Originally Posted by jonwilli
after living all over the southeast, i am glad to stay (probably forever) in Florida. All the programs in Fl, and probably the same with most in CA and NY will fill because it is FL, a heavily populated state already and people have the image of everyone laying on the beach all day around here. my thoughts on the program, remembering that I am a new resident at UF-JAX
UF-JAX--#1 choice, county hospital!! if you like the county scene, it is for you. If not, it probably is not and it is pretty much that simple. Tons of autonomy. I rotated here and had plenty of attending interaction. volume and learning curve is huge so be prepared. but i think that the second year residents here were as good as most 3rd year grads at many of the other programs i am familiar with. also is a well-established program and cost of living is not disastrous. Most of the people that have said they did not like Jax in my opinion were looking for a more laid back learn it all in 3 years type of place and i think this program wants you prepared earlier than most programs.
USF-#2 choice, decent blend in my opinon of a community hospital with a county feel. the volume is not as high, but the acuity is similar. this is a relatively new program, but tampa is a great place to live although you really cannot afford to live near the hospital (Projects maybe!!) This program will excel if not on location alone, and will have a new ED soon, decent attendings that I met except for one which was very negatively reveered on the interview scene. Not an issue though. Oh, and the nurses really are hot as previously described in multiple posts if that is your deciding factor.
I think miami would do great, but gainesville would probably be the worst of the 5 locations in FL to choose from unless you are a UF fan.
This thread should earn a place in the, "sticky" category for peeps looking for some good advice. That said, isn't the amount of subjectivity here AMAZING? I know there's a little bit of a science with regard to new resident selection, but why people choose one particular program over another looks like is a different question altogether.
Take the Gainesville site, for example. I heard that the RRC should be, or already has, visited Shands-UF for preliminary accreditation. Its definitely possible that this program will be recruiting outside of the 2006 or 2007 match. Shands UF gets a bad rap from the Jax residents for a variety of reasons. I heard this during my rotations at Jax and during my time at the UF ER. While I agree that Shands has its efficiency and space issues, there are some benefits to Gainesville.
First, there's tons of opportunity for event medicine. Games at Ben Hill Griffin stadium bring over 100,000 people to the center of UF's campus. The potential for disaster there is amazing.. I had to call a mass transit bus during one summer afternoon just so I had a place to put all of the heat related casualties! If event medicine isn't your thing, there's plenty of EMS related things to do in Gainesville. ShandsCair does lots of interfacility and scene transport from surrounding counties, and Alachua County is trying to organize a critical care transport program. There''s a tactical EMS team working with the local sherrif's officer in Gainesville as well. Cost of living is low in Gainesville, and its certainly a growing community. Without question, I would have given UF some SERIOUS consideration had they been granted RRC approval during my match year.
My point is simply this: when fourth year students try to narrow down their ROLs, I think visiting a program site and speaking directly with pepole in the know is of great value. For every person that absolutely adores Jacksonville, there is probably another who declined to place it on their rank order list. I'm sure this is similar with EM residencies across the board- its all part of the subjective, "fit" associated with the top programs on an applicant's list. Also, overanalyzation can be counterproductive. After making a list of, "pro's and con's" its good to keep in mind that certain factors are out of an applicant's hand. As many other posters have said, be prepared to travel to programs in the top three spots. Residents and attendings alike have their own biases when describing a particular training site. Personally speaking, I view interaction with EMS an integral part of any EM residency. EMS experience was relegated to a third year ride-a-long month at Jacksonville.. this stands in stark contrast to programs like UMass where residents are FORCED to participate in aeromedical transports beginning in their first year. To conclude, there's tons of excellent and direct advice on this forum. Just don't forget to judge the information for yourself, preferrably via an away rotation, observation shift, or interaction with a program's current residents. Good luck, again!
PS: I was not one of the, "looking for a more laid back learn it all in 3 years type of" student. Just FYI!