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Interview Impressions -- 2009-2010!

Discussion in 'Neurology' started by typhoonegator, 11.16.09.

  1. typhoonegator

    typhoonegator Neurointensivist Moderator

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Please post your interview impressions in this thread. This should be used to give your opinions from your interview experiences, with the goal of HELPING your fellow SDN'ers to make decisions on programs.

    Ground rules:
    1. If you are concerned about posting as yourself, PM typhoonegator and he will post for you.

    2. Flagrant program-bashing will not be tolerated. You don't have to like every program, but don't be disrespectful.

    3. Specific examples of things that you liked or did not like are much more helpful than "Residency X is totally tubular, must see!!!111!!" or "Sucked, don't bother interviewing".

    4. Please try to refrain from getting into disagreements in this thread. If you disagree and wish to start a discussion about a program, a new thread should be started.

    Ready? Go!
  2. bblue

    bblue Member

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    I'll start this off (I hope everyone's not going to be selfish and overly competitive..). Anyway:

    Duke University:

    I can't say enough good things about this program. The program director, Dr. Morgenlander, is one of the smartest people I've talked to in Neurology. The guy is brilliant, and as one of the residents described, a 'real straight-shooter'. On top of that he's an amazingly nice guy, and supposedly really looks out for and takes care of his residents.
    The faculty is awesome. They're diverse in their knowledge and are all also very friendly and personable. Definitely a group of people anyone would be honored to learn from. I can't imagine you'd leave Duke feeling like you could have received a better education elsewhere.
    The facilities are outstanding. Duke is a frigging castle...seriously! The hospital is fairly new and everything I saw was well kept. The nurses seem like they really know what they're doing, which is a major plus if you've worked at some bad hospitals before.
    The residents were some of the nicest people I've ever met. They take the time to tell you everything about the program, and are not afraid to tell you what they think the 'downfalls' are (they were very minor btw, nothing that affected my opinion of the program so not worth mentioning here).
    Basically, the program is top-notch. I would highly recommend interviewing there if you have the chance. The interview itself is VERY laid back (that might be the worst part of the visit, I almost wished they had asked me more difficult questions so I felt I was 'separated from the pack' a bit). But it's hard to complain about getting a relaxed interview.
    Actually, Duke is now one of my top choices for residency, so I hope you don't apply there because I want a spot haha. No, in all seriousness, they were too good to me on the visit to badmouth them, and I'd like to promote them as a wonderful institution. Feel free to ask me any questions about the interview.
    Hope that helps you greedy bastards! ;)
  3. Philoso

    Philoso

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    Thanks for sharing. I would still like to hear about the downfalls of Duke program if you are comfortable sharing at this point. As compared to other programs, what is specifically better about them?
  4. medsRus

    medsRus

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    Location is one...
  5. bblue

    bblue Member

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    Well, I don't specifically remember what their call schedule is, but it did seem like it might be a little tougher than most programs (especially first year, I get the impression the first year is pretty tough). I believe they're in discussions to change the call schedule - whether that happens remains to be seen.
    In terms of what's better, the faculty is pretty outstanding. I went to their 'case presentations', and was amazed by some of the faculty, specifically Dr. Morgenlander (the program director). The man seems to know everything. The residents are also really good people, and seemed like a diverse, intelligent group. The best thing going for the program is that noone has failed neurology boards since 1977. That really speaks to the individual attention you get at the program and the intelligence of those who are there.
    Durham is the only 'drawback' for me personally, it might be a little too 'small town', but I didn't have a chance to visit the beach (which is right by there), or the rolling green hills in the other direction. It was definitely a beautiful place, but I'm not sure there's a lot to do there.
    Hope that helps some!
  6. pep45

    pep45 pep45

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    My first interview was at UK. I didn't have much to compare it to at the time, aside from where I had done a Sub-I, but now that I have been on 6 interviews I feel that I can have a crack at it.
    Pros: Residents and attendings seemed to get along well. Residents are really friendly and I had a lot of fun at the dinner. Chairman takes residents out once every so often for "liver rounds" at a local pub. He seemed like a really nice man who was down to earth... Program is looking to expand and has grown in recent years.
    Pro or Con??: Building a new hospital that will be done supposedly at the beginning of what would be my PGY-2 year. Most of the residents seemed to be from the region, so there wasn't a ton of diversity amongst the residents. I felt like if I grew up in KY then I would have felt more at home there.
    Cons: No fellowships available at UK, although residents don't seem to have a problem attaining fellowships. I didn't like Lexington. I feel like I could live there and be happy but it wasn't what I'm used to. Also too far from my home which is important to me and may not be to others.
    Overall: I would agree with posts I read in the last year that this is an up and coming program. I feel like anyone would get excellent training here. Hopefully they will add some fellowships in the future and attract more quality applicants and continue to attract strong faculty!!
  7. pep45

    pep45 pep45

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    Miami is a large program with 8 residents per year. Miami is a big city and like 51% of the population speak Spanish as their primary language. I will begin this response by disclaiming that I just did not fit in here. This was the worst interview experience I had for several reasons that are unrelated to the program.
    Pros: Awesome facilities and faculty. Bustling Metropolis (if you like that). Friendly residents. South Beach is really nice. Chair is a Giant and was recently elected to be president of the American Heart Assoc. You get an Iphone if you match there. Salary seemed to be pretty good.
    Cons: I felt like I was treated like a second tier applicant from the second I arrived. Several applicants interviewed with the chairman but I wasn't given that honor for some reason. The program director actually told me during my interview what my weakness was and asked me how he should convince the other voting members to get them to want me. (I almost left at this point) This was the most offensive question I have ever been asked in all of my interviewing experience including jobs, medical school, etc...
    I also felt that it was weird that they bragged about how high their USMLE scores were. None of the other programs I've visited have done this.
    The Program Director came to the resident dinner, which really put a damper on trying to get to know the residents.
    Overall: The experience was just not a good one for me. I thought the Program was Awesome aside from having to know Spanish. Miami was just not for me, but I'm sure others will Love it and have nothing but praise for the program.
  8. pep45

    pep45 pep45

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    Pros: Residents are very personable. Faculty is great. Program seems stable and is striving to become one of the best departments in the Southeast and country. Current Chair has made leaps and bounds in recruiting people to the faculty.
    Hospital is amazing... State of the Art everything!!
    Campus is beautiful and has a small town feel around an otherwise large city with lots to do. Nashville is not all honkytonks and line dancing!! haha! Seemed to have the best perks of any program I've been to like free parking, never having to buy food because all conferences are catered and they give you ample money for your calls. Residents seemed very happy and were not at all burnt out.
    Cons: Chair struck me as an Ivory tower type of guy. I don't think he knew all of the residents yet... (I was there pretty early in this process though) Don't really have many bad things to say about this program...
    Overall: Loved it!! Would be very happy here. Nashville seemed like a neat place to live with lot's to offer.
  9. pep45

    pep45 pep45

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    Pros: Personable Residents, who struck me as being very intelligent and hardworking. Program Director is very enthusiastic about his job and seems to go to world's end for his residents. World renowned department with lots of research opportunities and fellowship options. Program is very clinically oriented with no push to do research but the means are there. Night float during PGY1 and beyond...residents seem to like this recent change.
    Charlottesville is a nice town with good schools and is only 2 hours from D.C.
    Kind of a "wine and cheese" town with lots of "elite" things going on. Campus and hospital are beautiful
    Cons: I get the feeling that PGY-2's and PGY-3's work more/harder than any of the other programs I've been to--I guess this could be an advantage because you would be very well trained.
    Expensive cost of living for such a small town.
    Overall: Really liked this program... I think you would be very well trained if you went here. Charlottesville is very charming.
  10. typhoonegator

    typhoonegator Neurointensivist Moderator

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    Posted for another user wishing to remain anonymous:

    UNC: I liked this program and the PD a lot. They are up and coming. The PD is new from Mass General and is very excited about the program. Neurocritical care is in its infancy right now (they currently have 1 attending and are planning to hire 2 more). I think the program is 4 residents per year, but I don't remember if they are planning to expand to 5. They do have a night float system (8:30pm-8:30am, Sun-Thurs) which is new this year. Everyone I talked to seems to prefer having night float over the original system (q4 call that is spread throughout the year). Program is definitely front-loaded and the PGY-2s seemed to work really hard, but morale seemed pretty good. During subspecialty clinic, you get to pick up patients and see them in continuity clinic, which means you will see more interesting patients.

    You do 1 month EEG during PGY-2 (and can choose to do 2 more months during PGY-3 and –4). There is 1-3 months EMG during PGY-3.


    Pros: I liked the faculty and residents I met, but I didn't meet everyone, so keep that in mind. Even though PGY-2 year is rough, it felt like a nurturing, receptive environment. Apparently there is formal board review sessions once per week with one of the faculty. I didn't ask if residents had difficulty passing the exam in the past. The good news is UNC will pay for the board registration if you pass.

    Cons: Program is still up and coming, so it may be a few years before it really reaches its peak. We got a really quick tour through the neuro hospital, and it was definitely not as nice as some of the other facilities I've seen, although there was plenty of space to work, which is the most important thing. It was unclear where the NeuroICU would be. The medical center (for intern year) was a bit run-down compared to other hospitals I've seen.
  11. typhoonegator

    typhoonegator Neurointensivist Moderator

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    Posted for another user wishing to remain anonymous:

    Duke:



    Pros: Beautiful facilities, good name, strong in a lot of areas especially Neuromuscular, as evidenced by many recent residents obtaining fellowships in that area.

    Neurocritical care and stroke also seem strong. Chair does memory disorders research. Apparently the lectures are pretty good although teaching is primarily done on the job (by seeing patients). Definitely didactics are not emphasized compared to other programs (Rochester, Michigan, Case Western). In the recent past, everyone has passed boards! You get to attend ANAM (one half week off!) every year which is pretty sweet.

    Cons: smaller program (4 residents per year) and no night float so there is q4-5 call throughout the whole year even when on outpatient or EEG rotations. That means your learning may be disrupted by call during those rotations. During PGY-3 and –4, call averages q7.

    The faculty were nice but I got the feeling that they were a little more complacent/happy with where they are than other programs I have been to. It was hard to put a finger on why I didnt like Duke as much as I felt I should. The residents were a really smart, nice, and friendly bunch. I didn't get the impression they were burned out or not enjoying their residency.

    Questions to be answered:
    I don't remember where alum have gone for fellowships, (and what they have done) so if someone could post that info, that'd be great. I just remember neuromuscular being really strong, perhaps second would be stroke or neurocritical care. Weakest was probably MS. I wasn't sure about outpatient experience, or exposure to EEG/epilepsy, movement, or memory, so if someone could shed light on that, would be great.
  12. typhoonegator

    typhoonegator Neurointensivist Moderator

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    Cleveland Clinic: Obvious pros include the worldclass facilities/resources, faculty, and clinical research going on. It seems well-represented in all departments: excellent MS, neurocritical care, epilepsy, sleep. They have a very multi-disciplinary approach to neuro, so neurologists are working closely with neurosurgeons, rads, psychiatry, etc. in their particular area of expertise. There is a new cognitive center at Las Vegas which residents may be doing rotations at.
    There are 3 months available for research, and ton of that going on. Basically, whatever you want to do, the Clinic probably has it.

    Call is q4 during stroke, general, and NNICU. You always take call with a senior resident, which strikes me as making the learning curve less steep (may be good or bad depending on your preference). No call during consults. Home call during epilepsy. There is no night float.

    The didactics seem strong, esp. in certain areas (e.g. a 3 month EEG course/training during PGY-3).
    I asked about faculty being accessible to residents, and that seemed to be the case. I think the Clinic is trying hard to dispel the rumors that it is a fellow-driven program that isn't the best place for residency. I won't say I left 100% convinced they have turned their residency program around, but at least my interview didn't confirm any previous suspicions I had. If anyone wants to comment on their experience, that would be great.

    As for the residents, they seemed friendly and came from a very diverse background. I really liked the chief residents. All of the senior residents have very bright futures: movement disorders fellowship at Penn, neurocritical care at Hopkins, stroke at the Clinic, Sleep at the Clinic...

    There seems to be a lot of stuff to do in Cleveland (arts scene, music, good restaurants). They did a good job selling the location.

    Cons: Again, I wonder if the Clinic is better for fellowship rather than residency. You may not be first to assess and work up patient as they
    often first go to satellite centers rather than directly to Cleveland Clinic. I have heard a lot of people diss the Clinic for having a disproportionate amount of wealthy patients, and not seeing enough indigent patients, patients without
    insurance, etc. Again, I don't feel like I can speak definitively, but know that there is a basis for those rumors. Finally, the PD did not leave me with a strong impression.
  13. bblue

    bblue Member

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    Last post was too harsh....just wasn't the greatest experience and I travelled a long way for no good reason. Objectively:

    Call = q4, throughout the residency (according to the resident it doesn't get better 3rd or 4th year)
    Faculty: Seemed well versed in Neurology, but semi-unapproachable and one of them was just plain rude to a few applicants
    Facilites: Beautiful. Only a 150 bed hospital, though it is a 'specialty hospital', so there would be a greater percentage of neuro patients. Only rich, upper class patients for the most part though.
    Lifestyle: Weston is beautiful, but most of the residents seem to live in Ft. Lauderdale or Miami (I think Weston 'shuts down early', per one of the residents). Doesn't seem like there's too much time to enjoy the scenery though. The average day is about 7-7:30
    Boards: Only a 50% pass rate, because supposedly the residents are worked too much to study. They may change their policy and allow for 1 month of study time, but that's a big 'maybe'.

    Just was not the best experience I've had on an interview. I do not plan on ranking them, although they were one of my top choices going into the interview.
    Last edited: 12.20.09
  14. pep45

    pep45 pep45

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    Pros: Awesome facilities... Nice little town (affordable etc...). Residents and Attendings were very welcoming and seemed to get along well. Program Director was great and very enthusiastic about interviews and Match process. Cool research with Ultrasound technology looking at nerves for neuropathy and other pathology. I felt that Morning Report was ran superbly by the residents.

    Cons: Nice little town, with not a lot to do from what I could tell. Most of the residents are married so if your single (i'm not) this could be a con, I guess... Not a lot of bad things to report!!

    Overall: I really liked Wake and thought it would be a nice quiet place to live and work. Not too far from Raleigh Durham and Chapel Hill. I think Wake would be a perfect fit for me if it were in a little bit bigger college town!!
  15. pep45

    pep45 pep45

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    Pros: Chapel Hill is awesome... I have visited several times in the past and feels alot like the town I went to Undergrad. Awesome sports town, if you like college basketball. Close to Raleigh Durham. Program has made leaps and bounds in the last 3-5 years. Striving to become a powerhouse in Neurology. Very nice campus. Residents were nice although I felt that one of the Chiefs seemed a little worn down. I really like the Chairman and the Program Director. They both have been involved with the program a long time and have made improvements based on what the residents have suggested. PGY-1 Medicine included! Night Float.

    Cons: The hospital was not the nicest I've ever seen, but I come from an older facility myself... I didn't completely click with all the residents, but it's tough in a day and a half... I'm sure I would get along great and they were really nice people.

    Overall: Loved it!! Would be a great fit for many different personalities.
  16. pep45

    pep45 pep45

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    Let me begin this post by saying that I was completely delighted by this program from the residents and fellows to the amount of growth they have had in the past 2-5 years.
    Pros: The neurology, neurosurgery, and basic science programs were reorganized 5 years ago under the umbrella of Neurosciences. Apparently, they were criticized by a lot of people who said this wouldn't work. Now they are like 3rd or 4th in the country in NIH funding. They have attracted a world renowned Epilepsy attending who works closely with Neurosurgery and has built an Epilepsy program with 3 other attendings. Added on a Doc from MCG who is world renowned in stroke.
    Attendings and Residents were great. Facilities have all been recently renovated--really nice. Charleston is an awesome city on the water with beach and intracostal waterway right there.
    Cons: Still striving to get to where they would like to be. Will be interesting to see program in another 5 years. PD and Chair came to dinner which was a journal club so had to be on best behavior and residents did too.
    Overall: I applied here as a safety school and almost canceled the interview for personal reasons. Man, am I glad I went! This was the most pleasant surprise for me of the interview season. Up and Coming program for sure. Would love to be a part of the growth and development going on here.
  17. typhoonegator

    typhoonegator Neurointensivist Moderator

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    Posted for another user wishing to remain anonymous:

    Baylor
    I have mixed feelings about this program. On one hand, they have very good subspecialty representation with the ability to rotate at different, diverse hospitals. The hospitals are very close together, since they are all in the Texas Medical Center. They have some great, well-known faculty, and even though Dr. Appel left a few years ago to start his own program and department at Methodist, one can still rotate with him as a Baylor resident (or so they claimed.) One is never on call at more than facility at a time, which is a change made a few years ago. I felt unsure about the resident friendliness, however. At dinner the residents did not seem completely honest in stating that they enjoy each other’s company or hang out outside of work. For having 30 neurology residents, I only saw about five total during my visit. Even the PD was freaking out about how no residents came around to chat during interview down time. At ground rounds, none of the residents I saw came over to say hello to the applicants, which left a very bad impression. Dr. Kass, the PD, was really nice and seems committed to resident education. The residents spoke genuinely highly of him. The chair is child neurology trained and was really nice, but it seems like he is disconnected in a lot of ways. I didn’t feel like he is directly involved with the residents. Houston is either great or horrible, depending on your perspective. It is freaking huge and spread out, but it has a lot to offer in all modes of activities and entertainment. Overall, I think one would receive a great education here, if only by proximity to the Medical Center, but I don’t envision anyone making lifelong friends on the way through the program.

    University of Wisconsin
    A smaller program in a smaller town. Subspecialty representation is somewhat poor. If you wanted to do neuro-oncology, you would have to do an away rotation, for example. For this cycle, they will match two categorical and two advanced spots with separate NRMP numbers. The residents were super nice and seemed genuinely happy. All of the hospitals are right next to each other, so no driving around. Madison has a population of roughly 200,000, but if you like smaller towns, it’s a great place to live. Cost of living and crime are very low. Madison is the northern Midwest, so it gets very cold in the winter and stays that way for several months. Chicago and Milwaukee are very much within driving distance, if you need to get away and experience some culture or professional sports. Lambeau Field is close, too. Overall, the program doesn’t have the diversity of subspecialties I am looking for, but one would get solid clinical training here.

    UT-Houston
    Similar to Baylor, this program benefits from being in the Texas Medical Center. Stroke here is awesome, which is a no-brainer, but they have decent subspecialty representation. Residents seemed happier than at Baylor. One big downside is having to rotate at LBJ, which is a bit of a drive from the Medical Center. Other hospitals are very close. Advanced program with a very busy prelim year. They have a new PD, who is really friendly, accessible, and committed to pushing the program in the right direction. Dr. Grotta did not interview anyone except for an applicant that specifically requested to meet with him, and he did not make an effort to introduce himself around grand rounds, so that was pretty lame, in my opinion. Good resident turnout at dinner, and a decent number stopped by during the interview day. The PGY2 class seems to enjoy each other’s company. One thing odd is that the residents do not have a dedicated continuity clinic with their own patients; instead you rotate with the same faculty member six months at a time and see his or her patients. The PD said this is changing soon, however. And to my cold weather friends, Houston in August is apocalyptically hot. Overall, the program is surprisingly better than I thought before the interview.

    Tufts
    Decent program that is attempting to establish itself as the clinically-heavy program in the Boston area. New chair that seemed nice, but couldn’t seem to articulate his plans for the future. You rotate at three hospitals which are pretty far from each other, so I guess one would try to live somewhere in the middle of the three for the least amount of driving. Most of the residents were pretty friendly overall, but some of them seemed a little superficial. Boston is awesome, but cold and expensive, so pick your poison. No guaranteed prelim spot, but they match about half of the neurology spots into prelim years between the three hospitals.

    Miami
    Super awesome program. More money than they know what to do with which has led to hiring roughly 20 faculty members in two years; you will experience every subspecialty here if you so choose. Large program with 10/year, which results in a very reasonable call schedule. Huge resident and fellow turnout at dinner. Probably the most genuinely outwardly friendly residents I have encountered this season. PD is great and very involved in resident education. Residents had nothing but great things to say about him. Diverse, close hospitals with diverse patient populations. Spanish would be a valuable tool, but it is not an absolute requirement. Miami is very expensive, large, and insanely hot in the summer. I was sweating outside in my suit in November, so imagine what August is like. Miami is a fantastic city for young, single types looking for some hotties on South Beach, but maybe not the greatest for a family—although this is my personal opinion and not an absolute. Overall, a great, great program.
  18. Nerdoscience

    Nerdoscience Senior Member

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    The comments on Madison are hilarious! Madison is a smallish to medium sized city, but certainly isn't a "smaller town." Whoever posted this must never have been to real small towns. Cost of living is low compared to big cities on the coasts, but is actually extremely high for the midwest, rivaling larger cities, especially in property prices. And you don't have to go to Milwaukee or Chicago for culture. There is a gigantic Big 10 university there that brings plenty of culture.

    It's just kind of cute, in the cheek pinchy sort of way. Very Midwest-naive.
  19. pep45

    pep45 pep45

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    Pros: I finished my interviews and my fourth year schedule remaining is about as easy as it could be. Looking forward to lowering the handicap and enjoying the last few months of sanity before internship begins...

    Cons: I'll have more time to post on SDN and will most likely become a super nerd... haha. After being so busy for three and a half years I hope my lady can handle me having all this free time!! :xf: Just gonna try to take it day by day til Match Day. :eek:
  20. pep45

    pep45 pep45

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    Went into this interview trying not to be seduced. I have some family in the Atlanta area and was not a big fan of living there due to the traffic and lack of public transportation. However, the experience made this whole process even more difficult.

    Pros: Well organized day. Even though we had some weather issues, I felt like the coordinator was ready for anything that popped up. Interviews were 10 - 20 minutes. The Grand Rounds I saw that day was awesome. Program Director was very likable. Residents seemed happy with their decision to train at Emory. Facilities are amazing!! They just built a state of the art Neuro ICU at the Emory hospital and are on schedule to finish a brand new Neuro ICU at Grady in the coming months. Emory/Grady was apparently just given some ridiculous donation from the Coca Cola descendants. Lots to do in Atlanta, if you can find it!
    Guaranteed 1st year spot in either Medicine or Transitional year. Seems that the transitional year is more competitive for some reason...
    Strong Critical Care and Stroke Programs with a track to do Interventional if you want, although they require 1 year of Stroke or Critical Care fellowship, 1 year of Dx NeuroRads, and 2 years of Interventional.

    Cons: I got the feeling that you work your tail off if you go there. Grady (public 1000 bed hospital) and Emory (private) facilities are about 15 to 25 minutes away depending on traffic. I have heard that there is not a lot of didactic teaching due to everyone being spread out but I cannot say whether this is true or not. Atlanta Traffic sucks!!

    Overall:
    Great program. Seemed that the residents were above par. Amazing place to train for the diversity of things you will see at Grady that you may not see without the "large-public-hospital experience." Would be happy there but would probably be tired a lot!! haha!
  21. nerdologist1

    nerdologist1

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    Few things:
    Cleveland Clinic neuro is definitely not fellow driven, although this is true for other specialties.

    There are a great deal of "wealthy" pts, many from the middle east, but there are also a substantial number of pts from Cleveland, many of whom are from low-income families. Compared to other city hospitals, there are certainly less impoverished pts.

    It is a tertiary center, like many others (MGH, Mayo, Hopkins, UCSF, BWH, etc..), so yes, you often get a transfer from an OSH, but u do of course get primary admits. There are drawbacks and benefits to working at a tertiary center, there's less bread and butter, but more interesting and complex cases. The difference between CC and other institutions is that you don't rotate at a VA or community hospital to get more of the bread and butter stuff.

    The attendings are very approachable, and even social with the residents and students. There are a few in particular who seem to view the residents and students as their kids. This is def a perk of the program.

    The residents are also a friendly bunch, and are pretty diverse in backgrounds. All seem to be doing what they want post-grad.

    Some things I'd add to consider CC is that you have to know if you like a more business-model system. It's efficient. It's protocol driven. It's shiny and pretty with lots of people in red coats always asking you if you need help with anything. Ancillary services and tech services are remarkable. But, you often feel like you're walking into a corporate building rather than a hospital, with lots of talk about PR, and a bit less about esoteric academic tidbits. Some love it, others don't. It's something you have to know for yourself.

    Oh, and final thing: the neurosurg dept is great and there is a strong rltp with them.
  22. interventional

    interventional

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    Now that people have matched are there anymore reviews of the various programs you guys interviewed at?

    Thanks! :D
  23. AlwaysSearching

    AlwaysSearching

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    Any one have any thoughts on Case vs. Michigan vs. other Midwestern programs?
  24. bblue

    bblue Member

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    Oh yeah, Albert Einstein Beth Israel forgot to send me the letter stating there was a dinner/introduction the night before the interview, then called me at 6pm the night before, and asked me why I wasn't there. Then when I, in disbelief, asked the program coordinator why she hadn't sent me the information, was told the next day at the interview by the program director "It's not a good idea to be rude to the program coordinator, it gets right back to me". When I tried to explain what happened she said "I don't want to hear your excuses", recommended I write an apology letter to the program coordinator (which I did, although it was completely unnecessary), and also told me she "discusses applicants with other program directors in a chatroom". Have fun there! Biggest waste of time/money of all my interviews..
  25. PhakeDoc

    PhakeDoc Mudder Phudder

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    bblue - the PD's reaction is despicable! :mad: I knew there's a reason why I stayed out of the metro NYC area, and your encounter just makes me more convinced that it was wise to do so. I'm really sorry you wasted your time and money - I'm sure they didn't spring for a hotel either!

    Always searching - give me a few weeks; swamped at the moment.
  26. bblue

    bblue Member

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    Thanks PhakeDoc, I thought so and so did the other interviewees that day! They also made me wait from 9AM until 11:30AM before I had my first interview, by which time the three other interviewees had all interviewed with two people. Too bad because it's in the best part of NYC, and I really liked their IM program. Definitely a bigtime waste of money for an interview, and I felt completely degraded and disrespected. Not a fan...(note: The chair of the neurology department was one of the nicest, and most accomplished people I've met on the interview trail. I'll feel bad if I don't mention that).
  27. PhakeDoc

    PhakeDoc Mudder Phudder

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    What, they all meet on AIM or YahooIM at some preordained time... "next on the agenda for today in chat...PROBLEM INTERVIEWEES....Who's first?" :laugh:

    On a more serious note, I am curious what non-New Yorkers, especially other folks who are not from/have not spent a considerable amount of time in the NYC area (thus perhaps a bit more unbiased in their judgements), have to say about their overall feel for NYC programs, especially folks from the South or Midwest or Northwest. While I've enjoyed visiting NYC as a visitor, I'm not sure I would enjoy living in the dog-eat-dog mentality of metro NYC.
  28. PhakeDoc

    PhakeDoc Mudder Phudder

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  29. bblue

    bblue Member

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    Just signed up ;o) I'm seriously a little worried about badmouthing a program...but it really was a terrible experience, and I think it's important that medical students and residents start to help each other out (there's so much competition at this level, sometimes we forget we all just want to help people). So I'm going to copy and paste my post on there....thanks for the headsup and congrats again PhakeDoc! (P.S. You're going to have to change your username soon ;o) )
  30. PhakeDoc

    PhakeDoc Mudder Phudder

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    Well, I salute you for taking the risk to help out others! :thumbup:

    Nah, I'll always be Phake first!

    And for people reading this thread who will be going through the match in 2010-2011 and beyond, please read this thread:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=710837

    Should it scare you? Yes and no. It should make you think more about the decisions you are making. If I may be bold enough to quote myself:

    I'd rather not see any of you neuro folks going through that. Learn from others' mistakes so you don't make them yourself.
  31. bblue

    bblue Member

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    Phakedoc and I are NOT in cahoots - but I could not agree more with the above statement. Arrogance or being cheap can lead to too few interviews. Remember, residency is probably the most important choice you'll make in your professional career. DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF INTERVIEWING AT TOO FEW PROGRAMS!!! Unless you're coming from a top medical school, and have 99th percentile board scores, great grades, and great LOR's, you don't know where you'll end up. (Hell, even if you do have those you still don't know). Apply to as many places as possible and don't get lazy during interview season!!!!
  32. typhoonegator

    typhoonegator Neurointensivist Moderator

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    Posted on behalf of another member wishing to remain anonymous.

    Baylor
    TMC is HUGE - has everything. Excellent group of residents, congenial. Lot of elective time, lot of research. Proximity to MD anderson.

    Hx of financial/organizational problems; story still developing in this aspect. I'm less concerned about loss of methodist, as they traded for st lukes, & i happen to agree baylor's own hosp. would be redundant. Appell is still involved in teaching baylor. Progress notes on paper. I personally consider this the premier TX program

    Houston felt like an international city to me. Somehow, I liked it more than Dallas. But I've heard ppl say otherwise also.

    Beth Israel -
    Very academic focus, the only prog. I i-viewed where they stated outright a goal to create academicians. Excellent hospital. Boston is a big plus, but is expensive. complete EMR. Residents were very friendly. Top notch teaching.


    Duke:
    Dr. Morgenlander is awesome, very resident focused. Excellent place to train if you want to go in private practice, option of 6 mos EMG/EEG --> certification? Research was less that what you might think given Duke's name, but still quite strong.

    I actually thought Duke & UNC were quite similar. Duke tends to draw more int'l patients, whereas UNC draws pts from all over NC. Both places have a good volume (not huge) with diverse patients. BTW, faculty at both duke & unc had a lot of respect for each other - not a lot of veiled 'trash talking' that you tend to see in nyc / boston / chicago / sf etc ... awesome!!

    Research triangle is awesomely affordable, and seems like an awesome place to live. Friends tell me it's somewhat liberal & educated, in contrast to much of NC/ E. tenn.

    Emory:
    Excellent research oriented program, excellent clinicals with emory & grady. New ICU being built with unusual (pt friendly) layout. Transitioning to complete EMR. Categorical.

    However, only has 5 mos of electives. Some areas of neurology are not well represented, though this may change.

    Atlanta is an awesome city to live in ... there's a reason it's called NYC of the south.

    Mayo:
    Is this a hospital or hotel??? Foley teams! Lot of translational research. Moderate to low volume program, but residents create 'thorough differentials and reading'. Lots of money. Extraordinarily insular & they're proud of it. Single in rochester in my late 20's .

    Miami
    Awesome program, 2nd largest in the country w/ 10 a yr. High volume. Draws patients from all over central & s. america. Very supportive department, lots of $$, lots of research. South beach. Jackson Hosp. has some financial problems (google it) but per PD, the neuro dept is financially very well off. Chair came a few years ago from Columbia; PD is a young guy from MGH. Lot of residents from S. America/Central America, but not from the carib schools that us students go to. Apparently the IM dept has a partnership to take a certain percentage from Central/S. America & maybe this informallly carries over to neuro?? But they get the best of the best from there. Miami project to cure paralysis. Very high volume program, but spread b/w lots of residents.

    Michigan
    Excellent hospital, about 1/2 hr outside detroit. Competes for pts (in some ways) with other huge hospitals in detroit city (henry ford; beaumont). Only 4 mos elective, but will carve out more time if u want to do research. Preponderance of affluent private patients means the hosp. has a (+) cash flow... they bought off pfizer's abanddoned bldgs and are slowly converting to research lab, etc, space. Live patient conference.

    Choice of prelim at U of M or St Joe's. St joe's is community prog. in an average-income suburb, more bread&butter medicine with MICU & neurosurg rotations. UoFM has more zebras, no micu, ?no neurosurg.

    NYU -
    Excellent hospital. Pays you well enough (starts 60k) to afford manhattan, but not housing allowance as such. Good volume, but competes with other NYC hospitals for pts. Rusk institute (Dr Rusk was founder of PM&R). No international experiences during residency. No dinner the nite before, but got to meet w/ residents during lunch & during breaks b/w interviews.

    Partners - mgh/bwh
    It's reputation & history carries itself... You can do anything you want anywhere in boston. 10 mos elective time. lot of opportunities for residents to teach, but faculty teaching to residents was not as strong "residents teach each other" . You can create your own subspecialty. 140 neuro faculty. Progress notes still on paper. Lot of commute between sites. Very high volume prog. >80 hrs/wk? website itself has 75 h/wk planned out. Per one of my boston friends "every prog is well above 80 hrs regardless of specialty", but he's an ortho resident...

    U Rochester, NY
    PGMSTP program for academics. Strength in neuromuscular diseases, with a big (although unconventional) alzheimer's guy and the father of neuroregeneration. Excellent, top notch teaching is a priority. MOderately high volume. 5-6 mos of electives. Home of the biopsychosocial model.

    UCLA
    #1 in NIH $$, broad pt. base, high volume program. You do 1 mo/yr out in the valley - traffic . up to 6 mos of research. Translational research. Limited physical space for expanding the dept. 8-10 mos electives? LA is expensive, but they don't make up for it.

    UCSD
    Excellent research goes on there, but the program itself struck me more as one that generates ppl interested in going to private practice. only 4 residents/yr --> can get pulled from electives to cover wards. I didn't really "click" with the PD as I had some other places.

    UNC:
    See what I wrote for duke. Lot of research at UNC, almost as much as duke. This place is really a hidden gem. Large hospital with mod-hi volume. Very friendly faculty,with lots of research, but no real research prog. for residents. They offered to create one. Excellent place to train to become a good clinician, though.

    UTSW:
    Moderately high volume program, 7 mos elective time. applying for R-25 grant. Leadership change in the future, will bring the prog. to the next level. Very friendly group of residents. Right now, has a lot of old buildings but they will be rebuilding parkland hospital (expected completion 2014). VA affiliated. Mod-high volume. Has the potential to become a truly great program w/ the new chair and construction. very friendly residents.

    As I understand it, austin is a separate med school / department. not a lot of exchange b/w the two sites. Initially you may officially be from UTSW-dallas until they are up & running on their own?? I'll let someone who is from texas confirm or clarify this.

    Vandy:
    Outstanding EMR .. residents like it better than the VA EMR (which says a lot). Lots of computers. 5 mos electives. Awesome PD & chair. Rapidly expanding their program. Building a new neuro-icu tower without net expansion. 55 faculty. Some areas of neuro are limited. Moderately high volume. Strong in epilepsy. Apparently well known for peds-neuro.

    Wash U (St Louis)
    Tons of elective time. Somewhat insular. Huge volume, but has a private attending service so that resident's aren't overwhelmed. 11 months of electives!! Great place for budding academicicans. Lots of $$, insane amount of construction/remodeling. One of the best places for neurodegeneration. Lots of TBI work. Moya moya clinic.

    Pitt:
    Excellent hospital, large volume. Lots of research $$. Lots of neurodegeneration as well.

    U washington-Seattle:
    Large volume, covers 5 states. Affilated w/ fred hutchinson centre. Awesome city, awesome ppl, really laid back w/ mt ranier in your back yard. lot of neuroscience research. PD is supportive of clinician scientists

    Northwestern
    funded PSTP program for academicians. Moderate volume. Lots of competition for patients in chicago. They say 50% public patients, this figure probably includes VA. Strong neuro-rehab (RIC is one of the premier rehab progs in the country). Lot of neuroscience research. Dr. Kessler is old school in the New York tradition...

    Loss of Evanston hosp (now called northshore). is a good thing, as the commute out there is hell.

    U Chicago (Pritzker)
    small icu. competes w/ northwestern, rush & uic/christ hosp. for patients. U of C hospital has had some financial issues but I think they're getting over it now. Unclear what plans are for incorporating northshore hosp. The med campus is physically on the same campus as the undergrad campus.

    Stanford
    Moderate volume, but quite impressive considering stanford is stuck away in palo alto. va is slower. Stanford has a policy of not expanding its faculty & only recruiting the "best". Friendly residents. bay area is expensive as hell to buy, but very affordable in terms of rents (now). A fair amount of translational research.
  33. Guero

    Guero The qt3.14 Plaidapus

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    I'm intending to apply to MD/PhD programs at many of this applicant's institutions, with UCLA and Vandy being my top two choices. S/he must have attended an awesome medical school and scored very well on the USMLE steps. Would you mind contacting this anonymous contributor to ask if s/he'd be willing to elaborate on what school s/he attended and what scores s/he made on the USMLE steps? That'll give me an idea of how well I must perform to land similar interviews after graduation...

    Thanks!

  34. MedStud331

    MedStud331

    Joined:
    08.30.10
    Messages:
    1
    UNC Neurology residency program:

    I’m currently a 4th year med student at UNC Chapel Hill who rotated through neurology and was considering neurology as a career for awhile. However, I got turned off by my experience here and just want to provide some information about the program for those who might be considering neurology at UNC. To be fair, I’ve definitely enjoyed pretty much all of my rotations at UNC and speak very highly about the school and basically all the other specialities I rotated through.. However, I feel like I should warn other fourth year students about the UNC Neurology program for these objective reasons...
    First when I rotated through I was assigned to work all of the same shifts as the second year neurology resident who was my “buddy” so I can speak about their schedule in detail. Basically the first thing that is obvious is that they work EXTREMELY HARD!! The hours are extremely long and the work is intense and has very little down time. I don’t know where some of these other reviews online came from years ago that said UNC is laid back, but its definitely not the case now. Every other day on wards which they do like 5 or 6 months on the first year, they work from about 7am to 830-9pm. Then they are back the next day at 7am again. Basically I was more tired doing these neurology shifts than I was doing internal medicine or ICU. Not only that, you can see from the bags under the residents eyes and their general unhappiness that they work extremely hard.

    Apparently there have been a lot of change over the past few years from the new chairman or program director that have increased their workloads a lot. I overheard that they are trying to get approval for more residents to try to carry more of the load but that process is still years away. Apparently over the years all the other services who used to rotate through neurology such as medicine, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, and pediatrics hvae pulled their residents out of the neurology rotation because their residents hated it.
    Also, I think the new chairman or program director or someone must be pretty tough because I overheard clearly that they forced out two residents in the past couple of years including one guy just this past year who I worked in clinic with and seemed pretty smart! Scary :(.
    One last thing that struck me as unusual is that when I was on call I noticed my resident “buddy” was calling his senior resident on the phone about new patients in the ED and not talking to an attending at all. I asked about this and was told that this is a new attending requested change over the past few years where the senior residents have to be available by phone at all hours to discuss new admissions in the ER and the attendings usually aren’t contacted at all until they come in the next morning. I asked if the residents liked this and was told that the senior residents don’t like it very much because it is very tiring being on call at all times on the phone. Maybe that’s how all neurology programs are I don’t really know, but it just struck me as a lot different than internal medicine where you always call the attending about new patients when you’re on call and seemed like a lot of extra work for the upper level residents.
    So, not that the UNC Neurology resident program is a definite no go, but just wanted to warn people about the very intense and strict nature of the program so you know what you are getting into if you choose to come here. Good luck!

  35. LeopoldStotch

    LeopoldStotch

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    As one of the current neurology residents at UNC, I feel compelled to set the record straight regarding the previous post.

    It's true that the neurology program at UNC has been undergoing some significant changes recently with regards to the residency program. Whereas in the past, UNC neuro had a reputation for being a very laid-back program, the current chairman and residency director have been actively making changes in the program in an effort to improve the reputation of UNC and to improve residency education so that graduates of the program will feel more comfortable "flying solo" when they leave UNC. These changes have led to more work and more responsibility; for instance, we just recently opened up a dedicated neurosciences ICU (neuro and neurosurg both have admitting privileges to the unit), and so all the PGY-3s have to do a month of ICU now. The previous poster mentioned that the second-year neuro residents work extremely hard. This is true; the program is front-loaded such that the PGY-2 year is the hardest year, but it does get better (i.e. less in-house call) as you rise in seniority (by the time of your PGY-4 year, you only do two weeks of night float). The previous poster also mentioned that the senior residents (i.e. PGY3s & 4s) need to be available by phone 24/7 to staff all patients seen by the junior residents. This is also true, and it's a recent change that ruffled a lot of feathers amongst the senior residents. Nonetheless, it seems that 24/7 senior resident coverage occurs at many neurology residency programs across the country now, and UNC is simply riding that wave.

    So yes, you will be working very hard if you come to UNC for residency. On the other hand, you also learn a lot through the sheer volume of patients that you see. By the time you graduate from the program, you'll probably feel quite comfortable managing any acute neurological issue that comes your way.

    With regards to the two residents who left the program, they both left on their own volition; nobody was ever "forced out". I won't go into the details behind why they left, as its not my place to say, but I want to make it absolutely clear that these two individuals chose to leave; the faculty at UNC does not "fire" its residents.

    Is the program perfect? Of course not; there are a lot of potential areas of improvement to the program that remain works in progress (e.g. the heavy workload would be much more manageable if we had more residents in the program, and the administration is working on that). But you'd be hard-pressed to find a program anywhere in the country that doesn't have its own set of flaws. The bottom line is, if you're on the lazy side and hoping for a really chill residency program where you don't have to take any call, this isn't the program for you. On the other hand, if you're not afraid of a little hard work, and your goal for residency is to become the most competent neurologist that you can be, definitely take a look at UNC before you pass judgment.
  36. Buddhi

    Buddhi

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    Thanks a lot for contributing these insights to the programs as it immensely helps new entrants like myself. In going through the "Interview Feedback" section on studentdoctor.net, I noticed very few feedbacks for Neurology. Have there been any reasons in the past for not using it?

    I understand that discussions such as that for UNC above are not necessarily "interview" feedbacks -- although still pertinent.

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