|Julie Kennedy, M.D., PGY-3 and Chief Resident
What is a typical call day like?
The residents start their call day at 8 a.m., and the team on-call accepts new admissions until 8 a.m. the following day. All of the interns accept admissions until midnight of their call day, then have an eight-hour break before returning to work on their post call day. A night float intern and one or two medical students, available from midnight to 8 a.m., handle cross cover for teaching patients and may also accept additional patient admissions. All of the residents must finish call no later than noon on the post-call day. There are four ward teams each month that take call every fourth night, and a ward team consists of a second or third year resident and one or two interns and one or two medical students. Interns are responsible for no more than 10 patients at a time on their total census.
Do the residents see a variety of patients?
The internists and subspecialists who have admitting privileges try to admit their most interesting patients to the Teaching Service, a unique feature of the internal medicine residency. The Teaching Service is the select group of patients in the hospital that are being cared for by the residents. The patients admitted to the Teaching Service come from a variety of places: the emergency room, the residents' clinic, general internal medicine practices, and subspecialty practices. The diverse patient population provides the residents with experience in everything from indigent care to private practice.
Where have the categorical residents gone after they have graduated?
Approximately half of the graduating categorical residents have entered a private practice, as a hospitalist or as an outpatient general internist, and the other half have entered fellowships. Graduates from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas have entered fellowships across the country in a variety of subspecialties, including gastroenterology, rheumatology, hematology/oncology, cardiology, nephrology and pulmonology. Graduating residents who wish to stay at Texas Health Dallas, or any of the Texas Health Resources hospitals, have several career opportunities available to them. Residents can receive generous start-up funds from the Hospital to open their own practice, or residents can join one of the many successful practices already on campus. Also, hospitalist practices at Texas Health Dallas continue to flourish and are looking to hire recent graduates.
Do the residents have enough autonomy in taking care of their patients?
Texas Health Dallas has always been a teaching hospital, and residents have been an integral part of the hospital's patient care. In contrast to the traditional, university-based residency programs, the residents work with several different attending physicians during their internal medicine ward months. The residents are the ones in charge of taking care of the patients, and the attending physicians oversee the care given by the residents. This approach provides the residents with autonomy without sacrificing patient care. During the subspecialty electives/selectives, the residents work one-on-one with the attending physician and are permitted to manage patients to the extent to which they are comfortable.
How is the benefits package for the residents?
Few hospitals offer a benefits package as competitive as the one offered by Texas Health Dallas. Health insurance, including dental and vision insurance, is given to the resident and his/her family at no cost, and there is no deductible. The residents' salaries are higher than average, and all of the residents receive 20 weekdays of paid time off. Subscriptions to some of the major medical references, such as The New England Journal of Medicine and MDConsult are provided without cost. UpToDate is available from any computer on campus or home computer, via the hospital's intranet. The Department of Internal Medicine sponsors all of the graduating categorical residents to attend a board review course. See Stipends and Benefits for more details.