SgtThunderfistMD

2+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2015
38
4
Status
Medical Student
Any thoughts on the Chicago programs (specifically, NW, UChicago, Rush, UIC)? I know UChicago and Northwestern were going through some rocky times on SDN a few years ago. Any updates on their Dept Chair or PD? And I know Rush has had a hard time filling spots--is that by design and is the program still worth interviewing at?
 
OP
SgtThunderfistMD

SgtThunderfistMD

2+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2015
38
4
Status
Medical Student
Anyone? Don't make me rely on a random "NW Sucks" thread that is posted 2 days before rank lists are due...
 

d9sccr

ASA Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2012
235
138
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Resident [Any Field]
When I interviewed 4 years ago, they were all work-horse programs when compared with other places in the Midwest. It's the price of living in the only big city in the Midwest I guess. Being there are so many programs, they all seemed to have their own niche. NW was great for peds, Loyola great for hearts, Rush seemed to be the hardest-working of all them but had great pain connections, and UIC (didn't interview here) was said to have the best work-life balance.
 
Jul 15, 2014
145
47
Status
Attending Physician
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/the-real-rush-anesthesiology.1113140/

I posted about my experiences at Rush at the link above. Feel free to read and take what you will from it.

As far as unfilled spots go... according to the NRMP program match data, Rush never had any problem filling all or most of its spots until 3 years ago, when former residents (myself included) began detailing the abuses they experienced. When candidates went to interview, their feel for the program must have been similar to the stories we posted.

A couple of spots unfilled might be intentional. 8 unfilled spots is never intentional, and almost always a red flag.
 

jthedestroyr

ASA Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2013
251
228
South
Status
Resident [Any Field]
The rush PD left. I have two friends there and neither has commented its anywhere as described as the guy above.

They do work hard, but my program does as well.
 

boshtrich

7+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2011
280
59
Status
Resident [Any Field]
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/the-real-rush-anesthesiology.1113140/

I posted about my experiences at Rush at the link above. Feel free to read and take what you will from it.

As far as unfilled spots go... according to the NRMP program match data, Rush never had any problem filling all or most of its spots until 3 years ago, when former residents (myself included) began detailing the abuses they experienced. When candidates went to interview, their feel for the program must have been similar to the stories we posted.

A couple of spots unfilled might be intentional. 8 unfilled spots is never intentional, and almost always a red flag.
I spent a lot of time with a fellow at an away rotation who trained at Rush and got a similar response. You'll learn what you need to learn but you'll be worked hard. Basically was told not to go there unless I wanted to do pain. That being said, they do have excellent connections/training for pain. From what I heard, NW got in trouble for overdoing OB and for some duty hour violations. Still sounded like a great program. UChicago did a lot of cardiac cases and had a strong ICU presence.
 
Jan 1, 2015
4
0
lol, this board, led by triple AAA, continues to post 4-5 year old info about rush. current rush res, CA0 year averaged 50 hours per week, CA1 year 51 hours. the number of changes theyve implemented in the last few years are too numerous to count. if you actually want up to date info about the program feel free to shoot me a PM.
 

NotFrankUnderwood

2+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2015
59
28
I interviewed at all four of the programs you listed. I ended up ranking them all below where I matched (bc I didn't want to be in Chicago) so I don't really have any skin in the game.
Here is how I ranked them.
UChicago > NU >>> UIC >> Rush
Uchicago v. NU
- Clearly the top tier in Chicago. I put Uchicago > NU because NU was still having issues with their academic chair (I think the interim chair was a radiologist). That made me feel pretty uncomfortable about the program. I had also heard that several attendings left NU from sources outside of SDN because they were pretty unhappy with the way the department was run (something about financials, can't remember the details). While that doesn't directly affect residents, if the current attendings are unhappy that will translate into poor teaching. Not sure if this has been resolved in the past 9 months, but it was certainly a factor in me ranking U chicago > NU.

NU Pros:
NU's physical plant is absolutely beautiful. It was my first Anesthesia interview and no hospital on the trail beat it. They definitely have perks at this hospital. ABP meal cards being one of them the hospital looks like a shopping mall. Streeterville is the Beverly Hills of Chicago. All the residents live in the area.

Fellowship: From what I understand NU has pretty strong fellowships if you want to stay in Chicago, and based on what they told me at recruitment day they tend to pull from their residency class.

They hire their own!! A lot of young attendings were staying on at Northwestern, so despite the fact that some were leaving I think it's a good sign that 1. They hire their own and 2. the residents WANT to stay. The young attendings that I interviewed with also seemed really cool and would be people I would hang out with.

Unique opportunities: I only remember a little bit about this but there was something about some guy taking time off to work for a start-up and he got to finish residency on time (I think the PD let him use research time), there were tons of international opportunities and it seemed like the PD was extremely flexible.

PD is a big deal at the hospital. While the academic chair position seems to be in flux, the PD is on some big hospital committees - don't remember the details, but I think he has a bit more power than most PDs do and he seemed like he would stand up for his residents.


NU Cons:
- I think I addressed this above - mainly the concern with the academic chair, leaving attendings.
- There was some concern that residents were overworked in OB, not sure how true that was.


UChicago: Went to this interview in mid/late Jan because they sent out interview invites late so I was exhausted and had long since stopped writing notes at this point so this might be a little brief.

Uchicago Pros:
Once again, beautiful physical plant though not quite as nice as Northwesterns .when you go on the interview they take you to something called the sky lounge or something it's got a great view of Chicago. The hospital is a bit older and that shows, but overall still very nice. (probably my #3 NU>UCLA>UChicago)

Name recognition: I think this one wins over NU for name in Chicago. A CA-3 told me at the interview dinner that they get the better jobs in Chicago hands down, and that if you want work in chicago go to MGH, SF or Uchicago. Of course you have to take that with a grain of salt, but no one at NU said that?

Fellowships: Don't remember too much about this, but I think the fellowship list was pretty impressive. I feel like they didn't have as many fellowships (??), but the places people were getting fellowships across the country were pretty impressive.

Uchicago Cons
- PD seemed really nice, but definitely not as experienced and a bit more softspoken than the NU PD. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but I think for a PD I want someone who will command attention and fight for residents in whatever committee meetings school BS they go to.. I just felt the NU PD was very charming and persuasive, did not get the same feel from the Uchicago. Then again, I only met them both for like 30 minutes.
- South side? Definitely not as nice as working in Streeterville.


UIC/Rush
UIC - I'll be honest I did not like this program from the moment I walked into the interview. I'm not sure why, but something just didn't sit right with me. Maybe it's the fact that the state of IL is broke and I knew going here would be a clusterf*** of a residency. I really felt the interview day was disorganized and just not on the level of the above programs.

With that said there were a few pros:
Faculty were nice on the whole. I really felt I connected with one faculty member, and she seemed one of many that were eager to teach.
PD - I think she's young and hungry to really build this program into something better than it currently is. She actually really did stand out to me as someone proactive and willing to work for her residents even after 21 interviews I still remember her. With that being said I think she's limited by the massive weight of the bureaucratic sh**hole that is the corrupt state of illinois, so I'm not sure how much will change under her guidance

Cons:
Residents covering for cRNAs: in my research an attending on here made a good point that residents that are covering for cRNAs regularly are probably not at an institution that values their education. I think that's a really good litmus test for a program. I had a resident tell me that he regularly did cover for cRNAs so they could go home. I think this single handedly
Physical plant - it's an old hospital
Perks: I don't think there were too many mentioned, welcome to Illinois

Rush
This was my last anesthesia interview of the season. I was 100% exhausted and really only went to the interview out of courtesy. I've heard this is a workhorse program and their not filling for several years virtually eliminated it from my list even before the interview. I ended up not ranking this program because I honestly felt I would rather try again than end up here for 4 years (I also didn't want to pay NRMP 30 more dollars). The anesthesia department seemed to have a very limited presence in teh hospital and there were virtually no residents taht came to the "lunch." My honest opinion is only come here if you have to be in Chicago.

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You would also be wise to consider Wash U which in my opinion was probably the best program I interviewed at. If it was on a coast I would have ranked it #1 without a doubt. As an example of its awesomeness the anesthesia department has a multimillion dollar endowment that pays the salaries of the attendings. They actually have fewer residents than ACGME has offered them so the residents they choose can get the best learning opportunities available. The chair is supposedly legendary in the anesthesia world, and I remember the PD being pretty great. If you are OK with STL consider it.

Sorry for the disjointed rambling wall of text, I am a very tired intern. I will edit/update PRN. Good luck!
 
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