Are you considering applying to pharmacy school but are concerned about job prospects when you graduate? Join us on Wednesday, July 28th at 8 PM Eastern to hear from three PharmDs about their experiences and options outside of retail pharmacy.
Interviewed there very early this interview season. Did not tour the OR's as there were too many interviewees to lead around. Residents gave pretty uniform responses-lots of work, very little time to read, and huge residency pool. Common for residents to not even know people in their own year.
Clinical experience seemed sufficient though no trauma (you'll see this in more than a few programs if you interview in enough places i.e. Boston). Program Director was a bit peculiar as intimated by previous posts.
BTW, long hours and little time to read is a circumstance not unique to CCF nor is it necessarily a bad thing, it all depends on your style of learning. Many of the top programs work you very hard (depending on the rotation) because there is no substitute for first hand experience.
All in all I thought it was a solid program, but ranked it low on my list because I wanted to stay in NE-there are certainly comparable programs on either coasts if that's your cup of tea.
during my interviews there at CC, i noted that the PD was a real weirdo . most of the interviewees that day came out with a bad taste from the whole experience. CC is a big name but the program is not very resident friendly. most residents there were overworked
My impression was very different than the previous posts. I actually applied to CCF last minute and ironically ranked it #1 and matched there this year.
Overall the consensus was that residents work a little longer i.e. get out around 4-5 pm (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) but none of the twenty residents I met during my interview expressed feelings of being over worked or even being unhappy (especially the resident who switched from a surgery). From the numbers I was quoted, residents work on average 59 - 67 hours/week. May be some people are not very good at managing their time, but even surgery residents who work 80+ hrs/wk still find time to study, so you should have no problem finding some time to read here. Call is usually 4 X /month, 2 late and 2 overnight. The Clinic is also very moonlight friendly and most of the residents take advantage earning a few extra thousand dollars/weekend when possible. CCF also has a 99% approximate program completion rate (freida) suggesting that residents that start finish their training. Not all programs can say the same for example, B&W 90% (freida). I only used this as an example; B&W is a great program.
CCF's didactic training is very structured and well organized. Like many programs, they has a load of board examiners as faculty. Instead of just reviewing Miller or Barash and taking the anesthesiology knowledge tests (AKT), the faculty have developed their own "basic science lectures series" and assessment tests that have been very effective in preparing residents for the written and oral boards (100% pass rate last year and above 90% ave historically (CCF website). They also have required seminars, anesthesia conferences, journal club and training with patient simulators for crisis management to compliment the training. CCF is one of few programs that can boast of having three residents score one of the top "6" scores in the nation on the written exam the past three 3-4 yrs (PD during interview).
The clinical experience is also very strong. Being the "best hospital" in the nation for cardiac surgery (U.S.News) CCF has excellent training in cardiac anesthesia. The Clinic is building a new cardiac surgery center (I think with about 400 beds), which should only add to the cardiac experience. It is true that CCF residents receive little trauma experience. Which at first, I will admit, concerned me. However, I made it a point in all of my subsequent interviews to get opinions on the subject and was told repeatedly by program directors at a variety of different program (most of which are level 1 trauma centers including Michigan) that managing a trauma case is not so different than say a heart case or liver transplant. In each, maintenance of fluids and perfusion to the brain are of major concern and the principles are basically the same. They also made it a point to say that if I didn't plan on doing a lot of trauma in practice it really did not matter.
The department also has the largest pain management unit in the "world" (CCF brochure) with more than more than 100 pt visits /day. Residents get plenty of exposure with month long rotations in regional anesthesia doing nothing of blocks. Pediatric and OB experience at CCF is highly acute and specialized being a major referral hospital and these rotations are supplemented with more common cases at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights for OB and Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron, another referral center.
One of the features that most impressed me was their program designed to give resident the experience of what it is like to work in academics. CCF places on emphasis on building the residents?? academic portfolio? (also very beneficial if the resident is going into private practice). Research is an option at CCF however, all resident are required to complete a senior project and present it orally and in written form. Residents are given a mentor who takes the resident through each step of the process as a personal tutor and to make the experience very professional. CCF residents are very involve in national committees and many participate in conferences such as MARC, presenting their research, or senior projects, etc. It was mentioned in my interview that many CCF residents who have won awards at the past few years had no research experience or publications to their names.
Lastly, the Cleveland Clinic also has a well establish transitional program that focuses on the critical care experience before exposing you to the OR as a CA-1. Six months of the year are spent in the ICU (SICU, CVCU/CCU, RESPICU, NEUROICU) and, PICU and NICU. And still remains very friendly as far as work hours are concerned. Other CBY rotations include a month of surgical nutrition (putting in lines and correcting electrolytes, TPN etc), neurology and month of pre-op clinic.
For me the Cleveland Clinic Foundation had the right combination. There are a lot of great programs out there and I think this is one of them, however, no program is without it?s flaw.. With the number of resident graduating for the program there is a large alumni pool to draw on when looking for a position. There are also numerous fellowship positions to further your training if that?s the course you choose. Hope this information helps.