COMP - Arrowhead Regional

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Dr. K

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Mar 26, 2006
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How does Arrowhead Regional compare to the UC's and USC for internal medicine and surgical residencies? Do they prefer COMP graduates?

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Dr. K said:
How does Arrowhead Regional compare to the UC's and USC for internal medicine and surgical residencies? Do they prefer COMP graduates?
Hey Dr. K, Arrowhead is COMP's county hostpital and in my opinion it has nothing to envy USC county, UCLA's Harbor-UCLA, of other county institutions, meaning you will see alot and do a lot. Now keep in mind, I'm just a second year and will start rotations next year, but just about everyone in my school 3rd-4th year, love Arrowhead and want training at Arrowhead in the field they want to do. For example, I'm interested in IM, so my top choice was Arrowhead, second choice was Citrus Valley, and I got both of them! :thumbup: So, I'm very happy.

As far as residency, I believe Arrowhead is part of the DO match, so generally speaking they would prefer DO students over MD, and as far as prefering Western/COMP students, I would think so, considering we get first choice of rotations there. But you still have to shine and impress them! Hope this info helps!
Dr. K said:
How does Arrowhead Regional compare to the UC's and USC for internal medicine and surgical residencies? Do they prefer COMP graduates?

Arrowhead has ACGME FP and transitional programs, which has no formal affiliation with Western U/COMP. It is unlikely that they will give special preference to COMP students. However, the current PD for the FP program is COMP alumni, so currently i would think COMP students would do fine applying here.

IM and surgical residencies are both AOA and are part of the OPTI-West programs affiliated with COMP, therefore COMP students might have some connections to help them get residency spots there. AOA programs only take DO students.
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Dr. K said:
How does Arrowhead Regional compare to the UC's and USC for internal medicine and surgical residencies? Do they prefer COMP graduates?

coming from a transitional intern at ARMC...

ARMC has an internal medicine residency...they take 4 a year and its a new program with the first four residents getting ready to finish their internship. You will see a lot at ARMC with respect to internal medicine because it is a county institution and most patients don't take care of themselves and come in with all sorts of issues. There is scut work like most places but the biggest thing lacking at ARMC in my opinion is evidence-based medicine in the IM program. It is improving now that their is a residency in IM there but they still have a long way to go in my opinion and can't compare to UC schools or USC. With respect to what you will see there and the types of pathology, there is plenty and it does compare well with university institutitions. There is no cap on admissions or anything so the medicine months are the most brutal of all the services and the four internal medicine interns get worked...hard.

The general surgery program is pretty good for a DO program and I think you'll come out being well trained. There are a couple surgery attendings who don't teach much, but for the most part they do...and there is plenty of pathology and experience to be had. It also helps that the Loma Linda surgery residents rotate through ARMC so it has a more academic feel to the program. It is a well-respected surgery program in the DO community I think and hard to match there as they only take 2 a year.

They also have a family practice residency at ARMC and both DO's and MD's are in the program because it is dual accredited and they take both MD's, FMG's, and DOs.

There are two internships at ARMC, the traditional rotating internship in which they just take DOs and there are 6 spots I think. There is also an ACGME internship (12 spots), the transitional internship year, which has paralleled the DO internship in the past but this coming years interns will have a nicer schedule, having 5 electives and not having to do OB/Gyn as an intern..also Peds was cut back a week, and general surgery 2 weeks. The ACGME transitional year internship often takes DO's...they took one the last two years, and this year there are two other DO's in the program with me. Our program director is fabulous and is a great advocate. I am not sure if the DO internship will still only have two electives next year, and have to do OB/Gyn or not...but the ACGME internship will be pretty nice now and I have a feeling it will be quite competitive in the future. I hear that there is one DO who matched to the ACGME internship for next year, 2006-2007.

There are also other DO residencies at ARMC...Emergency Medicine, Neurosurgery, and OB/Gyn.

There are COMP graduates in every program.
I am just about to graduate from COMP and have rotated several times at ARMC. I also have a very close friend who is part of the incoming IM residency

A few things to note . . .

Most residents will agree that it is scut-heavy. Many tell me they wish there was more didactic because they just churn patients out day after day for 3 - 5 years.

IM had a tough time filling. Although there are 4 slots, the DO2006 class received an email after the DO match saying there open slots. My friend accepted the slot long after the DO match and shortly after the MD match.

Don't get me wrong, I had a GREAT time at ARMC, I just don't think I'd do an IM residency there.
How's the transitional year there?
I did the transitional year back in 2005-2006.....pretty brutal year but internship sucks no matter where you me.

In hindsight, solid training and the good things seem minimal to those who haven't done internship. Easy access to labs, PACS for images, and the nurses and ancillary staff are generally very helpful. And most importantly, the cafeteria open late at night. Good mix of pathology and you will learn by doing.

The only thing that was really harsh was OB/Gyn but they have since not had the Transitional Interns rotate through OB/Gyn. The traditional rotating interns(DOs) still have to though I think. I was a DO and did the Transitional Year, and got it approved by the AOA.

As far as wishing there were better didactics....probably a uniform complaint. I'm in radiology residency right now and have the same complaint.

It can be a rough year, but if you are going into a less-clinical residency, like Radiology, Anesthesia, Derm, Ophtho.....good broad training year.