A Note from the Chair
You are embarking on what undoubtedly will be one of the most important decisions in your medical career: Where do I receive my residency training? While the Residency Review Committee (RRC) sets the general standards for program content, there are striking differences among programs.
I encourage you to ask these important questions:
Does education receive the highest priority?
Answer: The obvious answer is yes, however, look for differences which show you that your education is more important to the program than service. Look for structured and protected didactic times, strong faculty interest in residents' education and social well-being and time for independent learning such as elective time.
Is the program stable?
Answer: Faculty and resident turnover are serious harbingers of instability. Lack of faculty depth, particularly in subspecialty areas, can compromise your training. Instability also contributes to reduced teaching and short approval cycles by the RRC.
Does the program continually strive to evolve and improve and maintain lengthy accreditation cycles?
Answer: The majority of programs have three years of accreditation or greater. Inquire what their recent citations were and what steps have been taken to address the recent citations. We have previously enjoyed four, four-year cycles of ACGME accreditation and in January 2012 were given five years of accreditation, without any citations. Our Faculty meet monthly to make sure that the educational experience provided to our residents is the best possible.
Is the program nurturing?
Answer: You have chosen a very demanding, yet rewarding specialty. During your four years of training you will experience episodes of fatigue, undergo several major life events, and work very closely with the other residents and faculty. Will your academic family be there for you? A strong mentoring system is a powerful component of a superior residency.
I strongly believe all of the answers are "Yes" for our program. There are many positive aspects of training, which I will discuss in more detail when you visit our campus. However, regardless of where you apply, please be an informed applicant.
Michael Foley, MD, FACOG
Chair and Program Director
Professor, University of Arizona
Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center