|12-21-2002, 01:39 PM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2001
UT Southwestern -- a resident's perspective
(I suggest reading pufftissue's commentary before reading this -- well written and very thorough).
SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
Let me preface this by saying that I am an R2 in IM at Parkland, and will be staying here for GI as well, so I know the program. I got interview offers for GI all over -- the name schools up East and out west, as well as here in the South/Southwest. Staying here was my first choice because I know the program, the other fellows, the residents, the hospitals, and I don't have to move!
"Name" Places I did not get GI interview offers: Colorado, Univ. of Washington, UCSF, Wash U., Oregon Health Sciences, U. Chicago, Indiana (said they'd filled from within). I didn't apply to Hopkins or Iowa. I didn't get interviews at a lot of "middle-tier" GI programs as well.
Internal Medicine here rules the roost, and while we are the dumping ground for other services (like IM anywhere else) the IM residents here are pretty much regarded as the brightest residents in the hospital.
After my intern year, I felt like I was confident enough to take care of and stabilize any unstable patient on the floor or in the Units. I may not have been able to generate the extensive differential or have thought of every single little thing to do for the patient/ to pursue and work-up, but at least overnight when I assume care for the pt. I have the confidence to do all the right things overnight to stabilize that pt. till the AM, when smarter and more experienced doctors are around to help. I don't know of many other programs where this is the case after one year of training, let alone 3 years. This is not saying anything about me or my clinical acumen, but speaks to my training.
I thought I was going to be a Cardiologist (but was starting to consider GI), so my background before residency was optimized for Cards, and I looked for a name program that would train me to be an excellent medicine doc and get me into fellowship. I also had to go to a place that had a decent airport for my wife's job. This limited me to metro areas, at least a million in size.
My rank list out of med school was 1. Parkland/UTSW, 2. Duke, 3. Stanford, 4. UCLA. I was fortunate to have interviewed at a number of "prestige" places, including the name programs up East
1. I think if you identified the program as "Parkland" rather than "UT Southwestern" then you would have elicited more of a response from folks up East or on the coasts. I still think people "in the know" know of Parkland's reputation. Remember, if you've only lived and trained in Massachusetts and NY, then the chances of you knowing/caring about programs outside of the Northeast are slim to none. One thing UTSW loves to tout about itself is that there are four Nobel laureates on the faculty, all of whom happen to be Medicine faculty, BTW. Not that this means beans about where you should train, but people who love to throw name and repuation around like these facts.
Frankly speaking, I could give two ***** about what one of my colleagues at MGH or the Brigham think about where I train. UCSF is very academic, and frankly doesn't compare in terms of autonomy, and Stanford is nowhere in the same league in this regard. The Brigham is very much a gentleman's program, in my opinion. Mass General trains good docs. Hopkins trains good docs. Having said all this, there are Cards and GI fellows here from those places who, frankly speaking, are completely overwhelmed by the volume and pathology as well as the level of acuity of our patients here at Parkland. I always hear "why isn't this patient in the Unit" -- answer "because there are no Unit beds and I'm comfortable taking care of this patient on the floor for now." Having gone to an Ivy League school for college, I interviewed at some of the more name programs up East and found the attitudes that prevailed are still pretty archaic compared to the rest of the country.
Remember, the net growth in population in places like the Southeast and Southwest (and Cali) contrasts sharply with the
rust best states of New England and the mid-Atlantic, where populations continue to leave in droves for greener pastures.
I have a tremedously better quality of life and a monumentally lower cost of living than my friends up East. And in the end, I got the fellowship I wanted.
2. Just to clarify, other than UCSF, UCLA, and Stanford, the other Cali programs are average -- no better, no worse. And I honestly don't think the training is any better at those other places, but they do have a name and reputation to back them up. It's just that everyone from California wants to go back, so even the mediocre programs become pretty competitive.
3. As for med schools where residents come from, remember, folks from the coasts want to stay on the coasts. It's rare for programs in the midsection of the country to be able to pull people from the name schools up East, or UCSF or Stanford, to St. Louis, Chicago, or Dallas. Having said that, the 3rd year class when I was an intern had 2 folks from UCSF. The class immediately above me had a couple from Duke and one from Stanford, and my class has one from U. Chicago. Again, not a barometer of what kind of doctors these people have become, but if name is important to you, they do draw from name programs as well.
4. Dallas isn't all that bad. Big city, warm weather, two airports. MY single friends enjoy themselves in their free time, and those of us who are married like the amenities. Cost of living blows away other cities of this size.
5. The med students here have it pretty cush, and while some work hard, there are more than a few who don't quite get it and complain to no end. In my experience here, I've had probably 60-70% good students who do work and help the team out, and the rest who I suspect need to go into non-clinical areas of medicine.
6. Your comments about the ethos, the pride, and the type of people here are right-on. Very well put.
Bottom-line: If you come here and work hard and show you are a good doctor, you get training second to none and you will get a fellowship position if you apply -- it may not be your first choice, but that's a fact. That's all that matters, in my opinion.
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:37 PM.