Below are comments from residents in the Otolaryngology Residency Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
I'm on my third month of internship and things are running really smoothly. Living at Weill Cornell housing is really convenient, as waking up ten minutes before rounds saves me a lot of time during the day. I've enjoyed living in the Upper East Side, and especially like living near Central Park where I go for my runs. Living in NYC has been fantastic. There is always something for me to do without much hassle, and it's been fun discovering the public art and music scene.
So far my intern year has been great. I started out in the ER, which gave me a lot of practical experience in dealing with many of the most common patient complaints and complications. Right now, I'm on ENT and (obviously) I love it. Most days I am in both the OR and in clinic, and I have gained a lot of practical and useful exposure from day one. Journal club, radiology rounds, "Jeopardy," guest lectures and the anatomic dissection courses have helped to supplement my knowledge of the diagnoses and procedures I see in the clinic and OR.
The other residents I work with have been very helpful and great to work with, both in ENT and in the other rotations. In clinic, I see patients independently and discuss their care directly with the attendings, which has given me useful insight into the varied methodology and rationale from a variety of attendings and subspecializations. The attendings have been friendly and approachable, and have taken time to teach me and to answer my questions.
I'm looking forward to completing my intern year and joining the ENT team full time!
My intern year has been surprising. I went into it with really no expectations; but I simply wanted to set myself on the right track from the beginning. The way the year is set up you get a great exposure not only to the different specialties, but the other "off-service" residents as well, especially on the Columbia side. The rotations themselves all have their merit, and are organized for you ahead of time, although I did have several opportunities to change things here and there to give myself more operative experience. In general, I've operated a ton, especially during the two months I spent on Otolaryngology. As an intern, those weeks are spent almost entirely in the operating room, while the PGY2 is responsible for most of the paperwork and Clinic (leaving you free to do more than just skin closures). Overall, my intern year has been surprisingly successful. The hours are as expected, and the work can get rough, but I've still made time to hit the City and the gym. I'm definitely off to a good start.
Each site has a totally unique culture, and the combination of Columbia, Weill Cornell, and Memorial is real value added.
Not only that, but I think the program does a great job of attracting fun and interesting people that are drawn to the excitement of New York City, which makes the residents a really tight and cohesive group.
Two things set this residency apart: our attending staff and our location. Every otolaryngology residency has a great faculty, but ours is one of the best. They go out of their way to teach and support us in the operating room, in the office, and quite frankly, in our daily lives. Every attending in this program goes the extra mile to make sure that we are well-trained, whether it's coming in early and bringing bagels to a didactic session, or patiently letting a junior resident become more comfortable with endoscopic sinus surgery. They're also astonishingly normal people that are actually fun to talk to and hang out with outside of work, whether at a concert, at a hockey game, or at dinner in one of the eight million restaurants in New York.
Not being a native New Yorker (and especially because I'm from Boston), I've always found the New York-centric hyperbole pretty tiresome. Only in New York. New York is the greatest city in the world. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. But after living here for four years, I have to admit – there's no place like it in the Western Hemisphere. It's a great place to live and work, and there are unlimited options for what to do with your free time. When you're a sleep-deprived resident working long hours, it's especially nice to have what amounts to a giant playground filled with every toy you can imagine. That may not sound terribly important to you now, but believe me – it makes all the difference in the world.