Jackson Park Hospital vs Mercy Hospital

Students of St. James School of Medicine have two hospitals in Chicago to to do their core rotations: Jackson Park Hospital or Mercy Hospital.  The hospitals are 15 minute drive from each other.  The question is which one will you choose.

Mercy Hospital

  • It’s near South Loop
  • It’s a clean hospital
  • It’s in a safer area
  • It’s hard to get A’s
  • They sponsor J1 visas for Canadian students
  • They have multiple residencies.

Jackson Park Hospital (JPH)

  • It’s near 75th street
  • It’s not so clean hospital, but they are renovating
  • It’s in a dangerous area, Southside Chicago
  • It’s easy to get A’s
  • They do not sponsor any visas.
  • They only have Family Medicine Residency

The problem with JPH is that while doing your core rotation, there isn’t much guidance there.  It’s more scut work for students than actually teaching.  No doubt you will learn hands on on so many various cases, but the guidance isn’t there.  The residents are also not the happiest there.

Mercy hospital has proper teachers and guidance.  They provide a lot of support to students.  If you do rotations there than you can increase your chances in getting a residency there.  The same cannot be applied to JPH, they rarely give any students, who did rotations there, a residency position.

So in order to get the benefits of both, schedule all of your core rotations at JPH and conduct all of your electives at Mercy Hospital.  The rotations you did at JPH, if you are weak on that subject, then schedule it at Mercy.  By doing this you will not only get all A’s in your core rotations but you will also learn with guidance.

I hope this helps.

Where To Go On the First Day of Clinical Clerkship at Jackson Park Hospital

At Jackson Park Hospital one of the most common questions students ask is where to go. If it’s your first time then you will obviously will not know where to go unless you did AICM. However, if you are from MUA, SGU, Avalon, Xavier University or any other medical school other than SJSM, you will not know where AICM room is. The places to go in Jackson Park Hospital for clinical clerkship depends on if you are doing core rotations or elective rotations. If you are doing core rotations then you go Leon Gholston or Lorraine McCrary; their offices are in the same hallway as the AICM classes, which are located in the building across the ambulance parking bay. The ambulance parking bay is in the emergency area, and it’s located between the Family Medicine building and the hospital.
The red circle is pointed toward an entry way between the two buildings. You will see students going in and out from there for core rotations and AICM classes.

If you are doing electives there then you go to Rosemary Brown or Cornelius Ford or other officers in their unit, which is located in the corner of the hospital which faces diagonally to BP across the street.

The red circle is pointed towards a door that is diagonally facing BP gas station. This is where you go to for elective rotations.

Done with Core Rotations, Time for Elective Rotations

It’s a relief that the core rotations are now completed.  Here is the order of rotations which I conducted:
  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery
  • OB/GYN
It’s a blessing that I went through 48 weeks of clinical clerkships in Chicago. The city is an expensive place to live in and with all the crimes and driving around was a headache.
SJSM guidelines for clerkships is to complete 48 weeks of core rotations and 48 weeks of elective rotations. I have completed AICM so 16 weeks is taken off from the 48 weeks of electives, that leaves 32 weeks of electives left. I also conducted one 4 weeks elective at the beginning of my rotations so it brings down the elective requirement to 28 weeks with 20 weeks completed. Since I have completed my core rotations 48 weeks will be taken off from core. Therefore, I have completed 48+20 weeks, totaling to 68 weeks.  
With 28 weeks of elective rotations, that’s around 7 months left of rotations left, hence a bit over half a year. I can’t believe time flew by like that, but it is what it is.
Some things I learned the most in doing these rotations is always prioritize the patient’s care in the clinical setting.  In the academic setting, always prioritize the USMLE Step 2 CK studying. I’m not a fan of working harder, I like to work smarter. There is no shortcut in being a doctor but you should always do your work and study in the most efficient manner so you don’t waste your energy unnecessarily.
Some of the distractions to avoid:
  • Friends
  • Partying
  • Relationships (it’s an exception if you are engaged or married)
  • FaceBook
  • Texting
  • Eating Out
  • Playing Sports
  • Roommates (only if he/she is not another medical student)
I said all I can and I would really appreciate it if you, the readers, can refer other people to this blog to learn and ask questions. Because as you ask questions, this blog will grow and it will help me and the readers. On the Anguilla island, I’m sure people are unsure and uncomfortable of what to expect after the island life, well tell them about this blog and they will feel a lot better after being informed from here.
Now this is the perfect time to cram in for USMLE Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS studying, getting into a 6 month research position, and getting letter of recommendations.