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Coin toss for #1

deschutes

Thing
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  1. Attending Physician
    It's 18 days to the ROL deadline and I'm still flip-flopping between my choices for #1.

    Similarities:
    Both programs are located in cold cities of the same size and have the same number of PGY-1 positions being offered. Both alternate their AP/CP throughout each year. Both have up to 4 rotation sites.

    Differences:

    Program A
    • more structured
    • only 2 months of electives in total
    • free interhospital shuttle!
    • bigger name (at least on this forum)
    • only 100+ cases/year in the field I am thinking of entering, plus one rather eccentric and extremely academically-oriented overseer (I am honestly afraid I might piss said attending off quite by accident and screw my chances for a fellowship)
    • Somewhat smaller stipend and book fund
    • Chances of owning house/car at end of 4 years: close to 0%

    Program B
    • 12 months of electives
    • 700+ cases per year in the field I am thinking of entering, and 3 clinically-oriented attendings
    • Larger stipend and book fund
    • More outdoorsy potential
    • Chances of owning house/car at end of 4 years: close to 100%

    Halp! I've woken up every day this week thinking the other was going to be #1.

    Heck, maybe I'll end up with my #7 and all this being deliberate ++ was for nothing.
     

    EvilNewbie

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      Let me get this right, Program B offers better training (in terms of cases), better money, better focus on subspecialization (meaning you can do away rotations with electives), and a better lifestyle (own your home?)... and you still wondering what program? Okay go with Program A then :D
       
      B

      b&ierstiefel

        1. don't worry about pissing off attendings during your interviews. seriously, the place where i got the "ranked to match" phone call and letter, i got into a pretty heated argument over why i was pursuing AP only and not considering too heavily doing AP/CP. he yelled at me during that interview and told me that my way of thinking was "absolutely wrong." i almost shat my pants and left that interview crying. seriously, whatever happened at the interview happened AT the interview. that's it. if you went there, i doubt that attending would hold anything against you.

        2. how important is it that you have a house/car where you go? if the academic caliber of the two programs are similar, then perhaps subtle lifestyle issues like this may sway your preference a bit.

        3. i think the point about training in your desired fellowship field is very important. are you dead set on that field? or are you weighing other options?

        4. 12 electives vs. 2 electives?!?!? wow! if you have varied interests then maybe go with the program with more electives. pathology is changing and it seems like more electives are good to get well-rounded exposure to various aspects of pathology.
         
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        b&ierstiefel

          cytoborg said:
          Program A for sure - they have the interhospital shuttle!!!!

          Seriously. Program B is screaming your name. Who cares if it is a "smaller name" on these forums.

          that's right! i agree with the man in the wheelchair.

          seriously, the way you worded things, i think you REALLY REALLY want to go to program B.

          and who cares what the forums say! never take what's said on here as gospel! i said that once, i say it again!
           

          deschutes

          Thing
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          1. Attending Physician
            Keep in mind that these are PGY-1 salary figures and they all hover about 40k. Larger/smaller stipend is therefore relative.

            I forgot to mention I felt the residents at Program A better knew what they were doing. The facilities at A are excellent and brand spanking new - the best I'd seen on my interview trail (again this is relative!)

            When I go for B I feel I am choosing the city above the program - I don't know the program all that well, and I think it shows in my original post. Which is why in my heart of hearts I wonder if I don't really know if I will get along with the people at Program B, apart from the numbers and letters.

            As for the interhospital shuttle ;) ... transport without a car is what many people (staff and residents) do at A - that is all I was trying to say.

            [addendum]I didn't piss anyone off - I was a darling :p I simply noted that the potential to piss was there. The thing about this particular academic attending is that he is such a big name that a phonecall from him could quite likely get me anywhere.
             

            cytoborg

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            1. Fellow [Any Field]
              Have you tried the fantasy technique? Ya know, the moment of opening the envelope, reading the name, how do you feel about it...

              Program B just sounds like a better overall package. Better quality of life in terms of location, being able to own a house, and having activities you enjoy nearby. They are also stronger in the field you are interested in, which is HUGE. Facilities are nice, but not everything. Name is nice, but ultimately you need the connections to the fellowship/job you want.
               

              yaah

              Boring
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              1. Attending Physician
                The only thing I suggest is do not pick a program based on someone else's "rankings" or reputation. Go to the place where you think the training is most appropriate for you, and where you will enjoy living, because it will be your life for the next few years. Elective time and all that sounds important, but a lot of programs are similar. If there is something you really want to focus on, there will be opportunities. You can always do away rotations.
                 
                B

                b&ierstiefel

                  yaah said:
                  The only thing I suggest is do not pick a program based on someone else's "rankings" or reputation. Go to the place where you think the training is most appropriate for you, and where you will enjoy living, because it will be your life for the next few years. Elective time and all that sounds important, but a lot of programs are similar. If there is something you really want to focus on, there will be opportunities. You can always do away rotations.
                  Absolutely!
                  :thumbup:
                  you better listen to yaah. he's wise beyond his years.
                   

                  deschutes

                  Thing
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                    yaah said:
                    The only thing I suggest is do not pick a program based on someone else's "rankings" or reputation. Go to the place where you think the training is most appropriate for you, and where you will enjoy living, because it will be your life for the next few years.
                    Thanks. But since that is where I am coming from, that helped not one jot :p

                    The only way rank or reputation comes in is that I went to program A and I finally figured out why people were nuts about it. Before my visit I wasn't even considering it all that heavily.
                     

                    deschutes

                    Thing
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                    Jul 24, 2004
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                    On location
                    1. Attending Physician
                      Earlier in the week, I was trying to talk myself out of A.

                      I don't know real estate prices well at all, but both these places are in the Midwest and neither are LA/NYC-type expensive.

                      I did the send-myself-an-email thing a few days ago. Didn't help. I'm honest-to-goodness split right down the middle. That's it. I'm doomed.

                      But thanks everyone for your help! I have one last consult left to make.
                       
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                      b&ierstiefel

                        deschutes said:
                        Earlier in the week, I was trying to talk myself out of A.

                        I don't know real estate prices well at all, but both these places are in the Midwest and neither are LA/NYC-type expensive.

                        I did the send-myself-an-email thing a few days ago. Didn't help. I'm honest-to-goodness split right down the middle. That's it. I'm doomed.

                        But thanks everyone for your help! I have one last consult left to make.

                        good luck and godspeed.
                         

                        stormjen

                        Path PGY
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                        Jul 10, 2004
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                          Deschutes,

                          It seems to me like you want permission to go to Program B. You didn't give a very good argument for Program A, at all.

                          Questions:
                          ~Where would you be happier?
                          ~Which would give you the best quality of life?
                          ~Which would further your career the most?
                          ~If both had equal reputations, which would you choose?
                          ~Do you feel like you SHOULD go to Program A?
                          ~Do you feel like people might look down on you if you choose Program B?
                          ~Which city/program has the cutest boys? (ok, you can skip that one)

                          Certify your rank order list with Program B as #1, then leave it for a couple days. If you feel unsettled, change it to Program A for a couple days and see how you feel.
                           

                          scootad.

                          Senior Member
                          Jun 2, 2001
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                            3 weeks is mighty suspicious. the cynical side of me thinks there is some manipulation goin' on. PD's "trading" candidates after they are unhappy w/ the preliminary results (and of course us not knowing about it). ;)
                             

                            stormjen

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                              scootad. said:
                              3 weeks is mighty suspicious. the cynical side of me thinks there is some manipulation goin' on. PD's "trading" candidates after they are unhappy w/ the preliminary results (and of course us not knowing about it). ;)

                              If we're getting traded like baseball players, then we should have our own playing cards.
                               

                              yaah

                              Boring
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                              1. Attending Physician
                                elkchaser said:

                                Indeed. I heard about that and am still not sure how it happened. I can only imagine the chaos if that happened in the regular match. What would they do, rerun it? That wouldn't really be fair to people who were told they matched at a top choice, only to be told it wasn't valid because the "better candidates" lost out. Yikes.
                                 
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