wolfvgang22

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I've started thinking about organizing my notes about various programs so I can compare them across several variables (ie; location, call, fellowships, collegiality, research, benefits, etc).

I was thinking that an excel worksheet would be perfect for this. I have already assigned each of the several variables I am looking at a number 1 to 5, with the idea of arriving at a total score for each program, the same way a lot of programs rank applicants.

Has anybody ever done that before? Is there an example of this I can follow, so I don't have to create a worksheet from scratch? I'm not too good at Microsoft Excel.

(I am trying to listen to my gut feelings as well, of course. Maybe that should be a more heavily weighted variable.)
 

PeeWee137

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i'd like to recommend my system of ripped pages containing illegible scribble, none of which i can match up to the program it was written about. im very proud of it, actually.
 

wolfvgang22

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i'd like to recommend my system of ripped pages containing illegible scribble, none of which i can match up to the program it was written about. im very proud of it, actually.
:p

any serious replies?
 
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billypilgrim37

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I divided up all of my interviews by NCAA Final Four Regionals (East, South, Midwest, West) and went from there.

(Seriously)
 

PeeWee137

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a friend of mine used this template last year, its a word doc, not excel, but i think it includes alot of the things you may want to compare between programs.
 

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masterofmonkeys

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Am I the only one practicing the gestalt intuitive technique?

I have a fairly concrete ROL in place already and I couldn't even begin to tell you the differences in call schedule, salary, benefits, etc. between the various programs.
 

Still Kickin

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Am I the only one practicing the gestalt intuitive technique?

I have a fairly concrete ROL in place already and I couldn't even begin to tell you the differences in call schedule, salary, benefits, etc. between the various programs.
I'm pretty much using that same technique...
 

nancysinatra

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I'm going to do both--make minute comparisons of variables and also focus on the big picture! The way to do this is to assign a variable to each factor that you care about, and multiply it by a factor. Just make sure the factor is small positive for the more trivial good things, negative for bad things, and large for the gestalt items like general happiness. In fact, you could even square happiness. (If it's money you care about, then square salary.)

You can take this further and after you have made your equation, figure out where the slope of the curve is zero, and that is where happiness plus the rest of your factors are maximized (or minimized). The only problem is that you might land halfway between two programs that way...

I haven't had time to think this over in too much detail, but when I get my master equation up and going, if it's any good, I'll post it.

PS: it will probably be 2014 before I get this great equation finalized.
 

pseudodoc

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One of the Emory faculty members apparently likes to give a spiel during interview day about 5 factors he says you should rank on a scale of one to five. His five factors were program leadership, resident satisfaction, balance (between emphasis of biological psychiatry, psychotherapy, and community psychiatry), location, and reputation. I'm not sure how one guages rep (the pitfalls of this have been extensively written about on these forums), but the other factors are probably something you could reasonably assess during an interview, so there you have it.

I've gone back and forth between a rating system, gestalt, both...I can already see that I'll be one of those people still switching his ROL around at the last minute :(
 

notdeadyet

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Generate a list of programs that I could see myself quite happy with and then submit the city list to my wife for approval.

That's probably not really a joke.
 

kstotes

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by the time I hit rank list submission day I had completely lost track of who was q-this call and who had this experience on medicine or this mentorship opportunity. Granted I was basically making my own call of where I wanted to go so 3-9 didn't get much attention from the get go. But in the end, and I don't know if anyone else had this, I realized that I had made my decisions based on VERY general impressions. In fact I think the strongest factors in my ranking were- the observed quality of faculty and residents (my impression of their abilities) and the mood of the institution (laid back, stuffy, etc). There was a "liked this place" category and a "didn't like" then I took those two groups and ranked them within themselves. The places I didn't like comprised my bottom 3 programs and 1 didn't even get ranked. From there the top 6 that I liked eventually were ranked by prestige and opportunities for career advancement. I wasn't going to stay away from somewhere because they had q4 call vs. q7 or whatever. I wanted the best education possible and the best opportunities to land the fellowship of my choice.

Granted I really don't think you can develop a single "recommended criteria" for ranking programs but if they aren't making sense right now I wouldn't worry... it will eventually come. You may end up sweating your top 3 a bit but it will be very clear eventually as you go more places and start to get a feel for what you are comfortable telling people in 6 mos was the reason you came to a certain place instead of another.
 

masterofmonkeys

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Generate a list of programs that I could see myself quite happy with and then submit the city list to my wife for approval.

That's probably not really a joke.
lol. I'm glad that the old lady just wants to get the heck out of dodge and is pretty laid back about all of this stuff.
 

YOOOUK09

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Iserson's Guide to Getting Into a Residency has a good chapter or two on this where he writes about making a "must-want analysis"

It's too in-depth to detail here, but in brief you list X factors that are important to you down the side of the page (reputation, location, call, parking, call-rooms, etc), and each factor gets a weight from 1-10 based on how important it is for you. You write that weight next to the factor. In my case it was 10 for location and 5 for reputation, etc.

A third column is left blank, and when you visit a place you give it a score for that factor - someplace in hawaii might get a 10 for location, times a weght of 10 gives you 100 for U of Hawaii residency in that factor. Then you add up all the total factor scores and in the end you have a "score" for each program.

I'm not going to make my ROL based on a number like this, but I'm hoping it'll be helpful for me as I go back months later to get an overall sense of how I liked a place. I'm also writing detailed notes about my feelings of a place and going back over those.

In the end my #1 and #2 will probably come down to gestalt, but these might also correlate with my numerical ranking.
 
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billypilgrim37

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Generate a list of programs that I could see myself quite happy with and then submit the city list to my wife for approval.

That's probably not really a joke.
:thumbup:

Although my wife wanted to move to Seattle, and I didn't want to move that far from home.
 

PeeWee137

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just for the record i am not using that list i posted. with the useless messy notes i took, i couldnt even fill out that chart if i tried. my mind is pretty much made up though. the match gods better smile on me (and all of you guys) come march. :luck:
 
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