Match, Program Director Interviews, Medical Students

Program Director Interview Series: Joelle Borhart, MD Program Director at MedStar Georgetown University/Washington Hospital Center

In the latest installment of our PD Q&A series, we are highlighting the MedStar Georgetown University/Washington Hospital Center Emergency Medicine Residency Program. We spoke with the current PD Dr. Joelle Borhart, MD, about what makes her program unique and what she looks for in potential residents.

What sets your program apart from others?

Our 1:1 teaching format. At Georgetown, you will work with a wide range of attendings with incredibly diverse backgrounds, including critical care, sports medicine, ultrasound, toxicology, pediatrics, EMS, simulation, health policy, and telehealth, to name a few. And, incredibly, you work with these experts one on one. You have them all to yourselves on shift to ask questions, and to learn from their experience and practice. Finding mentors and role models is an easy process at Georgetown because you really get to know the attendings and they get to know you.

What is something students may not know about your program?

Our residents have the opportunity to provide medical coverage at several special events, including Baltimore Ravens games and major concerts occurring at M&T Bank Stadium like Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Jay Z, Billy Joel, and Stevie Nicks!

Do you have opportunities to explore global health at your institution?

Yes! Residents can participate in a two-year longitudinal Global Health Equity Track which includes a robust didactic curriculum as well as domestic and international rotations. We also offer a month-long elective rotation in Zambia.

What are some qualities that your program looks for in applicants?

The most important thing we do is take care of patients, so we look for applicants who are service-oriented, kind, and committed to our mission of helping anyone, anytime. Residency has its ups and downs so attributes like optimism, humility, and a growth mindset are essential. And I believe that a good sense of humor is the key to longevity in this specialty; we look for applicants who like to laugh.

Can you describe any attributes and qualities that make applicants stand out?

Perhaps the best preparation you can have for a career in emergency medicine is a service job, so we love to meet former baristas, servers, cashiers, bartenders, and retail workers. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned about working with others and the public came from my time behind a register at Old Navy during the holidays. Tell us about all your former jobs, whatever they may be!

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