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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a preliminary year?

Though the program is officially an advanced program, the Department of Surgery has two spots reserved (an NRMP Joint Advanced/Preliminary Program) for those who match into anesthesia and would like to do a preliminary year of surgery. The year will focus on medical management of the surgical patient, preoperative evaluation and preparation for surgery, trauma and intensive care and invasive monitoring. Residents will also become comfortable with the St. Joseph’s OR environment allowing a seamless transition into anesthesia training. All other positions begin at the PGY2/CAY1 level.

How is the location?

Our hospital locations are in Newark (SMMC) and Paterson (SJUMC), the first and third most populous cities in New Jersey. As a result, residents are exposed to a tremendous variety of surgical cases and medical problems. St. Joseph’s University Medical Center is conveniently located alongside major highways making it easily accessible. There is recently built hospital housing available, though many of our residents choose to live in some of the trendy, “hipster” nearby communities or even in Manhattan, (about 20 minutes away).
Paterson, known as “Silk City” is an historical city founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1791. Recently, the scenic Great Falls of Paterson, located 10 minutes from the hospital, was designated as a National Historical Park.

What is a typical day like?

Residents come into the hospital between 6-6:15 AM to set up their rooms and attend lecture (Tues, Wed, Fri 6:30, Thurs 7:00, Monday - sleep late!). After lecture, patients are seen in the holding area and final room preparation is made. Our first cases start at 7:30 AM (8:30 on Thurs). Residents are relieved from the OR around 5 PM. The day prior to an overnight call, residents are sent home earlier, typically early afternoon. On average, residents work about 60 hours/week.

How frequent is overnight call?

Between 5-6 overnight calls/month.

Is St. Joe’s an academic center or community hospital?

St. Joseph’s University Medical Center is a major teaching hospital and tertiary care center with multiple residencies and fellowships in almost all major specialties. We sponsor our own residency programs. St. Joe’s is an affiliate of Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Hackensack/Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University and St. George’s School of Medicine and has medical student rotators from several institutions. St. Joe’s has all the specialized clinical services, academic experiences, top-notch teaching faculty and research opportunities expected at a university hospital but still retains a community hospital “feel” serving both Paterson and Northern New Jersey.   

What is the patient population like?

Serving Paterson and the surrounding suburbs, St. Joe’s cares for an incredibly diverse population of both “private” and “service” patients.  Whether we are caring for the homeless, or well-to-do suburban professionals, recent immigrants or professional athletes from our local teams, our mission is the same-to provide exceptional care for all patients.

How is the work environment?

St. Joe’s is a diverse and welcoming place and our anesthesia department fosters a tremendous sense of camaraderie, friendship and teamwork. Our residents and attendings form a strong bond, working towards the common goals of providing great patient care and resident education. You will find multiple mentors in our department for every need, whether it is employment or fellowship advice, academic help or emotional support. Our department and our residents have a great reputation and are   respected and appreciated by other departments in the hospital.

What are you looking for in a resident?

  • First, that you enjoy what you are doing. Anesthesia is a dynamic, intellectually challenging, and satisfying specialty. The road to becoming a great clinician is long and tough, but if you are enthusiastic about anesthesia, work in a supportive environment and focus on helping your patients, the time flies!
  • We need team players! Residency in general and anesthesia specifically are team sports- you will be working with surgeons, nurses, techs, consultants and of course your colleagues. Team skills and good interpersonal relations are essential to patient care, operating room management and your residency experience. Help those around you and they will return the favor.
  • You must be self-motivated to learn. You don’t need to be a “rocket scientist” but you must be dedicated to consistent reading and studying. Residency isn’t med school and even with our extensive lecture series most of the information will come from your own reading and discussion with your teachers. You have to want to improve, seek learning experiences and welcome feedback to become a better clinician.
  • Be thorough and responsible. Every task in anesthesia has ramifications for the patient. There are no “little things”. Take pride in what you do and always make sure you are doing the best possible for your patient.   
(It also helps our Holiday videos if you can act, write, sing, dance, choreograph, video, edit, photograph or just have a sense of humor!!!).

Do you have minimum USMLE scores?

We consider each candidate on all their merits, not just board scores. Nevertheless, you will be expected to pass exams, which is something our program will be judged by, so we certainly prioritize strong test takers.

Is there moonlighting?

We allow some moonlighting but only if it falls within duty hours and does not overburden or interfere with a resident’s academic time.

Do you have any positions for those who have already completed a preliminary year?

We have one “R” position available if you have successfully done at least one accepted year of training.

Do you have a “years since graduation” cutoff?

We would need an explanation of any gaps. If you are switching from another field but have been active in medicine that would likely be acceptable.

What visas do you sponsor?

J1 and H1b

Do you accept COMLEX alone or only USMLE?

We are comfortable with COMLEX alone, though it can be advantageous to have done well on both.

Is there a food allowance? 

Residents get a “Free to Go” card that is good in the cafeteria, Au Bon Pain, Mocha Town Grill and Subway. Many attendings are happy to treat the on call team to something different (favorites include Italian, Chinese, Kosher Chinese and Middle Eastern)!

Is there an educational allowance?

Each year residents are given a $500 stipend to be spent on educational material. There is also a conference stipend for residents who are presenting their scholarly activity.

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