Training: A Reflection

I am truly blessed to receive the medical training I did.  My podiatric medical school education and my residency was based out of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

UCSF is a center of health sciences research, patient care, and education; located in San Francisco, California, and is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading universities in health sciences.

One of the 10 campuses of the University of California, it is the only UC school dedicated solely to graduate education, and in health and biomedical sciences. The UCSF Medical Center is consistently ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, who also ranked UCSF’s medical school as one of the top 10 in a number of specialties, including a specialty program in AIDS medical care ranked first in the country.

During my medical school years at the California College of Podiatric Medicine, the UCSF Medical Center was affiliated with Stanford University Medical Center to become UCSF Stanford Health Care.  This institution provided our medical education coursework, from classes such as pharmacology to pathology to pediatrics.  They also provided many of my clinical rotations during school.

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After I graduated, I remained as a resident in San Francisco.  At this point, UCSF again became a free-standing institution.  Most of the training sites during my residency (California College of Podiatric Medicine-Veterans Affairs Medical Center) were UCSF-based, including the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, UCSF Parnassus Campus, San Francisco General Hospital, and Highland Hospital in Oakland.

During the years spent in residency we get hands-on experience in many relevant specialties of medicine.  A residency is comprised of many rotations.  A rotation is a block of time, at least one month in length, spent with a team of physicians on a particular service of the medical center.  A team usually includes, in order of seniority, an attending physician, a fellow, a chief resident, an intern (first year resident), all of whom were in that specialty, and team members who are outside the specialty.

Some of the services I rotated through include Inpatient Medicine, Vascular Surgery, Hand and Plastic Surgery, Pathology, Anesthesiology, Pediatric Orthopedics.  We also ran our own Foot and Ankle service at the various hospitals. Depending on the rotation, as doctors treating patients, we served in one of the above roles, and would report to whomever was the next highest in the chain of command.  So if we served in the capacity of the chief resident, we would report to the fellow, if there was one, or the attending if not.

This hospital model was the one under which I trained for my residency.  My experience in training helps me to remember that I am an integral part of a medical team.

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Dr. Hoy was a VA Medical Center resident.

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