Intern Joe Strosin, MD, writes:
As a medical student studying in Chicago, I wanted to experience anesthesia outside of my home program, and being that the Medical College of Wisconsin offered a rotation for visiting students, I spent two months on campus completing a rotation at Froedtert in general anesthesia and at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in pediatric anesthesia. The teaching that was provided to me as a student by both attendings and residents impressed me, and it showed me that the residents were really getting to know their stuff! What stuck out from the program for me, however, was the variety of training and techniques in the program. And the confidence I saw in second and third year anesthesia residents was astounding, topping some of what I've seen in fellows and staff! To me, the residents were very well prepared after their training for clinical practice, and that's when I knew this was the place I wanted to be.
The Medical College of Wisconsin offered a very attractive categorical program with a year filled with both medicine and surgery, and there are anesthesia and pre-op months as well so you’ll even start your anesthesia training during your intern year! So far during my intern year I have spent time on the wards, in the ED, and in the SICU. My rotations thus far have not only offered excellent teaching that I’ll carry forward in my training, but have allowed for connections with colleagues of different specialties that will definitely enhance future patient care. The intern year is well designed and appropriately balanced for a pre-anesthesia year, having not too many medicine or surgical months and offering additional useful training for the years to come! I believe the intern year format offered by MCW is top notch and is more useful to me than any other preliminary or transitional year can offer.
1st year resident Derek De Vry, MD, writes:
The Medical College of Wisconsin is a great anesthesia residency (program) for several reasons including: excellent training, didactics, and the people you work with. Within the first year of training, we gain experience in pediatrics, obstetrics, pain management, regional, critical care, vascular surgery, and neurosurgery.
I believe that in addition to the clinical training provided at MCW, the one thing that makes the program stand out are the outstanding residents. From my experience, both during my time as a medical student here as well as my time as a resident, I have discovered that the anesthesiology department is one of the most collegial departments at the hospital, among not only residents, but also between residents and attendings. Not only are my resident colleagues a brilliant group of people to work with, but also a very friendly and welcoming group of individuals, always willing to help each other out. Not only are there frequent planned social events through the department, but also many informally planned get-togethers among friends.
Milwaukee is also an amazing place to live. Not originally from Milwaukee, it has grown to become a second home for me. Milwaukee has a plethora of entertainment options including: a great music scene, which includes Summerfest (the world’s largest musical festival), professional sport teams, and an excellent location on Lake Michigan offering a number of outdoor activities and events.
2nd year resident Andy Schroeder, MD, writes:
I'm just about halfway through my anesthesia residency here at MCW. When I think back to my 4th year of medical school, I can't believe how far I've come as a physician in two short years. Although I still have a lot to learn about anesthesiology, I know that I'm headed on the right track to become a consummate perioperative physician by the time I leave this program.
One of the ways MCW prepares us to hit the ground running after residency is the wide variety of clinical situations we encounter. Residents here rotate through 4 different hospitals (3 are connected to each other) which expose us to diversity in terms of the staff we work with, the patient populations we care for, the cases we do, and systems in which we deliver care. We learn to adapt our techniques for the situations around us and I think it helps us become better clinicians. Combine that with the tremendous amount of autonomy and responsibility that we are given here (with appropriate supervision, of course) and I feel like I'll be able to blend seamlessly into any practice environment I wind up at in the future.
Our strong experience at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin was very important to me when selecting MCW, as I knew I wanted to be competent doing anesthesia for non-complex pediatric cases when I'm out in practice without feeling like I needed to do a pediatric fellowship. Likewise, our excellent regional anesthesia training on the RAAPS team will give me the skill set to safely and efficiently add that aspect of anesthesia to my future practice.
The program's willingness and ability to adapt has been one thing that has surprised me about MCW. The leadership and administration are very responsive to resident feedback and are willing to work with us to evolve the residency into something better, or at least try things out to see if they will work. That includes completely revamping the call schedule over the past year to effectively cut down junior-resident calls by nearly 50%, and institution of a night float team to cut down the amount of overnight in-house call. The didactic program was revamped several years ago to really become a highlight of the program, with topics covered during CA-1 year designed to give us a solid foundation for the more advanced discussions at CA-2&3 lectures which are highly rated amongst the residents. I have no doubt the program will continue to make positive changes and I highly doubt the residency I graduate from will look very much like the one I'm in today.
As far as the city of Milwaukee goes, I found it to be the ideal combination of big-city culture (nightlife, music scene, sports, theater, museums, parks, etc) without a lot of big-city attitude or problems (crime, traffic, cost of living). There are a wide variety of housing options available to residents in Milwaukee. Within an easy commute to the hospitals you could choose either a condo or apartment downtown, or a house in the suburbs. Most importantly, either choice will be affordable on a resident's salary!
3rd year resident Melanie Brumwell, MD, writes:
The MCW Anesthesiology program has prepared me for my career by exposing me to many different practice types and patient populations. Our experiences with pediatric anesthesiology rivals most fellowship programs, and personally I have done enough pediatric cases to feel very comfortable in rural private practice without doing a pediatric fellowship. There is a good balance between didactic learning and hands on learning both in the OR and simulator. Having multiple fellowships available (i.e. pediatrics, OB, neuro, critical care, pain and an education fellowship) gives each resident many options for pursuing what they want when residency is over. I chose MCW for my residency because I knew I would be exposed to many difficult procedures and patients, and that I would leave training fully prepared to manage even difficult cases on my own.