There is a plaque on a statue outside of our ED near the old County helipad with the following famous quote by Louis Pasteur, “One does not ask of one who suffers: What is your country and what is your religion? One merely says: You suffer, that is enough for me. You belong to me, and I shall help you”. There is no better way to describe the culture of our program.
Everyone knows how busy county training programs are. You learn by doing in our department. There is a lot of autonomy build into our training model, and you have to be comfortable working outside of your comfort zone. This model is not ideal for everyone, so you have to ask yourself if it is right for you. We have a diverse faculty comprised of recognized leaders in all of the various fields of emergency medicine, and it is a tremendous opportunity to learn aside them for four years of your life. That said, patients are the best teachers. We are the safety net hospital for the third largest city in America, and if being a part of this is important to you, if you take a special bit of pride and personal reward in working in this environment, if extending compassion to those that society has long since left behind means something to you, then the rewards are endless. It is a privilege to work with our patient population for four years of your residency, and in turn, they will make you the best possible emergency physician that you can be.
The informal motto of our training program is “Train here, work anywhere,” and I wholeheartedly believe this to be true. We will give you the skills to care for patients in almost any situation. We will help you develop the mindset to become life-long learners. We will put you on the path to be a future leader in our specialty. And most importantly, we will help you become the best possible physician that you can be. But at the end of the day, our culture always comes back to the introductory quote referenced above. There is no greater sense of pride for me as a program director than to know that we have over 450 graduates of our program carrying on this mission, and we welcome you to consider joining this family.
Michael A Schindlbeck, M.D.
Cook County Emergency Medicine