speciled15

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Bump. Anyone interviewed here since they implemented the new 3 + 1 system?
 

firsttima

5+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2010
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That really sucks to hear, I'm going to interview there soon.

I did, and had a really odd impression. I mean certainly one I wasn't expecting. It was complete chaos, their presentation barely contained any useful info, candid resident let me know they have had a couple of PDs quit, another hinted they had no intentions if implementing the16 hr work day next year. The mingling session wad loud, chaotic, with residents more eager to grab food and leave.
I was reeeeally disappointed I really wanted to like it
 

firsttima

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Dec 23, 2010
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Can any alum/current residents/ or current students or even other interviewees comment on this matter? It might help those of us that REALLY wanted to like this place. Especially based on their last year's fellowship match, which I think is very impressive.
 

gold&black2005

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Jul 16, 2002
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Can any alum/current residents/ or current students or even other interviewees comment on this matter? It might help those of us that REALLY wanted to like this place. Especially based on their last year's fellowship match, which I think is very impressive.
There were two monstrous posts on this last year...look at last year's rank list help thread and this:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=705365

I'm not sure what specific matter you're looking for comment on - my general impressions, though, were that the clinical training was strong at BU and if you make the right connections (read: research) and/or have the right profile (read: MD/PhD or heavily published IMG) all options are open for fellowship - the cards match the last two years has been stellar and BU residents have a good reputation. The mission of the place is AWESOME if you're into urban underserved medicine, and I found the residents to be hilarious and witty, albeit with somewhat of a Harvard chip on their collective shoulder.

Negatives...The program and its design/leadership left something to be desired, and BU students seemed to prefer elsewhere for training as a whole per my conversations on the trail. I'll leave it to others to comment more directly.
 

firsttima

5+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2010
56
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Thank you, that is key insight.

There were two monstrous posts on this last year...look at last year's rank list help thread and this:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=705365

I'm not sure what specific matter you're looking for comment on - my general impressions, though, were that the clinical training was strong at BU and if you make the right connections (read: research) and/or have the right profile (read: MD/PhD or heavily published IMG) all options are open for fellowship - the cards match the last two years has been stellar and BU residents have a good reputation. The mission of the place is AWESOME if you're into urban underserved medicine, and I found the residents to be hilarious and witty, albeit with somewhat of a Harvard chip on their collective shoulder.

Negatives...The program and its design/leadership left something to be desired, and BU students seemed to prefer elsewhere for training as a whole per my conversations on the trail. I'll leave it to others to comment more directly.
 

mlaza252

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Nov 8, 2006
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Hands down the worst place I've interviewed at.

Our resident said "well, I wish they treated us more humanely".


The residents I talk to were overworked and miserable. I wish I had skipped this interview!!!:eek::eek::eek::eek:
 
Nov 16, 2010
4
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I really liked BU after I interviewed there, but after seeing a lot of bad stuff written about the program, I decided to do a little digging. I contacted a current intern there who graduated from my medical school to get her opinion on what the program is like. It seemed pretty useful, so I'll relate what she told me below. For reference, she is in the primary care track, and she says that the primary care program itself is very strong and supportive of the residents who are in it.

Malignancy
- She said the program is very busy. You admit every other day, and ward/unit months are hard. She isn't always able to make it to intern conference due to the workload, and only makes around 3 of the noon conferences a week. However, she said that they never go over their caps, and that she is almost always under 80 hrs/wk. She said that in the beginning she went over her hours a few times, but this was more due to inexperience and being slow in the beginning, which I assume is par for the course pretty much anywhere.
- She said attendings are generally great to work with and are good about teaching, though it sounds like they interact much more with the senior resident than they do with the rest of the team. That being said, they are now required to do afternoon rounds with the team, so you do get a little more facetime with them than in years past maybe? She has never had any outright abusive attendings, and thinks that the program is pretty good about listening to resident feedback if there are any problems with particular attendings.
- She thought ancillary staff was generally decent. Still have to do stuff like data gathering, calling up family members and the like, but you never have to do blood draws or transport. Also, for procedures, there is a dedicated procedure team, so you don't have to do lines and whatnot while you're on an ICU month, but if you want to do them, you can do a rotation with the procedure team and focus solely on that. I think the idea of division of labor sounds great: you still get to do a ton of procedures, but you don't have to do them while you're trying to take care of a bunch of other things.
- The patient population has a wide array of diversity, and she says she usually has pretty interesting cases. However, since it's a safety net hospital, she said you see a lot of substance abuse problems, and sometimes she feels like she's on a psych ward and not a medicine floor.
- She had no idea regarding what the call system would be like next year for interns. I asked the PD/Chair while I was there, and he said that they weren't going to do a float system. It sounded like they were going to do something where the overnight intern would come in late, stay overnight, round with the team in the morning, and then go home. It also sounds like senior residents will continue the current call system (Q8 wards, Q3/4 units).
- I asked about multiple PDs leaving the program in the last few years. She wasn't sure, but said that it was maybe due to the program being so large and busy and it burned people out quickly. Don't know what to make of that.

3+1 System
- It has it's good and bad points. On the plus side, you only have to do 3 weeks in a row of your harder rotations and you don't get stuck missing half a day for continuity clinic while you're on wards and the like. Also, it guarantees that you have at least one golden weekend every month. On the down side, it does seem to fragment the class, as she did say that you get to know the people in your 'pod' better than the rest of the class. She said it was because the program was so big, but I've interviewed at other similarly large programs and never felt that size really was an issue with regards to getting to know other people. Also, the system has messed up how electives are scheduled, since they were either 2 or 4 week rotations, and you get some weird scheduling stuff going on because of it. They're trying to work it out, but aren't sure what will be happening next year.

Overall, the impression I got was the BU is a very rigorous program that will kick your ass, but isn't abusive, and you'll get great clinical training. Fellowship match is great, and it seems like you'll be able to go anywhere from BU. Still scared about the fact that it'll be a new PD next year, and that it sounds like the schedule doesn't have all the bugs worked out yet.
 

Purplerainangel

10+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2007
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Thank you so much for doing this SlimJim92! I've been trying to dig a little on my own, but haven't bee super successful. I've been trying to decide between BU and NYU (my home program). Since I'm used to doing rotations and seeing residents at Bellevue where people are usually busy/overworked, I kind of wanted that for my residency program because I want to deal with that population. Plus I think I want a change of scenery for residency...

Anyway, you said they were changing the schedule around and the PD, did the intern you talked to say they were thinking of getting rid of the 3+1 or changing the electives to fit the 3+1? The 3+1 is one of the major things differentiating BU from NYU for me. Thanks again for getting all that info!
 
Nov 16, 2010
4
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It sounds like the 3+1 system will be staying and that they're going to try to change the scheduling of electives to better fit it. I think the 3+1 system was implemented about 1.5 years ago, and they're looking to make it work for them.
 

speciled15

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I just interviewed there and came away with a generally positive impression of the program.
According to several of the residents, I think that most of the bad reputation of the program on this forum is from the 5+ years ago when residents were overworked. I know for a fact that my home program has a malignant reputation on these forums, which is not true at all so take what you read with a grain of salt or dig deeper when you do interview. Like the previous person said, it is a program where you will work hard but in turn, you will learn a lot. I heard from several residents that this is a program where you have to put forth the effort in getting research, etc for fellowships but in turn, they will point you in the right direction. Their match list is great although it is a huge program.
They are proud of their diverse patient population with 1/3 of the patients not speaking English as a 1st language but they have a great translation staff 24/7. In addition, they have international health electives being organized if that's your thing, which they are very supportive of. Apparently the ancillary staff and social work is pretty good.
It does sound like the 3+1 program is there to stay and that the interns like it with the 1 weekend off/month and you do become tighter with the people who are on your schedule/rotation. With the size of the program, there's something for everyone (single, married w/ kids, etc) and there are nights where people hang out every wk.
One thing I noted was that they haven't completely figured out how they are gonna work with the 16 hr work rule which the PD/chair was up front about and it doesn't seem like they can have a dry run with it before it's implemented.
Overall, I think the general comments of the program on this forum are not what I saw when I went to my interview and I'm glad I went, but as one of the PDs said, this program may not be for everyone and you have to find what's right for you.
 

soccerman3

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Apr 20, 2006
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I also recently interviewed at BU and felt like all of the positive comments above are pretty accurate based on the vibe I got.

Since they don't do a pre-interview dinner, I was a little underwhelmed by the number of residents I got to meet. They were all 3rd years or chiefs/chiefs-to-be. No interns, no second years. While it's nice to meet 3rd years who have fellowships lined up and have experienced it all, they are relaxed and under no pressure currently.

Are they hiding the interns?

The department chair seemed like a genuinely great acting program director, but I suppose that's one of the other questions that lingers. With such a big program, it doesn't seem optimal or effective to have one person wear both hats.

It would be awesome to train in Boston, but the cost of living and those questions that linger might keep me from ranking them as high as I would like.
 
Jan 27, 2011
8
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Resident [Any Field]
I felt the same way!!! sad, because I too, really wanted to like their program...and they did everything possible to keep that from happening...:'(
 

NOsquid

7+ Year Member
Nov 25, 2009
216
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This is just one person's opinion, but if a program can't even get it together for one day to convince you, run away...

I interviewed at programs I know to be malignant and the interview made them seem fantastic.
 
Feb 9, 2011
1
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Hi all, wish I had seen this topic earlier. I am a current senior resident in the IM program at BU/BMC and would love to answer any questions (I'm assuming that you still have time to think about your rank lists). I apologize if any had poor impressions during their interview day here; I've had an exceptional time here, both in regards to clinical experience and personal contacts, and it saddens me that your first impression was off-putting.

I'd be happy to answer any questions, as I do feel that some of the information above is incorrect. (ie 'no intentions of implementing the 16 hr work rule'; this is an ACGME requirement, and to my knowledge, all programs MUST be compliant by July 1st, 2011.)

In regards to these new duty hour rules, I cannot answer any specific questions about the call schedules; we have a scheme that is close to being finalized, but it still needs a little more work.

I do love this program, but I am by no means trying to be a salesman. You need to find the program which is the best fit for you; you'll thrive most under these conditions. Hopefully I can give you a little more information to make this decision.

Feel free to PM me if you have any private/sensitive ?s.
 
Dec 30, 2010
21
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Status
Hi all, wish I had seen this topic earlier. I am a current senior resident in the IM program at BU/BMC and would love to answer any questions (I'm assuming that you still have time to think about your rank lists). I apologize if any had poor impressions during their interview day here; I've had an exceptional time here, both in regards to clinical experience and personal contacts, and it saddens me that your first impression was off-putting.

I'd be happy to answer any questions, as I do feel that some of the information above is incorrect. (ie 'no intentions of implementing the 16 hr work rule'; this is an ACGME requirement, and to my knowledge, all programs MUST be compliant by July 1st, 2011.)

In regards to these new duty hour rules, I cannot answer any specific questions about the call schedules; we have a scheme that is close to being finalized, but it still needs a little more work.

I do love this program, but I am by no means trying to be a salesman. You need to find the program which is the best fit for you; you'll thrive most under these conditions. Hopefully I can give you a little more information to make this decision.

Feel free to PM me if you have any private/sensitive ?s.
uhh yes, can you please tell me where i am on the rank list? :)
 
Jan 30, 2011
6
0
Boston, MA
Status
Resident [Any Field]
This is a solid program from when I interviewed but real issues are raised as for the new 16hr rule. Its not easy to totally revamp a system and the fact that they havent implemented something yet (just 6 months before it becomes and ACGME RULE) is a little troublesome because you don't want to be the lab rat come July 1st 2011 trying out their new system for the first time. There are always growing pains when a new system is implemented and you don't want to deal with that July 1st.
 
Feb 12, 2011
1
0
Status
Medical Student
Hands down the worst place I've interviewed at.

Our resident said "well, I wish they treated us more humanely".


The residents I talk to were overworked and miserable. I wish I had skipped this interview!!!:eek::eek::eek::eek:
Well, it is true that there are a ton of medicine programs at the level of BU, i.e. mid-tier type programs. So if you don't match there no biggie, even if you love Boston there are other IM programs that are equal to, or better, than BU.

Here is my take:

1. The taking care of underserved patients, this is something you will get to do at pretty much any large urban IM program. I think BU ludicrously sells this aspect of the program to differentiate themselves from places like the Harvard affiliates. Nationally, the BU affiliates are pretty much mediocre in terms of the actual clinical care provided to patients (look at reviews of hospitals nationwide, BUMC ain't doing that great :-/)

Obviously Harvard's BIDMC is a top tier, in terms of both hospital reputation and the residency program. BU likes to inflate their rep a bit, i.e. they're a legend in their own frontal lobe ;-)

2. The atmosphere at BU can get/be malignant, . . . residents say it is so! The thing is that BU knows this reputation is out there so they sort of sanitize it by calling it "intensive training" and promise you that you learn a lot.

Some attendings really aren't into teaching and you learn more from the senior residents, this is hit and miss. Yes, the patient load is slightly heavy, but that is different from malignancy. Actually, I don't have a major beef with this per se, but the fact that you need an optimal mix of time to work, and time to digest new material in addition to helpful feedback. Patient load is important for training, but a lot of us have seen surgery attendings who are pretty bad yet continue to operate day in and day out. Beyond the drinking from the fire hose method you also need insight into clinical decision making. Any good senior resident worth their salt can shove patients through the system, but some of the finer points of clinical decision making aren't being taught at BU.

3. There isn't good communication with the interns/junior residents as the attendings pretty much like to let things fly on auto-pilot. It is very telling that only recently attendings were "required" to do afternoon rounds, and that the intern has no idea whatsoever why multiple PDs have quit. Something isn't jiving right here. Do you really want to be taught by somebody who is forced to round with you?

4. Fellowship match. A lot of the fellowship matches were at BUMC, . . . they give preference to their residents? But some big names have dropped off the list over the years in some fellowship areas. I think the Harvard affiliates got a lot of applications for fellowships from BU residents simply because they want/need to stay in Boston, but perhaps more often they are looking beyond BU?

5. Having PDs quit is a big red flag. Is there an abrasive higher up or strife among attendings? That the BU IM resident still doesn't know the call schedule, just days away from submitting rank lists, is a red flag in my mind. Every program I interviewed at had a call schedule printed and available for applicants, not that this info is super-critical, but it shows respect for the applicants. When programs change PDs the whole program can change, and no doubt some growing pains will be felt at BU.

6. International Health electives. The availability of International Health electives is poor, though they are reorganizing this. Getting support to do this depends on who you talk to and if they are in the mood to help you set it up. Not a positive selling point of the program as any IM residency program would help you do this to one degree or another.

Just my 2 cents. In the end you need to critically evaluate residency programs yourself and don't buy worn out generalized selling points used year after year.
 

jdh71

epiphany at nine thousand six hundred feet
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Dec 14, 2006
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I think candidates should pay CLOSE attention to this thread and see how different people have different reactions to the SAME program. Rank programs based on how you think you will fit in . . . it sounds like the kind of place where if you need to be spoon-fed, you're not going to like it for instance.