Treebeard

2+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2017
214
287
Hi all - I am a current M4 student applying to anesthesia. I just finished up interviews and am working on my match list. For various reasons I am hoping to move to Chicago and I am having trouble ranking these programs. I was wondering if anyone could share their thoughts on UC, Loyola, Cook, and Rush. I didn't interview with Advocate, NWU, or UIC. There are some threads similar to this but most are at 5-10 years old.

My initial thoughts:

U Chicago - Obviously this is the most prestigious of the programs, and on some level feels silly to not rank #1. They have a great mix of very complex surgical cases and more bread and butter trauma, OB, etc. I like the people and the program here, and certainly the name will go far for any jobs or fellowships I might wish to do. The location in South Chicago and the patients that come with it is a positive for me, as I love working with the poor...which leads me to....

Cook County - This program seems like an extremely unique opportunity and one I should not easily pass up. They don't do transplants or other super high end cases, but they make up for that by having an extremely sick and diverse patient population. I am a little scared of going here as I have read mostly negative things about the place online, however the residents seemed really cool and like they knew each other well. Its not a fancy prestigious place like UC, but most residents reported that potential employers/fellowships had an attitude of "if you can work at county you can work anywhere". I am interested in doing something like Doctors Without Borders down the line, so this may be a great choice.

Loyola - Since I am so torn between UC and Cook, Loyola keeps coming up as the option that offers balance between the two. It has the sick, poor patients like Cook, but they also do a ton of transplant and cardiac cases and have stronger academic culture than Cook. I'm not sure what their name is worth for future applications, but their clinical training seems extraordinarily strong. As I've alluded to I'm into "social justice" and such, so their location in Maywood and the hospitals Jesuit culture are definite positives for me.

Rush - I was not a huge fan of this place. The interview day was a total mess and they have failed to respond to questions via email. They don't have any transplant or trauma. Seems like an excellent place for pain, but I am more likely to end up in CT or ICU than pain. That said the residents seemed happy and I will rank the program somewhere, and if I end up here I will be totally fine.


My other options are UCLA, UPenn, Columbia, Irvine, UNM, Mayo. Am I a total fool for thinking of ranking these Chicago places higher than those?
 

Velefunt

5+ Year Member
Oct 14, 2015
115
84
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
My other options are UCLA, UPenn, Columbia, Irvine, UNM, Mayo. Am I a total fool for thinking of ranking these Chicago places higher than those?
Though it's true that most residents find jobs in close proximity to where they trained, I'd say you should explore the Chicago job market. I don't know if it's true anymore, but for a long time, jobs were not offering decent pay or partnership because many applicants were somewhat beholden to Chicago due to spouse obligations, family, strong desires to live in the city and took "crap" jobs just to stay within the city. I think there were at least 7 graduating programs in Chicago, and amongst those beholden to Chicago, they were all competing for the same few jobs (a very small proportion to none train in Chicago to take jobs within the rest of Illinois - corn & soybeans). Many do fellowships just to have a leg up on those applying for Chicago jobs. Jobs in the suburbs may pay better and offer partnership, but I'd argue that if you're living/working 45 minutes plus outside of Chicago, are you really reaping the benefits of living in the city on a regular basis? Driving in and out of the city is no picnic; Actually it's a significant waste of life.

If you're dead-set on living in Chicago/burbs, jobs are a very connections-based process. If you're applying to jobs within the area, people will contact their old attendings or ask your fellow residents who have taken jobs with groups about you. That can be a plus or a minus, depending on your relationships with everyone. You never know who they'll ask about you - could be that one person who doesn't like you.

If I were you, I'd pick a program with an eye towards purported prestige, work load, salary, locale, perks such as educational stipends for books, conferences, etc, faculty (take a look at everyone's profile online), board pass rates if that's available, case mix (I'd recommend against an overabundance of trauma) and available fellowships. Oftentimes it's easiest to get into the fellowship that you train at. Don't overlook the benefits of a "cush" training program with lots of time to study and time off or time to moonlight. Every program has to get the same numbers of cases, so that shouldn't be a problem. You'll either be an excellent clinician or not, doing a disproportionate amount of lap-chole anesthetics isn't going to give you a leg up. Having enough free time to decompress and to study, will allow you to ace exams and pass your boards, which is what will get you great letters of rec, doors to fellowships, etc.

Finally, I would definitely rank some of your other non-Chicago programs higher than your Chicago choices.
 

dabears505

2+ Year Member
Sep 27, 2017
137
211
I think you are being foolish picking any of those chicago places over your other options.

But I would do u chicago>loyola>rush>cook county.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads
Jul 5, 2020
831
1,656
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
If I were you I'd do Penn, Mayo, UC, UCLA, Irvine, Columbia, UNM, rest of chicago

Sick patients are good for your education but I hate taking care of them now. Trauma sucks balls. Transplant and cardiac are cool. Livers will put hair on your chest. A sick dissection will teach you a lot. The penn name is known worldwide and they do a lot of good cases. They work a lot though so if you're lazy don't bother.

I would put LA lower for now cause of covid but if it weren't for that I'd probably bump ucla up a few spots. I put columbia lower because being a scut monkey is crap and they don't even want to match their own people for their fellowships so... UNM is low cause I don't know them very well but I'm sure they are fine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Justice4all

7+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2014
212
161
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Stay in chicago if that is your preference. At the end of day, most of the jobs don’t care as long you are board certified..
 

Ravenclaw90

2+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2017
22
2
You need to think about how much you value a future career in academics. If that's a priority, then some of those more brand-name options outside of Chicago could help you. But if your first priority is location and you are dead set on finding a job in Chicago, then I agree that that it would help to train in Chicago, assuming that the program you choose in Chicago is solid (and well-rounded).
 

Test Boy

Senior Member
Mar 30, 1999
157
14
Visit site
Status (Visible)
Hi all - I am a current M4 student applying to anesthesia. I just finished up interviews and am working on my match list. For various reasons I am hoping to move to Chicago and I am having trouble ranking these programs. I was wondering if anyone could share their thoughts on UC, Loyola, Cook, and Rush. I didn't interview with Advocate, NWU, or UIC. There are some threads similar to this but most are at 5-10 years old.

My initial thoughts:

U Chicago - Obviously this is the most prestigious of the programs, and on some level feels silly to not rank #1. They have a great mix of very complex surgical cases and more bread and butter trauma, OB, etc. I like the people and the program here, and certainly the name will go far for any jobs or fellowships I might wish to do. The location in South Chicago and the patients that come with it is a positive for me, as I love working with the poor...which leads me to....

Cook County - This program seems like an extremely unique opportunity and one I should not easily pass up. They don't do transplants or other super high end cases, but they make up for that by having an extremely sick and diverse patient population. I am a little scared of going here as I have read mostly negative things about the place online, however the residents seemed really cool and like they knew each other well. Its not a fancy prestigious place like UC, but most residents reported that potential employers/fellowships had an attitude of "if you can work at county you can work anywhere". I am interested in doing something like Doctors Without Borders down the line, so this may be a great choice.

Loyola - Since I am so torn between UC and Cook, Loyola keeps coming up as the option that offers balance between the two. It has the sick, poor patients like Cook, but they also do a ton of transplant and cardiac cases and have stronger academic culture than Cook. I'm not sure what their name is worth for future applications, but their clinical training seems extraordinarily strong. As I've alluded to I'm into "social justice" and such, so their location in Maywood and the hospitals Jesuit culture are definite positives for me.

Rush - I was not a huge fan of this place. The interview day was a total mess and they have failed to respond to questions via email. They don't have any transplant or trauma. Seems like an excellent place for pain, but I am more likely to end up in CT or ICU than pain. That said the residents seemed happy and I will rank the program somewhere, and if I end up here I will be totally fine.


My other options are UCLA, UPenn, Columbia, Irvine, UNM, Mayo. Am I a total fool for thinking of ranking these Chicago places higher than those?
Isn’t cook county known as an FMG sweatshop in all the residencies it offers? Unless things have changed drastically in this hospital, I’m not sure most average applicants would even seriously consider going there for anything.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Triple AAA

5+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2014
147
49
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Rush - I was not a huge fan of this place. The interview day was a total mess and they have failed to respond to questions via email. They don't have any transplant or trauma. Seems like an excellent place for pain, but I am more likely to end up in CT or ICU than pain. That said the residents seemed happy and I will rank the program somewhere, and if I end up here I will be totally fine.
Former Rush resident here. I posted about my experiences with the program several years ago. While I maintain that my post was an accurate depiction of the program at the time I was there, you are correct that these things happened well over 10 years ago. I am a believer that people (and programs) can change, and that the program has made improvements since I left.

There are a few things I can say about the program objectively. Rush is a VERY large volume hospital system and a large referral system. They have extremely busy ORs. Expect to work very long days. Ortho and Neurosurg continue to rank in the top 10 in the country, so you will see disproportionately higher numbers of these cases. They did have transplants while I was there, but they came when they came and were relatively infrequent. (luck of the draw, if you happened to be on call when they came). There is no trauma experience, and this will never change as long as Rush sits next to Cook County hospital, where all the level 1 trauma goes. I STRONGLY disagree with the sentiment of some, that doing liver transplants prepares you for trauma. With that said, unless you end up working at a trauma center, it is likely a skill you won't need.

I do think I left the program with very good training. I wont say it's the 'best', as that is a matter of opinion. What I will say, is that I still had my share of struggles during my first few years as an attending, before I found my comfort zone. It is reasonable to expect this wherever you train. Also, I have worked with many others who trained at different programs, who all trained at other hospitals (including many of the other hospitals you listed), and they are all very good at what they do.

In summary, if your goal is to stay in Chicago, then Rush is a very reasonable choice, although it is certainly not the only one. I would invite you to PM me for more info, but any information I could give would be largely out of date. Good luck in the process!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

ItBurnsInMyHand

2+ Year Member
May 11, 2017
29
13
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Former Rush resident here. I posted about my experiences with the program several years ago. While I maintain that my post was an accurate depiction of the program at the time I was there, you are correct that these things happened well over 10 years ago. I am a believer that people (and programs) can change, and that the program has made improvements since I left.

There are a few things I can say about the program objectively. Rush is a VERY large volume hospital system and a large referral system. They have extremely busy ORs. Expect to work very long days. Ortho and Neurosurg continue to rank in the top 10 in the country, so you will see disproportionately higher numbers of these cases. They did have transplants while I was there, but they came when they came and were relatively infrequent. (luck of the draw, if you happened to be on call when they came). There is no trauma experience, and this will never change as long as Rush sits next to Cook County hospital, where all the level 1 trauma goes. I STRONGLY disagree with the sentiment of some, that doing liver transplants prepares you for trauma. With that said, unless you end up working at a trauma center, it is likely a skill you won't need.

I do think I left the program with very good training. I wont say it's the 'best', as that is a matter of opinion. What I will say, is that I still had my share of struggles during my first few years as an attending, before I found my comfort zone. It is reasonable to expect this wherever you train. Also, I have worked with many others who trained at different programs, who all trained at other hospitals (including many of the other hospitals you listed), and they are all very good at what they do.

In summary, if your goal is to stay in Chicago, then Rush is a very reasonable choice, although it is certainly not the only one. I would invite you to PM me for more info, but any information I could give would be largely out of date. Good luck in the process!
Your scathing expose was well known among several of my colleagues. For better or worse, I read it and still ranked it. Had my gripes, but felt that the pace prepared me for what I experienced in PP.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Triple AAA

5+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2014
147
49
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Your scathing expose was well known among several of my colleagues. For better or worse, I read it and still ranked it. Had my gripes, but felt that the pace prepared me for what I experienced in PP.

Hah, I bet it was. I really didn't want to hold back any punches about my experiences. Still, I admit I got a bit passionate, and maybe a bit overboard. I've since evolved to the point where I'm at least no longer actively discouraging people from attending.

Speaking of evolving, I'm glad to hear that the program is no longer the place it was when I trained there, and that you had a positive experience overall. Enjoy PP, it still beats being a resident.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads