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Message from the Program Director

Welcome from the PD and our Saint Michael’s family:

Ted DaCosta

Saint Michael’s Medical Center was founded in 1867 by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor to help the poor immigrant population. The long history of helping the underserved still holds true today with our busy Peter HO HIV Clinic (one of the largest and earliest clinics in HIV in the country) and our hospital serving our community with compassion and care.

Our residency and fellowship programs have been in existence for over 65 years. We have a faculty of devoted, well-accomplished physicians in all areas of medicine. We have outstanding research in the fields of cardiology, infectious disease, hematology/oncology and gastroenterology. We have fellowships in each of these fields and support our residents in continued education after residency.

We have a diverse population of patients as well as faculty and residents. The beautiful mix of cultures allows for great opportunity to ensure cultural sensitivity and knowledge in all walks of life.

Saint Michael’s believes a happy resident will lead to life-long learners. To ensure our residents enjoy their experience during their training, we have incorporated a wellness committee, mentorship program, zero tolerance anti-bullying policy to our curriculum.

The wellness committee organizes activities with the residents and attendings. (Basketball, soccer, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, paintball, picnics, rock climbing, holiday parties. These events were postponed during Covid-19 restrictions but have recently come back to life.

Our end of the year Residency Celebration and Roast of the Graduates was held at Pier 115 in Edgewater. It was our first non-restricted party since March 2020. It was a time to celebrate not only the residents graduating but the joy of being together and hugging each other. During the pandemic, residents did on line video gaming, they rented out a movie theater and did other Covid-19 responsible activities. We have developed a wellness room with lounge chairs, pool table, table tennis table and television.

The wellness committee’s primary role is to make sure the residents remain strong mentally, physically and emotionally. Our mentorship program gives every resident an academic faculty member to use as their guidance counselor during their training. The junior residents are also paired up with a senior resident mentor. The mentor is available for any issues (medical or nonmedical) that come up during their training.

After an article was published in JAMA about bullying during residency (occurring in one in seven residents), we decided to take a proactive approach to bullying and created a “zero tolerance” anti-bullying program. I believe our program already has less bullying than any other program in the country. I believe all programs should adopt this technique to make everyone aware that bullying at any level should never be tolerated.

Our fellowship programs are among the top in the nation. We have state of the art technology with great educators. Our subspecialty faculty are directly involved in the internal medicine program as well as their fellowship programs. Because of the direct contact that our residents have with the faculty, you will have a great advantage to showcase your interest in their field of study and create a great opportunity to be chosen for our fellowship positions.

Saint Michael’s program is committed to our community. Our focus is to eliminate disparities in health care delivery. We have found that when patients are educated in understanding the importance of taking ownership of their health, better outcomes are seen. We go out into the community and educate and empower our patients on their personal health issues. We are looking for residents who share the same morals and values.

Scholarly activities are a priority in our program. Our CMO, Dr. Hamid Shaaban, is the director of our research subcommittee. He will guide all our residents into understanding the techniques necessary to get published in journals. All our subspecialty heads have active research in their respective fields and work in conjunction with Dr. Shaaban to ensure your research opportunities are meet.

Our grand rounds, QI, M&M, morning report, near miss, good catch, journal club, CPC, residents as teachers, core conferences are amazing learning tools with attending feedback on resident-run programs.

Our noon conferences didactic lecture syllabus covers over 132 major topics: 12 cardiovascular lectures, 12 endocrine lectures, 13 gastroenterology lectures, 15 general IM lectures, 12 hematology/oncology lectures, 17 infectious disease lectures, 12 nephrology lectures, 12 neurology lectures, 13 pulmonary/critical care lectures and 14 rheumatology lectures. Copies of the power point presentations of the core didactic lectures will be available to all residents.

A board review course is also run by our residents and APD. Each block rotation has highly qualified attendings who review the goals and objectives of the rotation prior to starting the rotation and provide evaluations in the middle and end of the rotation. The evaluation community meets quarterly and will let you know how you are doing. Twice a year the PD and APD will review with you all of your evaluations and scholarly activities.

Most importantly you will become a part of the Saint Michael’s family. We will strive to make all your aspirations come true. We will convert you from student doctors into the best physicians in the world. The knowledge you obtain and the relationships you make will stay with you throughout your journey in life. We look forward to retaining some of you as faculty and physicians working in our communities. There is no greater pleasure for me in life then helping develop a resident into a caring and compassionate physician.

My family has been a part of Saint Michael's for over 60 years. My father graduated from our IM residency program in the early 1960’s, I graduated from the program in the early 1990’s, my son graduated from our IM residency program this year, my daughter and her fiancé are starting in our IM residency program this year. After my residency and fellowship I stayed on at Saint Michael’s as APD for over 20 years and now PD for the past two years.

We look forward to hearing from you and hopefully accepting you into our family. If you are looking for a wonderful experience as a resident with great opportunities after graduation, including our fellowships as well as opportunities to stay on with us as internist or hospitalists, think strongly about Saint Michael’s.

Sincerely

Dr. Theodore A. DaCosta, MD

Program Director, Saint Michael’s Medical Center/New York Medical College