1. How is your life outside of the hospital?
We all make the most of our time outside of the hospital in our own ways. We have residents that like to cycle and ski, residents that like to do cross fit, residents who like rock climbing and camping; And we have other residents who are foodies, plant moms and puppy dads, musicians and painters. Whatever you like to do, Montreal has something for you. Of course some rotations are busier than others and you will definitely have less free time during your junior calls, but in general, we all find time to do the things we love and have fulfilling lives outside of work.
2. How much independence and hands on practice do you get in the operating room?
One thing we all love about McGill is that we have a lot of independence and hands on practice whether it is in or out of the OR. However, with great privilege comes great responsibility. Starting from R1 we are doing our own reductions and casting. And by R4 we are managing the entire trauma service, deciding on management, and booking patients for surgery as appropriate. Depending on the rotation, even in R2 we are very hands on in the operating room, performing level-appropriate surgeries under supervision. As we move up in seniority, the amount of independence increases as we are allowed to make more and more of the surgical decisions in the OR.
3. What are the call schedules like?
For all our sites, we do home call. That means if it is not busy at the hospital, you can take the pages from home and only come into the hospital when necessary. Juniors can have up to 9 calls/block depending on the number of residents on the schedule and vacations that are booked. As a senior, you usually have a bit less. At our busiest site, the trauma center, there is always a junior and a senior on-call together.
4. How would you describe the culture among residents?
Considering you will likely spend more time with your fellow residents than with your bed, being able to get along with is hugely important. We feel like our program is one big family. And no matter what pandemic may hit, we always have each other’s backs. Even when we’re not at work, we all hang out together outside the hospital because we are genuinely enjoy each other’s company! We also have two resident social representatives who organize multiple events every year, such as annual holiday dinners, bowling events, golf tournaments, sugar-shack outings, and a program-sponsored annual resident retreat to a cottage house.
5. What is the teaching like?
We believe that McGill Orthopaedics has one of the best and well-organized teaching programs in the country. Our weekly faculty-led academic half days from 9-noon are protected and are usually interactive with case-based discussion and Royal College like questions to prepare you for your exams. Almost every week we have either cadavers or sawbones and actual implants to practice with brought in by implant companies. In the summer, we have 8 weeks of cadaveric anatomy dissections based on surgical approaches as well as physical exam sessions. There are daily teaching rounds in all sub-specialties with faculty-led and case-based discussion, held virtually for easier accessibility. Additionally, twice a year we have a visiting professor event with case presentations, research presentations, and a gala dinner. We also have full access to Orthobullets including its algorithmic learning program starting from R1.
Six points with key information about our program and what makes our program unique:
- Extremely diverse with residents from all backgrounds and covering all facets of Orthopaedic Surgery.
- Incredible collegiality and a family environment despite the size of program.
- Faculty-led weekly Academic Half-Days with regular cadaver access to master anatomy practice procedures thanks to our dedicated Orthopaedic Simulation Centre.
- Tremendous research opportunities with five dedicated Orthopaedic Labs and more than a dozen researchers.
- Resident-focused with commitment to resident wellness and ample opportunity for hands on training.
- High success rate in obtaining desired Fellowship positions
Four points that promote the people, the city, and the sites:
- Montreal is a vibrant cosmopolitan city that has great restaurants and nightlife.
- Nearby access to bike paths, hiking trails, cross-country skiing, down-hill skiing, and a variety of other summer and winter activities.
- Jazz Festival, Comedy Festival, Grand Prix and Osheaga Festival, among many others, are some of the key attractions that the city hosts.
- Easily accessible sites that are all within 15-20-minute drive from each other, located around the downtown core.