4424

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2005
453
6
Status
Attending Physician
I was wondering anyone's opinion about the best overall experience residencies. I know the standard list of "best programs", but I'm asking more of best teaching residencies, good relationships between residents and attendings, good hours, where residents seem happy? Thanks in advance for any opinions!
 

Andrew_Doan

Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2002
5,633
17
San Diego, CA
www.facebook.com
Status
Attending Physician
Iowa has good didactics, strong surgical experience, and the staff are very supportive. I'm not biased BTW! ;)

This is my review of Iowa on Scutwork:

Typical work load is Mon-Fri Clinic from 9 AM - 5 PM.
PGY-2 Call is Q5Days with coverage of all weekends and holidays. About 20% of the call will be busy. We see a good number of traumas. Iowa City is small, but we cover the whole state of Iowa and surrounding states.

PGY-3 - Call is about 2 times monthly and only during M-Th. Very light load.

PGY-4 - Call is Q4Days as senior backup for the first call. Good surgical experience during call.

Teaching

Faculty are outstanding. Many are well-published. All are interested in teaching and working with residents. The faculty here are a big bonus to the program. Teaching occurs daily at 8 AM during Dept. Morning Rounds. We also have specialty clinic rounds after clinic to review patients. There are also afternoon conferences. Saturday lectures are given by the faculty during a 2-3 hour block on Sat. AM between Sept. - June. It's a great time to discuss basics and cutting edge developments. We have good didactics at Iowa. In recent years, 80% of the graduates have gone to Fellowships at Iowa, Bascom Palmer, Cleveland Clinic, and MEEI. Over the history of our program, 50% have gone to Fellowships. Iowa trains physicians for academics AND private practice. Surgical volume here is excellent with residents performing: 140-170 Cataracts over 100 plastic procedures over 100 retina and anterior segment lasers 30+ cornea procedures including refractive surgery 25-30 strabismus procedures 20+ open globe repairs glaucoma surgeries is variable with residents performing 5-15 filtering procedures.

Atmosphere

What do you think about the camaraderie among peers, attending-resident relationships? Outstanding! How is the physical environment of work area? New facilities with good support staff. What is the percentage of foreign medical graduates in the program? Zero or very low. Most importantly, do you currently have a life outside of work? Yes... of course. Iowa is an extremely resident friendly program.

Conclusion

What stands out in this program compared to others? Strong didactics and designed for resident friendly environment. What are the drawbacks? Parking and Iowa City is small. Would you feel prepared once finished? Absolutely. The job offers are abundant for Iowa grads. Would you choose this program if you had to reapply? Yes. This was my number one choice. What do most of the graduates end up going into? (Prestigious fellowships?, practice?...) 50-50%.
 
OP
4

4424

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2005
453
6
Status
Attending Physician
Andrew_Doan said:
Iowa has good didactics, strong surgical experience, and the staff are very supportive. I'm not biased BTW! ;)

This is my review of Iowa on Scutwork:

Typical work load is Mon-Fri Clinic from 9 AM - 5 PM.
PGY-2 Call is Q5Days with coverage of all weekends and holidays. About 20% of the call will be busy. We see a good number of traumas. Iowa City is small, but we cover the whole state of Iowa and surrounding states.

PGY-3 - Call is about 2 times monthly and only during M-Th. Very light load.

PGY-4 - Call is Q4Days as senior backup for the first call. Good surgical experience during call.

Teaching

Faculty are outstanding. Many are well-published. All are interested in teaching and working with residents. The faculty here are a big bonus to the program. Teaching occurs daily at 8 AM during Dept. Morning Rounds. We also have specialty clinic rounds after clinic to review patients. There are also afternoon conferences. Saturday lectures are given by the faculty during a 2-3 hour block on Sat. AM between Sept. - June. It's a great time to discuss basics and cutting edge developments. We have good didactics at Iowa. In recent years, 80% of the graduates have gone to Fellowships at Iowa, Bascom Palmer, Cleveland Clinic, and MEEI. Over the history of our program, 50% have gone to Fellowships. Iowa trains physicians for academics AND private practice. Surgical volume here is excellent with residents performing: 140-170 Cataracts over 100 plastic procedures over 100 retina and anterior segment lasers 30+ cornea procedures including refractive surgery 25-30 strabismus procedures 20+ open globe repairs glaucoma surgeries is variable with residents performing 5-15 filtering procedures.

Atmosphere

What do you think about the camaraderie among peers, attending-resident relationships? Outstanding! How is the physical environment of work area? New facilities with good support staff. What is the percentage of foreign medical graduates in the program? Zero or very low. Most importantly, do you currently have a life outside of work? Yes... of course. Iowa is an extremely resident friendly program.

Conclusion

What stands out in this program compared to others? Strong didactics and designed for resident friendly environment. What are the drawbacks? Parking and Iowa City is small. Would you feel prepared once finished? Absolutely. The job offers are abundant for Iowa grads. Would you choose this program if you had to reapply? Yes. This was my number one choice. What do most of the graduates end up going into? (Prestigious fellowships?, practice?...) 50-50%.
Thank you Dr. Doan. I must say, you do make Iowa sound pretty good! What is the city like to live in, etc?

Do you have any idea what the programs in Maryland, Virginia, north and south carolina, DC, california and florida are like? (obviously not all of them). Do any stand out as better learning experiences and resident friendly then others? Thank you in advance.
 
OP
4

4424

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2005
453
6
Status
Attending Physician
one more thing for dr. doan...how easy is it to set up an away rotation at iowa?
 

Andrew_Doan

Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2002
5,633
17
San Diego, CA
www.facebook.com
Status
Attending Physician
4424 said:
Thank you Dr. Doan. I must say, you do make Iowa sound pretty good! What is the city like to live in, etc?

Do you have any idea what the programs in Maryland, Virginia, north and south carolina, DC, california and florida are like? (obviously not all of them). Do any stand out as better learning experiences and resident friendly then others? Thank you in advance.
Bascom is great for visiting students.

Johns Hopkins is great IF you're aggressive and independent. Hopkins is not for the soft spoken. ;)

Duke is resident friendly like Iowa. I can't speak for any others.

Iowa City is great if you can handle the winters (4 months of cold). It's a small town but nice place to live. If you have a family, then it's a bigger plus. Where else can I drive 2 miles to get to work?!

It's easy to setup rotations here. I've meet a couple of people from SDN who've rotated here, and one matched here. He'll be a first year in 5 months.
 

JJMD

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2004
14
0
Status
Dr. Doan,

are those surgery numbers you quoted Category 1, i.e. your case from start to finish? If not, what are the numbers as primary surgeon?
 

Andrew_Doan

Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2002
5,633
17
San Diego, CA
www.facebook.com
Status
Attending Physician
JJMD said:
Dr. Doan,

are those surgery numbers you quoted Category 1, i.e. your case from start to finish? If not, what are the numbers as primary surgeon?
I only gave you Class 1 cases where I was the primary surgeon from start to finish. Certain cases required some attending help (e.g., if there was an intra-op surprise or difficulty); however, for the most part, it's me.

My open globe numbers, however, are less than the ones I gave above. I only have 5 open globes because my calls have been mild without many open globes. Another third year has over 12 open globes already this year. However, open globes are not a big deal if you have good surgical volume in other areas and can work with 8-0 nylon, 9-0 nylon, 10-0 nylon and silk sutures on scleral, limbus, and cornea.

My Class 3 numbers are 2X-3X the ones I quoted above. I am very happy with my numbers and training at the U of Iowa. :D
 

Morton

none
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2004
63
0
43
Status
Resident [Any Field]
4424 said:
Thank you Dr. Doan. I must say, you do make Iowa sound pretty good! What is the city like to live in, etc?

Do you have any idea what the programs in Maryland, Virginia, north and south carolina, DC, california and florida are like? (obviously not all of them). Do any stand out as better learning experiences and resident friendly then others? Thank you in advance.
I was really looking for a great teaching residency too. That and location were very important to me. The places I visited that I thought were great teaching residencies and the residents were happy were:

Wills -- probably the most complete package of any place I visited. The teaching is incredible, the faculty seemed very approachable, and the residents all seemed very happy.

Iowa -- just as Dr. Doan said. You just really need to be able to live in Iowa City, which is small and surrounded by nothing, but actually seemed pretty cool and has a big undergrad student body.

OHSU -- incredible place.

Duke -- maybe a little more rigorous, but teaching seemed great, and residents were pretty happy.

Scheie -- one of the residents, who's actually a friend, said she "couldn't be happier"

CPMC -- amazing program in an incredible location. The faculty all seemed incredibly nice, the residents do tons of surgery, and are very friendly and very happy. It doesn't have the reputation of other places, but this is mostly because it isn't affiliated with a university -- the faculty are for the most part very well-known. My personal favorite.

Emory -- another amazing program.


Good luck!
 
OP
4

4424

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2005
453
6
Status
Attending Physician
Morton said:
I was really looking for a great teaching residency too. That and location were very important to me. The places I visited that I thought were great teaching residencies and the residents were happy were:

Wills -- probably the most complete package of any place I visited. The teaching is incredible, the faculty seemed very approachable, and the residents all seemed very happy.

Iowa -- just as Dr. Doan said. You just really need to be able to live in Iowa City, which is small and surrounded by nothing, but actually seemed pretty cool and has a big undergrad student body.

OHSU -- incredible place.

Duke -- maybe a little more rigorous, but teaching seemed great, and residents were pretty happy.

Scheie -- one of the residents, who's actually a friend, said she "couldn't be happier"

CPMC -- amazing program in an incredible location. The faculty all seemed incredibly nice, the residents do tons of surgery, and are very friendly and very happy. It doesn't have the reputation of other places, but this is mostly because it isn't affiliated with a university -- the faculty are for the most part very well-known. My personal favorite.

Emory -- another amazing program.


Good luck!

great, thank you very much for that info. that was exactly what i was looking for! Thanks :)
 

dk23

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2004
51
0
Status
Sorry for the dumb question, but which program is "CPMC"?
 
OP
4

4424

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2005
453
6
Status
Attending Physician
dk23 said:
Sorry for the dumb question, but which program is "CPMC"?
I believe CPMC is- California Pacific Medical Center...in San Francisco
 

monkeysarefunny

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2004
14
0
Status
4424 said:
I believe CPMC is- California Pacific Medical Center...in San Francisco
Thanks for the info, Morton. One quick question, if you don't mind, though. I was looking into doing a rotation in Cali. Hadn't heard much about CPMC. Any idea how they do in terms of fellowship placement?

Thanks
 

Morton

none
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2004
63
0
43
Status
Resident [Any Field]
monkeysarefunny said:
Thanks for the info, Morton. One quick question, if you don't mind, though. I was looking into doing a rotation in Cali. Hadn't heard much about CPMC. Any idea how they do in terms of fellowship placement?

Thanks
Hey Monkey, I hadn't heard anything about Cal Pacific either before I applied. I had a friend who rotated there and he came back convinced it would be his #1 choice. I thought he was crazy, since it wasn't one of the "powerhouse" programs, but once I did a little research and visited for myself, I totally understood. I ended up putting it #1 ahead of places like Wills, Iowa, MEEI, Duke, Scheie, UCLA, Emory, etc. A good deal of this decision had to do with location, but by the time I had to make a rank list I was convinced that CPMC would train me as well as practically anywhere, would be a place where I would be very happy, and would enable me to go after even the most competitive of fellowships.

I struggled with the fellowship question, since I will very likely want to go after something competitive. CPMC's recent track record is amazing, with almost all residents getting their #1 choice for the past 5 or 6 years. The last resident who didn't get his #1 was a guy who was going for Glaucoma, and ended up at Harvard (his #2). Here are some of the recent fellowship placements from their website (http://www.cpmc.org/services/eye/education/residency/alumni.html):

2004
Salt Lake City, UT; Fellowship: Cornea

2003
Boston, MA; Fellowship: Pediatric Ophthalmology
Chicago, Il; Fellowship: Retina

2002
Irvine, CA; Fellowship: Cornea/Refractive Surgery
Austin, TX; Fellowship: Oculoplastics,
San Francisco, CA; Fellowship: Retina

2001
Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Children's Medical Center, Washington DC

1999
Glaucoma, Harvard University

1998
Oculoplastics, UCLA


Other things that influenced me were that:
- CPMC has a very prestigious retina department.
- The Chairman/Program Director (Susan Day) is the president of the AAO, is very well know, and struck me as a wonderful resident advocate.
- The numbers of class I surgeries residents graduate with is outstanding (avg graduating senior has over 250 cataracts, nat average is around 100, I think).
- The residents are very happy there, are not overworked, and train in a very nuturing environment
- The staggered start (which puts most applicants off at first) gives an academically-inclined resident time to start significant research before residency that can be continued through the residency, a resident interested in international ophtho a good amount of time to do international work, or an overworked intern time to enjoy life for a while.
- I can't imagine a better place to live than San Francisco (for me, at least).


Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck in the application process -- it's nerveracking, but very exciting too. Let me know if you have any more question about CPMC or wherever.
 
OP
4

4424

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2005
453
6
Status
Attending Physician
Morton said:
Hey Monkey, I hadn't heard anything about Cal Pacific either before I applied. I had a friend who rotated there and he came back convinced it would be his #1 choice. I thought he was crazy, since it wasn't one of the "powerhouse" programs, but once I did a little research and visited for myself, I totally understood. I ended up putting it #1 ahead of places like Wills, Iowa, MEEI, Duke, Scheie, UCLA, Emory, etc. A good deal of this decision had to do with location, but by the time I had to make a rank list I was convinced that CPMC would train me as well as practically anywhere, would be a place where I would be very happy, and would enable me to go after even the most competitive of fellowships.

I struggled with the fellowship question, since I will very likely want to go after something competitive. CPMC's recent track record is amazing, with almost all residents getting their #1 choice for the past 5 or 6 years. The last resident who didn't get his #1 was a guy who was going for Glaucoma, and ended up at Harvard (his #2). Here are some of the recent fellowship placements from their website (http://www.cpmc.org/services/eye/education/residency/alumni.html):

2004
Salt Lake City, UT; Fellowship: Cornea

2003
Boston, MA; Fellowship: Pediatric Ophthalmology
Chicago, Il; Fellowship: Retina

2002
Irvine, CA; Fellowship: Cornea/Refractive Surgery
Austin, TX; Fellowship: Oculoplastics,
San Francisco, CA; Fellowship: Retina

2001
Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Children's Medical Center, Washington DC

1999
Glaucoma, Harvard University

1998
Oculoplastics, UCLA


Other things that influenced me were that:
- CPMC has a very prestigious retina department.
- The Chairman/Program Director (Susan Day) is the president of the AAO, is very well know, and struck me as a wonderful resident advocate.
- The numbers of class I surgeries residents graduate with is outstanding (avg graduating senior has over 250 cataracts, nat average is around 100, I think).
- The residents are very happy there, are not overworked, and train in a very nuturing environment
- The staggered start (which puts most applicants off at first) gives an academically-inclined resident time to start significant research before residency that can be continued through the residency, a resident interested in international ophtho a good amount of time to do international work, or an overworked intern time to enjoy life for a while.
- I can't imagine a better place to live that San Francisco (for me, at least).


Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck in the application process -- it's nerveracking, but very exciting too. Let me know if you have any more question about CPMC or wherever.
wow thanks for all the info. one more question, do the residents stay mainly in CPMC san francisco or do they go to other hospital/sites? if so, how far? thanks :)
 
OP
4

4424

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2005
453
6
Status
Attending Physician
one more question for anyone. are there residency programs that offer PGY-1 at the same institution? would that only be possible if you did a prelim year and not a transitional year? sorry if that's a stupid question, i'm just not sure how it works..
 

Morton

none
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2004
63
0
43
Status
Resident [Any Field]
4424 said:
wow thanks for all the info. one more question, do the residents stay mainly in CPMC san francisco or do they go to other hospital/sites? if so, how far? thanks :)

There are 3 main locations:
- CPMC - Private non-profit.
- Highland - Large county hospital.
- Kaiser SF - Private practice pt population
 

PDT4CNV

Physician/Surgeon
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2004
270
1
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Morton said:
I was really looking for a great teaching residency too. That and location were very important to me. The places I visited that I thought were great teaching residencies and the residents were happy were:

Wills -- probably the most complete package of any place I visited. The teaching is incredible, the faculty seemed very approachable, and the residents all seemed very happy.

Iowa -- just as Dr. Doan said. You just really need to be able to live in Iowa City, which is small and surrounded by nothing, but actually seemed pretty cool and has a big undergrad student body.

OHSU -- incredible place.

Duke -- maybe a little more rigorous, but teaching seemed great, and residents were pretty happy.

Scheie -- one of the residents, who's actually a friend, said she "couldn't be happier"

CPMC -- amazing program in an incredible location. The faculty all seemed incredibly nice, the residents do tons of surgery, and are very friendly and very happy. It doesn't have the reputation of other places, but this is mostly because it isn't affiliated with a university -- the faculty are for the most part very well-known. My personal favorite.

Emory -- another amazing program.


Good luck!
I remember dealing with a similar lack of information regarding the programs when deciding where to interview.

I must agree that Wills is a fantastic program, I was extremely impressed. Facilities, faculty, residents, teaching were all top notch. There is an ER that must be staffed at night by the residents. If I remember correctly, two residents stay in house, one works half the night, the other the other half of the night. There is a lot of supervision here.

Iowa was also a very impressive program. No offense Dr. Doan, but the city was a little small for me, and I couldn't get the smell of maneur out of my nose from when I landed in cedar rapids before my interview, to the time I left. But the program itself is top notch, the residents and faculty all very nice. My father trained at Iowa though, so I had to at least take a look.

I had similar issues with Emory. The program was excellent. The facilities were not quite as nice, the location did not seem to safe. Also, the resident clinic director was a little eccentric. But overall a strong program. They spent a lot of money on the interview day and rented out this enormous convention center. The interview was hectic though, going from room to room to room to room. I was asked important questions such as, "what is your favorite color" and "name every band that eric clapton has ever played in." I did not travel hundreds of miles and stay two nights in a hotel for that. But, this place has an excellent reputation.

Scheie-Maybe things are different now, but the program was very research heavy. I spent hours during their orientation listening to research presentations from their faculty...I met more PhD's than MD's, and the surgical numbers were low compared to elsewhere (60-80 cataracts).

Bascom-dont like miami

U. Illinois-a good program, average surgical numbers, faculty were very nice, facilities average, one of the better programs in chicago. Saturday lectures.

Northwestern-facilities better than top notch, the hospital is beautiful. The faculty all extremely nice as were the residents when I interviewed. Surgical numbers were good, call is supposedly not bad at all-very little trauma. When I interviewed, the Lakeshore VA was slotted to be closed (source of majority of surgery). This issue has likely been resolved by now. Saturday lectures.

U. Minnesota-I really really liked this program. The facilities are great at the university, their VA, and their county hospital. Faculty were all very very nice. Surgical numbers excellent. Teaching excellent. In fact, if I remember correctly, they take on a senior resident from North Carolina's ophthalmology program because of the excess volume. If you can take the cold, it is not a ranked program, but a very strong clinical/surgical program. The city is actually pretty nice too. Highly recommend.

St. Louis University-A very resident friendly program. The facilities are nice, call is not bad. There is a lot of teaching here, and I believe they actually have weekly quizes from the academy basic science series. I think their VA is quite a drive away (possibly an overnight stay). They were very strong in plastics/Peds. The faculty were extremely nice. The residents did a lot of activities with eachother outside of work.

Baylor-a very strong program with high surgical volume. The residents seemed tired and worn out. Not a program for the more laid back/soft spoken individual. The facilities were nice though. The medical campus is huge. They had first year residents doing cataract surgery. The faculty were not as friendly and approachable as elsewhere.

Storm Eye in Charleston-Liked almost everything about this program. The city/weather is great. Facilities beautiful. Faculty very resident friendly. Good surgical numbers. Belongs on every residents rank list. Their oculoplastics experience seemed slightly lower than others.

U. Virginia-was not a program for me. Is a smaller program. Facilities were average, but faculty and residents were friendly. Is in a small college town.

UAB-very nice facilities. Huge faculty. Very retina heavy program-they have 8 retina fellows. High surgical volume 150-200 cataracts, lots of retina for the residents as well. Faculty and residents all very friendly. Call is brutal with one resident covering 5 hospitals at night (eye hospital, University hospital, VA, county hospital, and childrens hospital), lots of trauma. But in house call is only for the first year. Birmingham is a nicer city than you would think.

One word about scheduling interviews. If your thinking of the top ranked programs in the country, then you will be able to get interviews at most any program you want. You just can't to go to all of the interviews you are offered--many interviews are on the same day, and it is just too expensive financially and time wise. There are a lot of programs not on the "top ranked" lists that are as good if not better than many that are on the rank lists. You will hear a lot about programs by talking to people on the interview trail. Do this.

If I could do it again, I would have gone to the interviews at Casey Eye Institute, UT Memphis, Cleveland Clinic, Utah, West Virginia, Tufts.
 

samdo

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2005
24
0
Status
PDT4CNV said:
I remember dealing with a similar lack of information regarding the programs when deciding where to interview.

I must agree that Wills is a fantastic program, I was extremely impressed. Facilities, faculty, residents, teaching were all top notch. There is an ER that must be staffed at night by the residents. If I remember correctly, two residents stay in house, one works half the night, the other the other half of the night. There is a lot of supervision here.

Iowa was also a very impressive program. No offense Dr. Doan, but the city was a little small for me, and I couldn't get the smell of maneur out of my nose from when I landed in cedar rapids before my interview, to the time I left. But the program itself is top notch, the residents and faculty all very nice. My father trained at Iowa though, so I had to at least take a look.

I had similar issues with Emory. The program was excellent. The facilities were not quite as nice, the location did not seem to safe. Also, the resident clinic director was a little eccentric. But overall a strong program. They spent a lot of money on the interview day and rented out this enormous convention center. The interview was hectic though, going from room to room to room to room. I was asked important questions such as, "what is your favorite color" and "name every band that eric clapton has ever played in." I did not travel hundreds of miles and stay two nights in a hotel for that. But, this place has an excellent reputation.

Scheie-Maybe things are different now, but the program was very research heavy. I spent hours during their orientation listening to research presentations from their faculty...I met more PhD's than MD's, and the surgical numbers were low compared to elsewhere (60-80 cataracts).

Bascom-dont like miami

U. Illinois-a good program, average surgical numbers, faculty were very nice, facilities average, one of the better programs in chicago. Saturday lectures.

Northwestern-facilities better than top notch, the hospital is beautiful. The faculty all extremely nice as were the residents when I interviewed. Surgical numbers were good, call is supposedly not bad at all-very little trauma. When I interviewed, the Lakeshore VA was slotted to be closed (source of majority of surgery). This issue has likely been resolved by now. Saturday lectures.

U. Minnesota-I really really liked this program. The facilities are great at the university, their VA, and their county hospital. Faculty were all very very nice. Surgical numbers excellent. Teaching excellent. In fact, if I remember correctly, they take on a senior resident from North Carolina's ophthalmology program because of the excess volume. If you can take the cold, it is not a ranked program, but a very strong clinical/surgical program. The city is actually pretty nice too. Highly recommend.

St. Louis University-A very resident friendly program. The facilities are nice, call is not bad. There is a lot of teaching here, and I believe they actually have weekly quizes from the academy basic science series. I think their VA is quite a drive away (possibly an overnight stay). They were very strong in plastics/Peds. The faculty were extremely nice. The residents did a lot of activities with eachother outside of work.

Baylor-a very strong program with high surgical volume. The residents seemed tired and worn out. Not a program for the more laid back/soft spoken individual. The facilities were nice though. The medical campus is huge. They had first year residents doing cataract surgery. The faculty were not as friendly and approachable as elsewhere.

Storm Eye in Charleston-Liked almost everything about this program. The city/weather is great. Facilities beautiful. Faculty very resident friendly. Good surgical numbers. Belongs on every residents rank list. Their oculoplastics experience seemed slightly lower than others.

U. Virginia-was not a program for me. Is a smaller program. Facilities were average, but faculty and residents were friendly. Is in a small college town.

UAB-very nice facilities. Huge faculty. Very retina heavy program-they have 8 retina fellows. High surgical volume 150-200 cataracts, lots of retina for the residents as well. Faculty and residents all very friendly. Call is brutal with one resident covering 5 hospitals at night (eye hospital, University hospital, VA, county hospital, and childrens hospital), lots of trauma. But in house call is only for the first year. Birmingham is a nicer city than you would think.

One word about scheduling interviews. If your thinking of the top ranked programs in the country, then you will be able to get interviews at most any program you want. You just can't to go to all of the interviews you are offered--many interviews are on the same day, and it is just too expensive financially and time wise. There are a lot of programs not on the "top ranked" lists that are as good if not better than many that are on the rank lists. You will hear a lot about programs by talking to people on the interview trail. Do this.

If I could do it again, I would have gone to the interviews at Casey Eye Institute, UT Memphis, Cleveland Clinic, Utah, West Virginia, Tufts.
Utah is a powerhouse program. Residents get tons of cataract experience and they are building a huge new eye center ?200,000 sq ft.

USC is a very solid program. I have a friend that did his residency their and seemed very well rounded, even more so than UCLA. Plus you cant beat the weather in southern california.

I know that UT Memphis is a program that has been growing and improving since Dr. Haik took over as chairman. Lots of hospitals to cover, lots of glaucoma, trauma, and cataracts.

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary is another very very solid clinical volume, teaching program. It has a solid faculty and VERY resident oriented. Fellows are not even seen in the clinic. Lots of high volume surgery done by the residents. Plus you cant beat NEW YORK city for fun.

One thing i want to mentione about retina exposure. It is very overrated. In the real world all that hard retina training will not get you far since most residents get good exposure to medical retina. The programs that kill their residents with surgical retina is a pure waste. As a pgy4 resident the retina rotation required I basically be on call for a solid month. Very little sleep assisting in surgery days and nights. For what? Very much an echo of general surgery scut rotations. Now i send the patient with a tear or retinal detachment to the retina docotrs. I sure as hell am not going to do a buckle or vitrectomy end of story.

The 4 most important areas in your residency training, anterior segment surgery: cataract, glaucoma, refractive. Plastics and medical retina. Also try to learn some optical, contact lens along the way. With that said learn as much of everything as you can.

Samdo
 

rubensan

Senior Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2005
618
0
Pasadena, CA
Status
Resident [Any Field]
For those of you interested in being in California, I would give UC Davis a serious look. The medical campus is in Sacramento (90 minutes from the bay area or Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada mountains in your backyard) and the ophthalmology program is outstanding. residents are graduating with around 200 cataracts, you start operating (Phaco) your first year. faculty are great and well known (mannis, keltner, schwab, brandt), nice facilities, great teaching, extremely happy residents, time to enjoy life! They added a 4th resident starting in 2006 to keep pace with their expanding department (this will also make call better during the 1st year). next to usc, my favorite program.

Ruben