Program Director Interviews, Match, Medical Students

Program Director Interview Series: Dr. Jeffrey S. Bush, MD | EM Residency Program Director at Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

In this month’s addition to the Program Director Interview Series we got to chat with Jeffrey S. Bush, MD to learn about the MUSC Residency Program. Dr. Bush tells us more about residency in Charleston, SC!

What sets your program apart from others?

Well, there is Charleston… but even more important, it is the people. We spend a lot of time recruiting people who are well rounded and enthusiastic about Emergency Medicine and life in general. Not only do we have the number one hospital system in South Carolina, but our program is young enough to be flexible. We listen to the residents and emphasize the fact that this is their program. If we, as program leadership, can do something to help our residents fulfill a dream… then we will do it.

What are the benefits of attending a 3- vs. 4-year EM residency program?

Being a three-year program, about two-thirds of our residents go into a community practice but if a resident is really set on going into academics, then a four-year program may be something that they can consider. In my opinion, it gives the resident a chance to define their niche. We have had residents pursue fellowships in US, Global Health, PEM, Critical Care, NeuroCritical Care, Sports Medicine and Palliative Care.

What is something students may not know about your program?

Wellness is a huge factor in our residency. Although our primary job is to train our people to be excellent clinicians, we also want them to have a zest for life. Here at MUSC, we are there for each other through thick and thin. Residency can be tough, but it is a lot easier if you have people that have your back.

What range of USMLE/COMLEX Step 1 scores do you look for in an applicant for the program?

We would love to see applicants with at least the national average but at the end of the day, we are looking at the entire person.

Or alternatively, how do you feel about the change to pass/fail Step 1 grading?

The change may make it harder for us to quantify scholastic success, but I am confident that we can find that information elsewhere.

What kinds of opportunities for research exist?

When it comes to research at MUSC, the sky is the limit. We are a huge academic institution, and we have the resources to pursue almost any type of research that a resident can imagine. And if we don’t have what you are looking for… let’s work together to create it.

Do you look for residency candidates with research experience?

As mentioned, we look at an application with a holistic approach. If research is your thing, then great but it is not a deal breaker at all.

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

We do have Global Health Fellowship as well as a Global Health Track that our residents can pursue.

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

Obviously, we are looking for bright minds, but we also spend a lot of time looking for those people that will “play well in the sandbox” with others. We stand behind the saying that you can teach someone the practice of medicine, but it is harder to teach attitude. We are not a cookie cutter type of residency and our approach to recruiting is holistic in nature.

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

I usually tell our medical students and residents that if they are nice, humble, and eager then they will succeed.

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