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Internal Medicine FAQs

Will I see a wide variety of diseases at MedStar Franklin Square?
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center cares for a demographically and socially diverse group of patients from urban, suburban and rural locations. In both the ambulatory and inpatient areas, residents are exposed to a wide spectrum of clinical problems demonstrating everything from common diseases, to the rare and unusual. Patients range in age from adolescence to the elderly. On the inpatient side, teaching cases are selected from a total of 10,000 admissions to the Department of Medicine (second largest in the state). Many of the admissions to the residents' teaching service come from our Emergency Department, the busiest in the Baltimore area averaging nearly 100,000 visits per year. Admissions from the Emergency Department are triaged to assure an appropriate learning experience. The Primary Care Center, which houses our combined resident/faculty practice, averages 12,000 outpatient visits per year.

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With all those admissions, won't the residents be overworked?
MedStar Franklin Square has always been in compliance with mandated workload and work hours limitations and currently monitors residents' duty hours, thereby maintaining our educational priorities. Our Hospitalist program cares for patients not admitted to the resident service, ensuring compliance with admission caps. Our dayfloat system assures that residents are able to leave the hospital at an appropriate time after a night on call.

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Are most of the patients admitted already pre-diagnosed?
No! That's one of the major advantages of training at MedStar Franklin Square. The majority of admissions are initial presentations arriving de novo from the community. Residents have the opportunity and the challenge to evaluate patients without the bias of previous diagnostic labels.

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Is education a core mission of the hospital?
MedStar Franklin Square has sponsored medical education programs for more than 100 years dating back to the 1890s (then known as the Maryland Medical College). A commitment to graduate medical education is stated as a separate principle in the Mission Statement of the Hospital Board of Trustees. As part of our commitment to education, the hospital maintains a state of the art Educational Conference Center (including a 250-seat auditorium), the Hospitalist program and an innovative computerized knowledge base (the virtual library), available at the point of care.

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What is MedStar Health?
MedStar Health is a hospital system consisting of seven teaching hospitals in the Baltimore-Washington region, including MedStar Franklin Square. The Washington division consists of the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Georgetown University Hospital and the National Rehabilitation Hospital. MedStar has major affiliations with the University of Maryland and Georgetown University, and also sponsors its own research foundation. Residents are able to take various electives and other rotations at any MedStar hospital and its University affiliates.

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How does the major affiliation with the University of Maryland affect my residency training?
In addition to elective opportunities, our affiliation allows us to develop other required experiences at the University of Maryland. These rotations are designed to complement and expand the training experience at MedStar Franklin Square, and are assessed on a regular basis for structure and educational value. Currently, PGY-III residents spend one month on the medical consultation service. The affiliation identifies MedStar Franklin Square as a major training site for students of the University of Maryland School of Medicine - the presence of third- and fourth-year students on rotations at our hospital will regularly involve you as a part of the teaching team.

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Do all of my electives have to be taken at MedStar Franklin Square?
No, electives may be taken locally at the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins or the MedStar Washington Hospital Center. In addition, residents may take one elective per year outside the Baltimore/Washington area. Many residents utilize this flexibility to design electives that fit their medical and professional needs. Residents have taken electives at a variety of hospitals and medical centers, as well as at some unusual locations such as the environmental medical section at Edgewood Chemical Arsenal, the Baltimore City Forensics Unit and the Department of Legal Medicine of the Department of Defense. Residents have even taken electives outside the country to fulfill unique educational objectives.

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What if I want to practice in the Baltimore area?
The area surrounding MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center (and other nearby sites in the MedStar Health System) can accommodate additional physicians. The Department of Medicine is interested in helping residents develop practices as well as having graduating residents become actively involved in the Department of Medicine teaching programs. We see each graduating resident as a potential faculty colleague. Many graduates start or join general internal medicine practices in the area. Many alumni have returned as full-time faculty in general medicine, medical subspecialties and other specialty areas.

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It sounds like I'll be well trained for a job in general Internal Medicine, but what if I want to do a fellowship?
Residents graduating from our training program have entered a variety of fellowship positions . In addition to excellent training, the faculty and leadership of the Department of Medicine helps each resident to choose a career path from among many attractive alternatives. Residents interested in subspecialty training may schedule electives at hospitals to which they are applying for fellowship training.

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What really makes MedStar Franklin Square different than other training programs?

  • The hospital is located in a major growth area in Baltimore and has a well-maintained physical plant. Because of a growing patient population, a major expansion of the hospital is in the planning stages and is scheduled to be completed by 2010.
  • The Administration and Board of Trustees supports Graduate Medical Education, both philosophically as well as financially.
  • The hospital nurses and support services, such as social work and IV therapy, are second-to-none and allow residents to concentrate on providing patient care and focus on their education.
  • Our administration and the Department of Medicine faculty work to retain as many graduating residents as possible as clinical and faculty colleagues involved in the patient care and teaching programs of the Department of Medicine.
  • Our affiliation with the University of Maryland School of Medicine allows access to resources usually exclusive to a University hospital. This provides a "best of both worlds" approach to resident education.

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For more information, call 443-777-6346 or toll-free 1-800-688-8169. We are happy to answer any questions.