DarksideAllstar

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I am probably (almost assuredly) making more out of this than I should, but please bear with me.
1. My school does not have a path residency program.
2. It would have been really nice to do a rotation here and get a letter from an attending (see #1).
3. I need a letter from an outside program (see#1).
4. Can anyone recommend a university program that would allow me to have a lot of interaction with an attending (for purposes of letter, as long as there are no major f-ups on my part)? (see #3)
5. I am primarily interested in staying on the West coast, so if anyone can recommend student-friendly programs to rotate at that would be great.

thanks for any help.
 

b&ierstiefel

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Not having done any away rotations at all I am unable to comment but I would give a shout out to these programs (why not do your away rotation in Cali, right?): UCSF, Cedars-Sinai, UCLA, Stanford, UC-Irvine, Harbor.

From recalling previous and somewhat related posts, I seem to remember a few SDN'ers having done away rotations at least at Cedars, Stanford, and Harbor. Not sure about the other three.

Found this thread for you:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=162354

Finally, I don't think it's hard to get path letters (but who knows...maybe my path letters weren't all that). And getting letters from attendings out west would be good if you're wanting to stay out on the west (pathology is quite but not exclusively regional when it comes down to who knows who). My pathology rotation mainly consisted of sitting in on signouts in the mornings and optional activities in the afternoon (during which I would sit in on other signouts in different organ systems just to get a flavor). Sitting in on signouts represents the time when you will have a lot of interaction with an attending. Another way to have lots of interactions with a particular attending is to do a pathology research month.
 

stormjen

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I found getting Pathology letters to be really easy, so it will be just a matter of finding which residency program you most want to get into. Then, do an away rotation there, and get a couple letters from there. I don't know if you have to worry about how "available" the attendings there will be, as Pathology training is all about working one on one with attendings. If you want to look extra special, do a presentation at the end of your elective.
 

mrp

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Don't forget about UCSD. I would say that we are a very "student friendly" program, and we are inclined to take people that rotate here (our program ROL this year is stacked with people that did our surg path rotation). We didn't have alot of spots this year (3), but we should have a few more openings next year (5-6, i think).

Plus, if you can impress Noel Weidner and get a letter from him, that will go a long way.

Cheers and good luck to all the people in the match this year. Don't panic!

-mrp
 

LADoc00

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mrp said:
Don't forget about UCSD. I would say that we are a very "student friendly" program, and we are inclined to take people that rotate here (our program ROL this year is stacked with people that did our surg path rotation). We didn't have alot of spots this year (3), but we should have a few more openings next year (5-6, i think).

Plus, if you can impress Noel Weidner and get a letter from him, that will go a long way.

Cheers and good luck to all the people in the match this year. Don't panic!

-mrp
SD has that rotate through Kaiser thing going on, so do lots of residents get plugged into the Kaiser system?? From my experience this connection is unique to SD, kinda cool.
 

mrp

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LADoc00 said:
SD has that rotate through Kaiser thing going on, so do lots of residents get plugged into the Kaiser system?? From my experience this connection is unique to SD, kinda cool.
Rotation through Kaiser is part of the UCSD surgical pathology fellowship. Dr. Weidner gives preference to UCSD residents, so if you are a resident and want to do it, it is basically yours. The fellowship has four parts: three months at Kaiser, three months at Children's Hospital, three months as gross room supervisor/consults (this is in flux), and three months as hot seat at UCSD. According to everyone who has done it, the best part is the hot seat. This is because you see each and every case that comes throught the department every day, and are forced to write down (and defend, if necesary) a provisional dx.

Otherwise, residents do not rotate through Kaiser, unless you organize something yourself. I'm sure the faculty would accomodate a rotation there if a resident insisted, but no one has done that recently, as far as I am aware of.

-mrp
 

LADoc00

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mrp said:
Rotation through Kaiser is part of the UCSD surgical pathology fellowship. Dr. Weidner gives preference to UCSD residents, so if you are a resident and want to do it, it is basically yours. The fellowship has four parts: three months at Kaiser, three months at Children's Hospital, three months as gross room supervisor/consults (this is in flux), and three months as hot seat at UCSD. According to everyone who has done it, the best part is the hot seat. This is because you see each and every case that comes throught the department every day, and are forced to write down (and defend, if necesary) a provisional dx.

Otherwise, residents do not rotate through Kaiser, unless you organize something yourself. I'm sure the faculty would accomodate a rotation there if a resident insisted, but no one has done that recently, as far as I am aware of.

-mrp
Given Noel is elite and his consult service likely equally elite, the SP year sounds like a must. He was the former heart and soul of diagnostic SP and is a living legend of BWH training, his microscope from residency was literally enshrined (dunno now) at BWH along with Lawrence Weiss'. Dats a true story too:) If surgical pathologists were Kung Fu fighters Weidner would beat pretty much most people in So Cal and fight Kempson at Stanford to a stalemate. Throw a tiger in the ring and I would pay serious money to see that battle.
 

mrp

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LADoc00 said:
Given Noel is elite and his consult service likely equally elite, the SP year sounds like a must. He was the former heart and soul of diagnostic SP and is a living legend of BWH training, his microscope from residency was literally enshrined (dunno now) at BWH along with Lawrence Weiss'. Dats a true story too:) If surgical pathologists were Kung Fu fighters Weidner would beat pretty much most people in So Cal and fight Kempson at Stanford to a stalemate. Throw a tiger in the ring and I would pay serious money to see that battle.
Yes, I would not have considered residency here if it weren't for NW. He has made the AP side of the residency much better and alot more rigorous. UCSD reportedly had the atmosphere of a summer camp before he got here about five years ago.

All of the fellowship graduates say that, while it is somewhat unpleasant to get beat on by NW, the fellowship is mandatory if you want to finish this program with surg path skills. I'm applying for it now for 2006-2007.

-mrp
 

cjw0918

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This is funny. I met NW a long time ago and thought he was a jerk. I mentioned my encounter with NW to another attending pathologist at a different institution, and he laughed his head off. He did his residency with NW and said he's always been able to "alienate most people within a few minutes." He then complimented my judge of character. (Not trying to bash UCSD b/c it's an awesome program and NW makes it better, just relaying a story...) Good luck!
 

LADoc00

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cjw0918 said:
This is funny. I met NW a long time ago and thought he was a jerk. I mentioned my encounter with NW to another attending pathologist at a different institution, and he laughed his head off. He did his residency with NW and said he's always been able to "alienate most people within a few minutes." He then complimented my judge of character. (Not trying to bash UCSD b/c it's an awesome program and NW makes it better, just relaying a story...) Good luck!
The point is not he is a nice guy, screw nice guys, nice guys wont get your butt a job. Nice guys dont tell you when you screwed the pooch on some soft tissue lesion you thought was benign or when you miss microorganisms in a GMS stain. Nice guys dont sit in your corner and stick up for you when some rabid craphead comes after you. You want junkyard dogs on your side, not carebears.

Imagine youre in a huge Kung Fu fight, do you want Bruce Lee backing you up, knowing that he will likely be an a-hole ripping on your "Flying Tiger" Kung-Fu style or do you want Charlotte from Sex in the City on your side always telling you how pretty you look, even when you suck a$$.
 

cytoborg

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Back to the OP's question, I agree with Stormjen, just decide which program(s) you'd like to check out and rotate there. Path attendings in general are really cool and will be happy to write you a letter if you show enthusiasm and committment.

I don't think it's necessary to know at this point which program you'd want to do residency - you won't know that for sure until you see several different places. Do a couple of rotations at a couple different institutions to get a feel for what's out there.
 

cjw0918

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LADoc00 said:
The point is not he is a nice guy, screw nice guys, nice guys wont get your butt a job. Nice guys dont tell you when you screwed the pooch on some soft tissue lesion you thought was benign or when you miss microorganisms in a GMS stain. Nice guys dont sit in your corner and stick up for you when some rabid craphead comes after you. You want junkyard dogs on your side, not carebears.

Imagine youre in a huge Kung Fu fight, do you want Bruce Lee backing you up, knowing that he will likely be an a-hole ripping on your "Flying Tiger" Kung-Fu style or do you want Charlotte from Sex in the City on your side always telling you how pretty you look, even when you suck a$$.

I get your point LADoc. I'm not saying I want someone who will to let me slide by when I'm screwing up. I'm a fan of accountability. I want to hear about it when I'm wrong. I think it's the overall reeking of arrogance that bothered me. I mean, ok, everyone knows you're a fantastic pathologist NW, now get over yourself.
 

FindingMyself

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My school doesn't have a path residency either, and I did a rotation there anyway. It was a great experience. I got lots of time with the attendings, and got all three of my letters from them during that rotation. Because there were no residents, I basically acted as aresident, and got to do everything the residents would do.