The division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York cordially invited, Dr. Jacob Bloom, a recent program alumni as their visiting professor. As part of the resident summer school educational program, the Plastic Surgery Division has begun an exciting tradition of bringing recent Alumni of the residency program to discuss their experiences as ‘real world’ plastic surgeons. On August 10-11th, 2016 Dr. Bloom was the invited speaker at the University of Rochester Medical Center Division of Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds and held an oral board review session for the residents and the rotating medical students on service.
Visiting professors are an integral component of medical and surgical training. Typically spending one to two days at an academic institution, these invited guests bring their vast experience in the medical field. They can influence career choices and serve as excellent networking opportunities for the residents in attendance. Dr. Bloom was asked to reflect on his experiences with visiting professors:
“ Some of my fondest memories were that of the visiting professors that came to visit during my residency. We had some of the most influential minds in academic plastic surgery come and spend time with us during my tenure in Rochester and at Harvard University. During my residency and fellowship, we had highly respected professors from Sloan Kettering, the Mayo Clinic, University of Michigan, Tokyo, University of Chicago, Northwestern, Georgetown and University of Pennsylvania, to name a few. The ability to get to know these surgeons was an invaluable component of my education.“
Dr. Bloom was treated to a roundtable dinner on the evening August 10th with all of the residents and rotating medical students. He had the opportunity to spend time with each of the residents getting to know them and their career goals. Dr. Bloom made sure to try to highlight these aspects in his prepared talk for the following morning.
Visiting professor lectures are usually focused on a plastic surgeons specific area of expertise. Many times visiting professors draw from multiple decades of clinical practice during their talk. When asked what was his process to create the topic, Dr. Jacob Bloom responded:
“I recognized shortly after accepting the invitation from Plastic Surgery Chief, mentor and former boss, Dr. Howard Langstein, that I had my work cut out for me! So I reflected on what would have helped me the most when I was a resident looking towards the future. My surgical education and the hands on surgical training I received in Rochester were extremely comprehensive. The only area I felt was lacking was a true understanding of how I (as a resident) should have approached choosing my career path. So I sketched out the major turning points that occur during training and in the real world and decided to build my talk around that”
The result: Shark Tank: Navigating the waters of the job market. This interactive 75-minute talk focused on 5 major issues that face residents as they choose their career path. These included:
- Post graduate fellowship
- Practice type
- Practice location
- Contract considerations
In the spirit of the popular television show each ‘shark’ was assigned a special area of expertise.
Dr. Bloom paralleled his own experiences with each component of these processes. Highlighting how each of these issues is a multifaceted subject that has significant interplay with the other topics that must be considered. Critical concepts and questions were reviewed such as; how does desired practice setting (i.e. private solo practice vs. a multispecialty practice) influences what kind of fellowship you should pursue? When considering practice location in a city such as Chicago; how does the density of plastic surgeons in one area, combined with the local health systems influence how you should build referral networks? First year resident Dr. Trevor Hansen, reflected on the major take home points from the lecture, “ The emphasis that I took from his lecture is that providing excellent patient care is paramount, and the other bumps encountered along the road will be taken care of in time.’
Just a few months into her training Dr. Jackie Hass another first year Plastic Surgery resident was asked if she had ever had the opportunity to truly analyze the Plastic Surgery job market before. Dr. Hass replied, “It’s not something that usually gets discussed in an open forum like that and I really appreciated that [Dr Bloom was] so open and honest about the positives but also the mistakes [he] made along the way. There are so many factors that go into what job to choose after residency and I think it’s important to start talking about all of those things early on..”
Following grand rounds, Dr. Bloom held an oral board preparation lecture for the residents. They were honored to have special guest and retired plastic surgeon, Dr. Vincent Reale, in attendance to provide a career worth of insight into the cases at hand. Dr. Bloom presented pictures from dozens of cosmetic and reconstructive cases challenging the residents in a Socratic way to create surgical plans to approach each case. Discussion included surgical planning, techniques and how to deal with complications if they were to arise.
Dr. Paige Myers, a fourth year resident reflected on Dr. Bloom’s visting professorship. Stating, “[i]t is always inspiring to see one of our own to come back and help others follow in his footsteps. Dr. Bloom was engaging and informative, providing pearls of wisdom to help us become successful.”
The most rewarding component of this experience for Dr. Jacob Bloom was leading the discussion between his former attendings and the residents that followed him after graduation. Even more satisfying were the reports that these critical conversations carried into the operating rooms and clinics for days to come. Chief Resident Dr. Joseph Khouri, who will be continuing his training in Hand and Microvascular surgery at the prestigious Mayo clinic, offered his thoughts on the time spent with his former colleague. “Having Dr Bloom come back and share his experience and pearls of wisdom provided me with invaluable perspective as I transition from resident to fellow to practicing surgeon. His lectures were astoundingly full of immediately applicable measures I can make to maximize my skill set and potential as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.” Dr. Ronnie Brown, in his third year of training echoed those thought, “Dr. Bloom’s presentation was an honest and thoughtful tale of his time following residency – the good along with the bad. His advice was genuine, and I think it really resonated with me because of that. I will certainly return to his advice as I approach the end of my training, and hope to reach out to him as a mentor and friend in the future.”
Asked for his final impression of the experience Dr. Bloom stated:
“This was a wonderful opportunity that I couldn’t pass on. It was an incredible honor to come back to the University of Rochester to speak to those who taught me and those who have followed in my footsteps. My hope is that residents can take the real world examples and my personal journey as a guide to help them chose their career path wisely. I look forward to being a source of advice for this fine group of residents as they move forward in their careers.”
Read More Reviews about Dr. Bloom’s visiting professorship:
• During residency Dr. Bloom showed exceptional dedication to patient care and resident mentorship. As his junior resident, he was always there to show me the way, and to help me learn from his experience. The tenor of his lecture to us last month was in keeping with this tradition. He gave us insight and advice with remarkable candor. Not just presenting all positives, Dr. Bloom presented us with a real picture of life in practice. His hope was that we could build on his experience as we create our own paths. He is a good friend, a great surgeon, and a true advocate for both patients and residents alike.
~Dr. Oren Mushin, Chief Resident
• I have relied heavily on his mentorship and guidance throughout my career, and after his grand rounds as visiting professor, I am sure that this relationship will continue. He is an invaluable source of support for many of the younger plastic surgeons he recruited and trained at The University of Rochester.
~Dr. Joseph Khouri, Chief Resident.
• Dr. Bloom gave a talk that was honest and enlightening, with valuable lessons that he learned from real experience. I have tremendous respect for Dr. Bloom and trust his advice. I will remember his remarks as I embark on the next step in my journey to independent practice.
~Dr.Elaina Chen, PGY 5
• Dr. Bloom gave an excellent lecture as visiting professor. University of Rochester Plastic Surgery was lucky to have Dr. Bloom share his invaluable knowledge and insight. His focus on patient care clearly is what puts him above the curve. Will certainly continue to seek out his advice in the years to come. Thanks Dr. Bloom!
~Dr. Nick Wingate, PGY 2
• It is great training at a program where past residents are invested in our education. Dr. Bloom provided us with a firsthand account of his journey in navigating the first few years out of residency. He was honest and provided us with information that one can only learn from experience. It was much appreciated!
~ Dr. Sara Neimanis PGY 3
• I thought the talk was fantastic…thank you for such a great grand rounds!
~Dr. Jackie Hass, PGY-1
• Excellent lecture!
~Dr. Paige Myers PGY-4
• Dr. Bloom’s lecture was an informative and revealing look into life after the residency. I appreciated the candor with which he approached his transition to independent surgeon, including both practices that have led to success as well as wisdom he has gained along the way… I am grateful for Dr. Bloom’s insights, and look forward to future interactions with such a great surgeon.
~Trevor Hansen, PGY 1