“Teaching Hospitals and Why Residents Are Our Friends!” – with Dr. Stephanie Melka

Dr. Melka explains teaching hospitals and resident education: what they are, what they do, and what patients need to know. At a teaching hospital, unlike a community hospital, patients will interact with residents and fellows receiving ongoing training after earning their MDs. Dr. Melka explains why this experience can be beneficial for doctors and patients alike.

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Dr. Stephanie Melka, an OB/GYN with Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates of New York City, explains what a teaching hospital is and why they are beneficial to both doctors and patients. Dr. Fox understands that many patients may be hesitant to receive care at a teaching hospital because they are uneasy being treated by “learners” or “being the guinea pig,” but Dr. Melka explains why this is largely a myth. In a teaching hospital, residents and fellows have completed medical school and earned their MDs but are continuing their education in a specialty or subspecialty. This means that they are knowledgeable and capable of treating patients in many ways. Patients should also be aware that they are in good hands as residents and fellows are under consistent and direct supervision at their hospitals.  

Dr. Fox and Dr. Melka also discuss the ways in which residents and fellows are helpful to the doctors and hospitals. Often, residents act as their “eyes and ears” as they can’t always be at the hospital, but residents have enough medical training to accurately assess situations and relay information. They can also assist as an “extra set of hands” during complicated situations, such as delivering twins. In many cases, residents and fellows also help keep their mentors and teachers up-to-date with new and relevant knowledge as they have more recently completed medical school and other training. Finally, and perhaps most obviously, teaching hospitals are necessary as a hands-on and effective way to train new doctors.  

Dr. Stephanie Melka is a board-certified OB/GYN who joined Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates in 2012 after completing her residency at Mount Sinai Hospital. She completed medical school at SUNY Downstate and earned a Bachelor of Science at Muhlenberg College. Dr. Melka is particularly interested in high risk pregnancies, office gynecologic procedures, and laparoscopic gynecologic surgeries as well as research in the use of sonographic biometric measurements as independent risk factors for shoulder dystocia. Listen to our episode introducing Dr. Melka here.