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ER Resident looking for place to do a month elective winter 2011--ideas?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi guys. I'm an emergency medicine resident in Washington DC and casual skier (would be avid but grew up in Panama so got a late start on seeing snow let alone learning to ski). We get a couple of months our final year of residency for electives, and I'm hoping to find an ER or urgent care clinic near some good intermediate skiing that could use an extra pair of hands for a month. Goals include getting plenty of orthopedics/splinting experience and doing lots o'skiing. I can request any month I want anywhere I want, will have to submit my request in April 2010 for winter 2011. Any epic ski docs/medical professionals out there who have some suggestions? If it works out for me, there will be others in my program who will want to do the same elective, so this could be an ongoing program. Appreciate your suggestions/ideas. Thanks,

Leila Zucker, MD (I never get tired of writing that *grin*)
post #2 of 8
Jackson Hole Wyoming has some of the best Orthopedic Surgeons in the country.  I have talked to at least two people at the Jackson Hole airport that were actually flying into Jackson Hole for orthopedic surgery.  Of course you get the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort,  Snow King  Resort and all that back country ski injury accidents.  My friend broke his fibula by getting some air and bouncing off a tree limb at Jackson Hole He skied off the mountain.  Tough guy.  Not very bright but tough.   The Orthopedic doctors at JH were awesome.

Of course you can't beat the skiing at Jackson Hole.  Warming you may never leave. 

Closer to home on the east coast you may consider Albany Medical center in upstate NY.  Its a level 1 trauma ER and teaching center that is somewhat  close to VT and and Adirondack ski areas.  

Here in the Hudson River Valley just south of Albany  we have Orthopedic Associates, which probably does more senior citizen joint replacements then they do trauma accidents.  Most of the more serious trauma accident here in the Catskill Mountain ski areas  get flown out to Albany Med  and Westchester Medical level 1 trauma ERs. 

If it were me I would go to Jackson Hole in heart beat. 
post #3 of 8
 I would come to Jackson if I was you.  For all of the reasons above, plus I'm almost certain you could get some ski patrolling experience at Snow King if you were interested.  BTW skiing isn't all that JH has to offer.  The Biking, Boating, Climbing, Fishing, and general ambiance are hard to beat year round.
post #4 of 8
What tpjunkie said ^^^^.  Great fishing.   Good point about ski patrol.  National Ski Patrol has a medical associates membership classification for folks that have that M.D. after their name.   The way some ski areas use medial associates is they ski with a radio.  When there is a bad one you can meet the patient at the first aid room to provide additional help.  Given your ER experience you may be able to help on the hill.  Please note there usually is not a lot of equipment on the hill or in the first aid room for patient care.  No inubation equipment and no IVs with meds.  Basic O2 and airways (OPA and NPA). Exception is the medical center at Jackson Hole resort where the Jackson Hole  patrollers bring patients off the hill.  That place looks more like an ER than a ski patrol first aid room. 
post #5 of 8
Dr. Hormell here in Seattle (the guy who replaced my ACL) worked in Vail during his residency. Vail is loaded with intermediate skiing. You might find more action in the ER in a place like Jackson Hole though. Just a guess.
Salt Lake would be another due to its proximity to so many ski areas. They local terrain offers a complete mix of intermediate and death defying (good for business). 
post #6 of 8
What year level resident are you going to be in 2011? Third year? Fourth year?
I'd look at Denver General if I were you to start, then SLC. The benefit of SLC is that the skiing is closer but Denver would be busier.
My only way elective I could take as a medicine resident was neurology, so I would be jealous except I graduated from IM over 10 years ago.
Jackson Hole would be nice but you need to find a doc willing to take you on as a resident under supervision and you'd be more likely to find that in a city with a medical training programs already in place.
Of course, if you wanted splinting opportunities, you could work a few shifts here in Bellville, TX, with me.
Also, for the nonmedical posters, a MD without a residency/Board eligible/Board certification means nothing....
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
 Hi guys, thanks for the advice so far. 

catskills & tetonpwdrjunki--oooh, hadn't thought of Jackson Hole as I haven't skied there yet, gotta add that to my list. Plus I would love to be an MD on skipatrol, had not even occurred to me that I could actually work on the mountain and not just in the clinic or hospital setting.

fressen--will certainly also add Vail and SLC to my list, I was already planning to look at Steamboat and anywhere near the Canyons.

csavage--I'll be a 4th year ER resident in 2011, which means I'll be only months away from being an attending somewhere, so while I do require supervision, it should be minimal. Will definitely look in Denver, though I think I'd rather be closer to where the injury first occurs.
post #8 of 8
 Don't forget Bozeman, MT.  Bozeman Deaconess Hospital is a small hospital (22,000 ER visits per year and 88 beds) but has an excellent Orthopedic presence due to their proximity to Bridger Bowl (16 miles and 25 minutes) and Big Sky (45 min).  The town serves as home to Montana State University (12K students) and is a small town much more affluent than you might guess from its size.  A small town will give you the chance to be more involved in your rotation and and close skiing will give you more opportunity to sneak away.

Jackson would be great and one of my colleagues did his ER rotation there.  If you can land that rotation you are golden, but I bet you will find lots of competition for the slot.

Another interesting town is Pocatello, ID.  Pocatello is 2 1/2 hours  north of SLC and 3 hours from Jackson Hole.  Portneuf Medical Center is very strong and you might find a good rotation.  Idaho State University calls Pocatello home as does Pebble Creek Ski area.  Pebble creek is much bigger than you might expect but they don't get quite as much snow as the Wasatch or Jackson Hole.  The town is lots of fun and you could do much worse for your elective.  Let us all know where you go and how it works out. Feel free to PM me if you care to hear any of my other ideas.
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