FoughtFyr

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There are no scutwork.com reviews. Does anyone know this program? There is (appearenly) a flight program - details? EMS contact? I'm trying to decide how to fill a limited number of interviews. any thoughts would be helpful...

- H
 

greatdane

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here is what I know (limited). When I did my away rotation at cinci, the clerkship director there did his em/im residency at Allegheny. I know there is a flight program because he said he flew as a FP. He loved it. He said there is "feeling" in the area that Pitt is the "better" of the two, but Allegheny is strong. ..and getting a position like the 4th year clerkship director at cinci shows it must be well respected. i am interviewing there next week, so i will let ya know what i think if that helps any.
 

GCS:3

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I did a month there, so I can answer questions. The staff are all nice people, easy to work with. Good diversity and interests, too. There is a bit of a competitive air with Pitt, but at high levels everyone gets along, and we even had combined grand rounds one day. I got the impression that if you train here, you'd be ok anywhere, but if you're hardcore into research, then Pitt might be stronger.

The residents seem happy with most rotations, but PICU (at Children's of Pittsburgh) is a rotation that seems to leave a bad taste in their mouths. They work you pretty hard in some of the off service rotations, but it's getting better with the 80 hour requirement. One resident got like 5 days extra off at the end of the Neuro month, so she could stay under 80 average. You get a lot of ICU exposure, I think it was 6 months with CCU, MICU, Trauma ICU, Neuro ICU, etc. Makes for a busy residency, but confident residents who have NO problems with procedures. EM does airway. Teaching is protected time, and all on one day for the most part, plus M+M's and Rosen Rounds.

As for EMS, there's tons of opportunity for ridealongs on ground or air. LifeFlight just celebrated 25 years, so it's a well established program with 5-6 choppers. Dr. PS Martin heads it up, and is VERY proud of it.

I liked Allegheny, so let me know if you have any more questions. I'd like to hear what other people think about it compared to other smaller programs, so just keep this thread going...:D
 

DrQuinn

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Allegheny is a good program... I ranked it 5th on my ROL... it was a great hospital and most of the residents seemed pretty happy. It was an overall strong porgram in my opinion with nothing really to stand out besides the EMS part but nothing lacking at all.

I met a 2nd year who is actually rotating at our hospital (TGH) on a PICU rotation, he seemed super cool and very friendly. He also seemed pretty dang smart (of course he had his carol rivers book in hand).

Q, DO
 

Future EM?

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Received an invite from this program, but no nothing about it or the area. Heard anything? Interviewed or rotated there before? How is Pittsburgh to live in?
 

tonem

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I don't know much about Allegheny but I do know that Pittsburgh is a surprisingly nice place to live. That being said, I'd only stay if I did EM at Pitt. (only because family is in California)
 

PimplePopperMD

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I've heard nice things about the hospital (it is involved in the training of MCP med students), but know precious little of it first-hand... but I'll find out on my interview as well for the combined IM/EM.

The brochure they sent out seems nice enough, right?
 

AmoryBlaine

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With UPMC in town (and getting bigger from what I hear) it seems like being a AGH would be a little bit like dating the hot girl's ugly sister...

Seriously, when I interviewed at Pitt they pointed out Allegheny Gen and said "there's the other program." I think the dynamic is similar to Regions/Hennepin and St Johns/Henry Ford.
 

GCS:3

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AGH and Pitt are completely different programs. Sure if you want to go to the big name program Pitt's good. Academics aren't for everyone, though. Allegheny does a great job training community docs. After finishing my residency at AGH I'm working at a huge ED in Seattle, and slid right into the rhythm, no problem. Academics aren't unobtainable, though, as 2 grads from my year did go to fellowship though, both at Pitt.

The AGH program is smaller, less uptight, has flight and ground EMS exposure, great attendings, and just about all your rotations in-house. We do have a PICU rotation at Children's, which Pitt only offers as an elective. Local ED's (those unaffiliated with UPMC anyway) often "prefer AGH grads because they don't require 6 months to catch up to the pace of a real ED." (Quote from a local ED Director who was himself a pitt grad)

Honestly I'd say AGH is a solid program that doesn't get as much credit as it's due exactly because Pitt is so close. If Pittsburgh were a more desirable city AGH would be a very competitive program.
 
Mar 26, 2011
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I had interviewed here and was not impressed at all. I was actually shocked to see and hear the things I experienced given I met a recent graduate of the program who was a clinical stud! When I asked the former graduate about what I learned and saw, his response "Wow, that place really took a turn for the worse. Thank God I got out when I did."

When I interviewed at their rival UPMC, it was complete 180 degrees. They have solid solid program with great structure and enthusiasm. Many of the residents I met were tired but extremely happy. Many of the residents at UPMC told me that the faculty is super interested in the program as well as the education and the well being of the residents. Many residents state that they go out and hang out socially with a lot of the faculty and PDs.

Like PlasticCigar, I did not rank Allegheny General at all as there were many concerns with this program. I will give my personal reasons as to why I left the program off my list.

1. A majority of the faculty left and some of the residents who were openly honest said that the faculty that left were great and the remaining were ok. Concerning when you have a lot of great Attendings leave in a short amount of time. Pride in their own program was lacking!

2. Residents told me lectures were horrible and it has been a problem for the last 4-5 years!! A complaint given by many of the residents is that Attendings rarely attend these lectures and rarely provide any input. Furthermore, some of the residents complained that they sometimes don't find out when they are giving lectures until a week before they are scheduled. They say the schedule is chaotic. A majority of the lectures are resident given with barely input from any specialist or outside people.

3. No simulation in the last 2-3 years!!! They have access to a simulation center but they haven't used it and no plans on using it in the near future.

4. My interview with the Program Director was awkward. Some aspects of the program that were mentioned by the residents at the meet and greet the PD was unaware of. Kind of weird when the Program Director doesn't know what is and isn't offered at your own program. I asked some of the residents the responsiveness of the PD and a majority said that it is very slow. Many of them just kept quiet when I asked the question "How open is your PD to problems and suggestions to curriculum change?"

5. I am a big EMS guy. While their Flight Director is a higher up guy in some flight society, there is no structure to the EMS. It's pretty much do what you want on your own time. Many of the residents state they didn't do any EMS because you have to schedule it during your off days. You can attend some war scenario and fulfill your EMS requirement but there is no basic education on EMS. Most of the residents expressed their disdain for EMS and someone prided that they skimmed on their EMS experience and are able to graduate. I understand that you may not like EMS but I think its pretty important that an Emergency Medicine Physician to learn Emergency Medical Services during residency.

6. One of the Upper Level residents told me they are doing 12 hour shifts now because a resident left the program a year ago and a couple of the residents are thinking of leaving the program this year. The resident did not disclose the reasons (e.g. Personal, Family, Medical, Change of Career?) No biggie if you can't say but I was curious that there were current residents looking to leave!!

7. The hospital system just closed down 2 of its hospitals and from what I hear and have read, they still have a long way to go in terms of financial stability. When I asked about electives, many of them stated due to financial issues, few electives are available.

I personally feel that this program had way too many concerns. I spoke to others on the interview trail and voiced similar concerns as well. When rank list came, I had interviewed at 17 places and felt I had a good chance of matching with ranking 16 places - matched at my number one!!!
 

drexmedic

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Sorry, couldn't let this last message be the last word on our residency. Let me take it point by point.

1. We had a bunch of faculty leave in 2008-2009ish. One has since returned, but we didn't make it back to full staff until early this year. I did a 4th year rotation as a medical student, so I met some of the faculty involved, and I cannot claim that the faculty departing were all "better" than the faculty remaining, and some of the new ones are pretty awesome. I didn't know the outgoing ones as well, though, so take that for what it's worth.

2. Attending attendance at lectures has improved greatly. Not surprising, since at peak faculty loss those who were left were working a lot of extra clinical shifts; now that we're back at full staff, there are consistently 2-4 faculty at every lecture.

3. We've finally gotten simulation back up and running monthly, now that the faculty are no longer working as many extra clinical shifts.

4. I don't know who this interviewee was talking to about "staying silent" when asked about curriculum change. The curriculum changed between my 4th year elective and my intern year, and (I think) has been tweaked every year since.

5. We don't spoon-feed anyone EMS, and I fear the basic EMS education for anyone not doing the assistant medical director program is less than optimal. The interns are now scheduled EMS days into their ED schedule, but I don't think they do any less clinical time than I did (in other words, EMS time wasn't on your "day off," rather it was a day you were expected to work but didn't have scheduled. Now it's scheduled). (That said, if you do the assistant medical director program, your EMS time is going to be more than just riding on the ambulance, which I did enough of in my previous career, thank you.)

6. The seniors at the time were working longer shifts for 2 reasons: they were the last class of 8 residents (we now take 10), and one of their members was fired. Not "left"--fired. We did have one of our interns leave at the end of the 2010-11 year...to be closer to her daughter. (She's already been replaced, ironically by someone with the same first name.)

7. Our health system is being bought by the region's dominant insurer, and one of the closed hospitals is re-opening early next year.

The city itself, by the way, is probably the most underrated city in the world. Not the best, just the most underrated. And you can afford to live here on a resident's salary.
 
Mar 26, 2011
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Health system bond rating just went into junk status and it has a long way to go. The insurance company is still negotiating with UPMC as directed by the state government.
 

shoal

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http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11356/1198673-100-0.stm

Looks like an agreement with UPMC is set through 2013. The bond rating of west penn - allegheny has been decreased by moody to it's lowest level possible.

At AGH, I don't believe you rotate at west penn especially given it has been closed. I don't think this financial bond rating of west penn effects the residency.

This discussion may create unnecessary fear, affecting applicants ranking of this program.

Current residents please chime in.
 
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BeerIsGood2Me

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It disturbs me to see someone post a negative review of my program. Let me shed some light on why I think Allegheny General is a great place to train.

First, I think the faculty employed by Allegheny General is great. Many of our faculty have taken great interest in our education. Yes, we did have faculty leave our program. This was mainly due to financial reasons and family relocation as we all know community pays much more than academic. Furthermore, I think people would like to be closer to their support group/family. I have learned and continue to grow academically as a result of the enthusiasm thrusted by our faculty.

The EMS education is not as structured as other places. We don't thrust aeromedical/ground experience. We pride ourselves on promoting activities that benefit you in the long run. Most physicians who are trained in Emergency Medicine do not fly post residency due to liability/insurance reasons. Therefore, we have taken an approach to make our residents become excellent EMS educators and administrators. Our residents have ample opportunity to teach paramedics/become involved in the administrative duties of EMS director. Our Emergency Department has a strong rapport with the surrounding EMS agencies as well as the Pittsburgh EMS. Many of our graduates have become EMS directors at other hospitals/programs without any further training. Furthermore, we are setting up an EMS fellowship program headed by a highly respected EMS Physician.

The education encountered by any resident is simple: "You get out what you put in." Most of our residents are highly motivated residents who pride themselves on enhancing their education and perfecting their clinical skills, and providing exceptional clinical care to patients. To complement this, our Program Director is someone who will help facilitate this enthusiasm by exhausting all means capable to provide the best educational experience for any resident. We have voiced our concerns over the years regarding the curriculum and changes for the better have been made. Our program constatly evaluates itself and makes changes to help achieve the goal of producing clinically superior Emergency Medicine Physicians. Simulation has now become a routine where we spend 4 hours a month at our acclaimed STAR center. Our lectures are standard and cover the basic information of what's tested. In my personal opinion, the real education a resident receives is the patients they see and learn from supported by the personal reading of what they have encountered. The education at Allegheny General is further supported by the excellent relations we have with our Cardiology, Pulmonary, Critical Care and etc. The physicians from other departments have no qualms in assisting us in advancing our education. On top of the EM faculty, this makes it a great learning experience.

I believe the person who posted a negative review may have some personal antagonism towards us as this person has only posted 3 posts. I would believe someone who has been here for 5 years. With the experience and education I have garnered throughout my 5 years, it has helped me achieve my goal of pursuing a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine. If I had to do it all over again, I would have ranked this program high again.
 
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shoal

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Beerisgood ---
Do you have any insight with regards to what is going on with highmark and how or if it will affect the residency? Opinions are helpful as well. thanks! PM me if necessary.
 
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drexmedic

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Beerisgood ---
Do you have any insight with regards to what is going on with highmark and how or if it will affect the residency? Opinions are helpful as well. thanks! PM me if necessary.
Nobody knows. If it goes through (which everybody thinks it will, though technically the merger hasn't cleared every last regulatory hurdle), we doubt it will affect the residency much, except insofar as it impacts things like improvements in efficiency and the building itself. (Highmark has told us our ED isn't big enough, as if we didn't know, and has sent architects through the place and they have drawn up a couple of sketches.) Highmark is already emphasizing efficiency, and that has helped us a lot--we aren't boarding nearly as long as my intern year just 2 short years ago, and I expect to see even more improvements in getting pts through the ED, which should improve the number of pts we see in a shift.

As a side note, this hospital has been bankrupt before (I'm sure if you do a search for "AHERF" you can find bits and pieces of the story), and bounced back. Even during the previous bankruptcy, I don't think training suffered, but I wasn't there. I was a medic in the area at the time, and I was impressed with the folks there long before I was in medical school.
 
Apr 26, 2016
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Long time lurker, posting on alternate account in order to remain anonymous. These threads greatly helped me and as such I am paying it forward. Good luck for future medical students. I won't go into the curriculum details or specifics since those are mostly readily available on their websites, but rather I made a long pro/con detail list along my interview trail and I will highlight my thoughts from that list.

Pro: great COL, fun city, surprisingly academic, nice faculty, great food, nice hospital, happy residents, relaxed interview, they brought up funding issues of the past but seems to be stable

Con:
like the ugly stepchild of the city, old small ER, weird dinner @ night before, less academic

Overall impressions
Gut feeling:6/10
Facilities/resources: 5/10
Location: 8/10
Didactics: can't comment
Prestige: 5/10
Research: 5/10
Shift/hours/wellness: 9/10