Match, Program Director Interviews

Program Director Interview Series: Dr. Ryan Bodkin, MD | Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY

Nathan Dreyfus, MSIV, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine
EMRA MSC Northeast 1 Representative 2019-20

This next installment of the Program Director Interview Series comes from the banks of the Genesee River in Rochester, New York. We caught up with Dr. Ryan Bodkin about life and training in Rochester, NY.

What are the essential details you use to briefly describe the URMC EM program to anyone who is not familiar?

We are a three-year academic program which is based in a large Level 1 Trauma Center with a clinical volume of approximately 115,000 patients per year. The University of Rochester's School of Medicine bio-psycho-social model is the foundation for our residency education. We believe that the best way to learn medicine is one patient at a time in a focused clinical experience. The individual attention to each resident and the psychological and social experience that they have within the residency are paramount to our program. We create an environment unencumbered by hierarchy. We promote and expect participation of all learners in an academically rigorous program.

What do you feel are the programs greatest strengths?

Our strengths are numerous, but what stands out to me is the broad diversity of patients that come from a wide geographic region and the supportive, and creative teaching environment with subspecialty expertise that allows you to explore and develop professional interests. Our program faculty are nationally renowned, passionate, and committed to your success. I am proud of our program’s incredible camaraderie within the residency, which allows our residents to enjoy our four-seasoned city’s culture, education, and activities together.

Which is better, a 3 year or a 4 year EM residency program?

Fit. Fit. Fit. Choosing a residency program is an incredibly individualized process. The right program for one applicant is different from the right program for another. Choosing between a 3- and 4-year program speaks to exactly this. For some a 3-year program is better, and for others a 4-year. One is not better than the other, it is all about which is right for YOU!

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

We look at the WHOLE applicant. Your score on a single test is only a small portion of your application. After reviewing the entire application, an individual test score becomes far less meaningful to us if your application shows that you are academically qualified. Therefore, we do not use cutoffs when screening our applications for interviews.

Are there opportunities for EM research for residents at URMC? Do you look for residency candidates with research experience?

There is ample opportunity to participate in clinically relevant research projects with nationally funded and experienced researchers. A Clinical Translational Science grant from the NIH supports resources, mentorship, and collaborative research. We have a clearly defined research project, as well as protocols for research project funding, and funding for national presentations of resident research. Research experience is not mandatory, but curiosity is.

Are there opportunities to pursue interests in EMS, global health, wilderness medicine, ultrasound, toxicology, or critical care at URMC?

We offer five active fellowships within our department: Ultrasound, EM Research, International Medicine, Pediatric EM, and Addiction Medicine. We have a large prehospital division with a robust opportunity to be involved with the local EMS system, and have placed many residents in EMS fellowships. We have had numerous successful matches in Critical Care, Sports Medicine, and Toxicology fellowships throughout the nation as well. Additionally, we offer post residency integrated degrees such as MBA and MPH.

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