Tuesday, September 19, 2006


so. one of the perks of being in a small residency program is mentors.

i have a great one.

he just came to our fair institution three years ago from a much bigger place. he's the only pulmonologist here. and he has taken me under his wing, so to speak.

i am the guinea pig in a new pilot program that we're trying here. for my continuity clinic, i alternate every other week in his pulm clinic, managing my own panel of patients. CF, asthma, i even have a kid with primary ciliary dyskinesia. pretty cool stuff.

in compliance with the RRC guidelines, i even have my very own set of goals and objectives.

i know, i know...just what you've always wanted!

i still have my panel of gen peds patients whom i love working with, but i really love my pulm clinic. and i'm not a clinic person.

he also set me up with a research project, working with one of the microbiologists here. it's really neat and i now have access to the cf database. i can query searches to my hearts content. i know, i'm a total dork. i can't help it. can any of us? seriously?

during my intern year, ever since he found out i wanted to do pulm, he has talked about setting up a pulm fellowship here, in conjunction with another small, academic children's hospital up the highway a bit, which also happens to be where i went to med school. i always nodded and said, yeah, sure, that would be great. but i never really took him seriously.

until this week.

he basically told me that i should look at other programs because the timing might not work out, but that he was trying to get things started and what did i think?

we're pretty academic here, so research wouldn't be a problem. and certainly there is no lack of patient volume given that there would just be my lone self.

but i guess that's my question. there would just be me.

would i be missing out on having other fellows at the same stage of training? is there some benefit to being in a big institution with lots of fellows in other disciplines?

i'm still finishing my cv and figuring out where to send it. i'll send it to all the programs in big cities. but eventually, this is a place i wouldn't mind working. so the idea of finishing my training here is quite tempting. but also a little daunting.


Fat Doctor said...

I don't know. If you would be the only fellow and have only one staff pulm to learn from, your education might not be as broad as it would be with a multiple-person staffed department. But if you're comfortable...why not apply to several programs, interview, and see where you "fit"?

Anonymous said...

If your mentor is as great as you say, he'll not only want you to spread your wings but encourage you to. You won't be able to be a well rounded subspecialist without getting as much experience as you can. Think about how much you will be able to offer a small program someday if you spread your wings a bit today!

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

As a pediatric pulmonary fellow at a large institution, I would suggest looking elsewhere. Having only one pulmonologist to basically teach you pulmonary medicine really limits you, no matter how brilliant he might be. Besides, pediatric pulmonologists are in relatively high demand these days, and I'm sure your institution would likely keep the door open if you wanted to return as an attending after completing your fellowship elsewhere.

As far as being around other fellows, you'll find that being a fellow is much different than being a resident. Having other fellows to talk about your frustrations and problems is always helpful.

Finally, don't be scared of the big programs. Having trained at a relatively small residency myself, I can say from experience that the transition to a much larger place was not bad at all. In fact, I sometimes wonder if I could ever go back to a smaller place again.

The MSILF said...

Would it be that bad to just work as a gen. ped for a year or two while they got it up and running?

Just found the blog - and glad I did!