an objective both the resident and the program work towards. Our program recruits bright residents who are eager to learn and brilliant faculty who love to teach. In addition to discussing several board-review questions each day at morning report, second-year residents are provided with MKSAP resources covered by the program, and third-year residents attend a faculty-led formal board review series to prepare for the boards. Yearly in-training exams also provide a gauge each resident’s preparedness of the boards and areas of strength and weakness. Our residents have found this multi-faceted support crucial to passing their boards.
About half of our residents enter fellowship either immediately after their training or after a chief-resident year. Please visit the recent graduates page for post-graduate fellowship choices and destinations.
Each year, you are provided an educational stipend of $833. Of this, $750 can be used to purchase computers or smart phones. Each year, unspent money carries over to the following year. So, as a categorical resident, you have a total education stipend of $2,499 during your residency.
No, only categorical residents attend continuity clinic.
You will be assigned a clinic attending as your primary ambulatory supervisor and mentor that you will be primarily working with for the duration of your training. You also get to work with all the clinic attendings at some point during your residency to enhance your approach and clinical experience.
We have two separate internal medicine training programs. Each has unique qualities. Since both hospitals are members of MedStar Health, we have a mutually beneficial relationship between the institutions, sharing services and educational opportunities.

Third- and fourth-year Georgetown medical students rotate at the Hospital Center on the medicine wards, MICU, CVICU, ambulatory clinics and other subspecialty electives.

Some of our fellowship programs have been merged, including cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology. Some members of the Georgetown house staff rotate to the Hospital Center on subspecialty services, including in the CVICU and the heart failure service, since our hospital is a leading regional provider of cardiac education and services. You can choose to take electives at Georgetown University Hospital based on your areas of interest.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center currently has a fully integrated EMR system for inpatients and outpatients as well as electronic order entry through the Cerner MedConnect system.
There are endless opportunities to perform a large variety of procedures (central venous catheters, arterial lines, thoracentesis, lumbar puncture, paracentesis, joint aspirations & injections, etc.). As part of your training, all residents receive structured didactics on central line placement techniques prior to starting residency.
A one-month research elective during one of your three years of training is available for residents in good standing with the program with a concrete plan for a research project with IRB approval.
Typically there have to be extremely compelling reasons to allow/arrange for residents to do electives outside the District of Columbia as there are other excellent hospitals in the D.C. area where residents typically go for additional exposure in their fields of interest (e.g. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, National Institutes of Health).

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