Department of  Neurosurgery
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A Year in Perspective: PGY-3

Peter Sylvester, MD

I initially became interested in neurosurgical training at Washington University because of the program’s reputation for clinical and research excellence in what I considered a family-friendly location. In my first year, I was impressed with the clinical volume and diversity of cases. I was approached by a number of faculty members with interesting research projects, and have started early discussions regarding future career plans and academic interests. As a husband and father of two small children, I considered location and affordability as huge concerns when researching residency programs. St. Louis is a great place to live, especially if you have children or can imagine having children during the seven years of residency. Housing is affordable, and it is not unreasonable to buy a single-family home within 10 minutes of the hospital on a resident’s salary. The city of St. Louis has a number of attractions, which are free or very inexpensive to attend. Traffic is usually a nonissue.

Based on my experience so far, the expectations at this program are high, but not unreasonable. The program leadership has been tremendously responsive to resident concerns, and has made special and specific efforts to promote junior residents’ interests. The resident compliment get along very well and are welcoming of medical students, interns and other new additions to the program. I am happy with my decision to come to Washington University and look forward to the rest of residency.

Fun interests: Home improvement, spending time with family