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While this list could be either an ego boost or reality check depending on where you trained, the main thing is that it’s subjective. I don’t know what point it serves just like the US News college rankings. Although some institutions use that as further justification to raise tuition and maintain “academic standards”. I do think their criteria for ranking uses pretty much the best data they can go on: reputation by other board certified physicians, number of peer reviewed pubs by graduates, pass rate on boards, quality of feeder medical schools comprising program’s residents, etc. [Methodology of rankings]But the “top tier” programs and the bottom feeders already know who they are. A list like this merely provides eye candy just like colorful pie charts on the cover of USA Today . At best this could give a med school applicant a general idea of where they might want to apply based on competitiveness/reputation, but even that should be taken with a grain of salt. The best fit for a student to choose where they train has many more factors than a list. But we already knew that…
 

gbwillner

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...in other news, water is wet.
That could be your attitude, I suppose. I have no problems with this list and I'm glad someone is putting something out there, subjective as it is. It at least provides a reference for people to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of programs.

I remember as a medical student, I was looking for advice on where to apply, and I found ZERO information out there. I contacted faculty advisers who basically said, "only apply to MGH, everything else is a waste of time" or gave me other info that was so limited I had no idea what the options were. Others were just as bad giving too general info like "you need to see for yourself, all programs are good at some things and bad at others" or "it depends on what is important to you...". Guess what, an applicant can only apply to so many programs and go on so many interviews. You cannot research all programs out there. You cannot interview at all programs out there to see what constitutes a good fit. A list like this gives you a general idea, based on the strength of your application, of where you should be looking. If an applicant has to live in Michigan this list will help them, if an applicant needs to live on a beach this list will help them, and if an applicant needs to have the most reputable program this list will certainly help them. The list does not need to include all possible permutations of data and opportunities to be a useful tool. I would have welcomed a list like this when I was a med student to given me instant opinion from hundreds of pathologists.
 
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That could be your attitude, I suppose. I have no problems with this list and I'm glad someone is putting something out there, subjective as it is. It at least provides a reference for people to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of programs.

I remember as a medical student, I was looking for advice on where to apply, and I found ZERO information out there. I contacted faculty advisers who basically said, "only apply to MGH, everything else is a waste of time" or gave me other info that was so limited I had no idea what the options were. Others were just as bad giving too general info like "you need to see for yourself, all programs are good at some things and bad at others" or "it depends on what is important to you...". Guess what, an applicant can only apply to so many programs and go on so many interviews. You cannot research all programs out there. You cannot interview at all programs out there to see what constitutes a good fit. A list like this gives you a general idea, based on the strength of your application, of where you should be looking. If an applicant has to live in Michigan this list will help them, if an applicant needs to live on a beach this list will help them, and if an applicant needs to have the most reputable program this list will certainly help them. The list does not need to include all possible permutations of data and opportunities to be a useful tool. I would have welcomed a list like this when I was a med student to given me instant opinion from hundreds of pathologists.
My comment was meant to imply that we all know which programs are top ones. The real challenge is deciphering the mid-tier from the low-tier. The issue I have with the list is that it is inherently subjective, based on opinions of pathologists, and is thus biased.

I listed in another thread that following objective data for all programs would be the way to go. Things like job location, income, high-impact research publications, academic center after residency, fellowship opportunities etc. Good programs will be determined by what their grads do after completing residency. After all, cream is supposed to rise to the top.
 

BlondeDocteur

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You know I flipped through it for all of the specialties and I thought it was fairly realistic. Like it put UTSW as the best integrated plastics residency, NYU as tops for derm, put Pittsburgh and Northwestern as awesome for Ob/gyn, put the bad ass community programs like Contra Costa and Ventura County as amazing for family med, etc. in other words it wasn't just a list of the 'usual suspects.' I think it could be extremely helpful for applicants who want general consensus on which programs *are the most highly regarded* (does NOT necessarily equal 'best').
 
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Freddie Mercury

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Whoa UCLA-Harbor is hanging out near the bottom... I actually had that pretty high on the list of places I wanted to be (currently 3rd year med student). Wonder why their ranking is tanked.

But it seems Cedars-Sinai and Loma Linda are right there around UCLA proper, and I have those two pretty high on my list as well.

I'm also interested in some FL programs (preferably around the Miami area) although they don't seem to be ranked very highly.
 

2121115

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Whoa UCLA-Harbor is hanging out near the bottom... I actually had that pretty high on the list of places I wanted to be (currently 3rd year med student). Wonder why their ranking is tanked.

But it seems Cedars-Sinai and Loma Linda are right there around UCLA proper, and I have those two pretty high on my list as well.

I'm also interested in some FL programs (preferably around the Miami area) although they don't seem to be ranked very highly.
Doesn't matter. Living out your 20's in LA = winning.
 

gbwillner

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Doesn't matter. Living out your 20's in LA = winning.
Winning at sitting in traffic; paying crazy rent for a run-down bungalow; and being surrounded by deadbeats and fake boobs from around the country who are currently waiting your table but are actually "actors" waiting for their big break?
 
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Euchromatin

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I listed in another thread that following objective data for all programs would be the way to go. Things like job location, income, high-impact research publications, academic center after residency, fellowship opportunities etc. Good programs will be determined by what their grads do after completing residency. After all, cream is supposed to rise to the top.
I agree with your general point that more objective measures would be good and that finding out what kind of jobs graduates of a program eventually get is great to know. I remember being very frustrated that many program directors claimed not to have that information to give me when I was an interviewing applicant. I think that some of the "objective data" you list could be just as subjective as board-certified pathologists' opinions of pathology residency programs, however.

Job location - if you mean listing geographic location that graduates are practicing in, that could be helpful in the sense that medical students hoping to practice in location x could see that many graduates from program y end up there. But I don't know how that could be used to "rank" programs...I don't think that having graduates who end up practicing near their residency program vs. spread across the country could really be gauged as "better" or "worse" and if you meant to rank programs based on whether their graduates got jobs in "desirable" locations or not, that would be even MORE subjective depending upon what different individuals find desirable.

High impact research publications - as determined by what measure (publication in specific journals? number of citations?)? and by faculty of the program? or by residents? I don't think that having research powerhouse attendings necessarily always translates into better residency training, either, particularly if an applicant is not particularly interested in an academic/research-related career. It would entirely depend on whether those attendings were also good teachers, how much time they were actually on service or otherwise interacting with residents, how much mentoring/support they gave, how signout at the program was structured, etc.

Academic center after residency - similarly, I think this would be great info for applicants to have about a program, but I don't think it really applies to "ranking." I personally don't think a program is "better" if all their graduates end up in crappy "junior faculty" jobs at academic centers versus private practice gigs, but, again, this would depend on personal preference/whether an applicant thinks they want to go into academia or not.
 

pathstudent

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This ranking system seems majorly flawed.
It lists a 8 resident community practice d penrose Colorado as many tiers above the university of Colorado and Columbia in Manhattan.

And it seems Midwest programs are ranked too high. I'm sorry but in general the coasts will attract the most competitive applicants. And that is true in most all industries.
 
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I agree with your general point that more objective measures would be good and that finding out what kind of jobs graduates of a program eventually get is great to know. I remember being very frustrated that many program directors claimed not to have that information to give me when I was an interviewing applicant. I think that some of the "objective data" you list could be just as subjective as board-certified pathologists' opinions of pathology residency programs, however.

Job location - if you mean listing geographic location that graduates are practicing in, that could be helpful in the sense that medical students hoping to practice in location x could see that many graduates from program y end up there. But I don't know how that could be used to "rank" programs...I don't think that having graduates who end up practicing near their residency program vs. spread across the country could really be gauged as "better" or "worse" and if you meant to rank programs based on whether their graduates got jobs in "desirable" locations or not, that would be even MORE subjective depending upon what different individuals find desirable.

High impact research publications - as determined by what measure (publication in specific journals? number of citations?)? and by faculty of the program? or by residents? I don't think that having research powerhouse attendings necessarily always translates into better residency training, either, particularly if an applicant is not particularly interested in an academic/research-related career. It would entirely depend on whether those attendings were also good teachers, how much time they were actually on service or otherwise interacting with residents, how much mentoring/support they gave, how signout at the program was structured, etc.

Academic center after residency - similarly, I think this would be great info for applicants to have about a program, but I don't think it really applies to "ranking." I personally don't think a program is "better" if all their graduates end up in crappy "junior faculty" jobs at academic centers versus private practice gigs, but, again, this would depend on personal preference/whether an applicant thinks they want to go into academia or not.
There are certainly nuances.

Job location: simple things like coasts vs flyover country. Or the simple question " are you working where you want to, or did you settle for less?"

Job type: private practice, academics, or slide mill drone

Of those who chose academics, what tier? BWH or Hollywood Upstairs? Jr faculty is crap for income yes, and people who like academics know that going in, but Jr faculty at Hahvahd means something.

Impact publications could be determined by citations or journal impact factor. If residents are regularly publishing in Cell or whatnot, then that's a good sign.
 

gbwillner

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This ranking system seems majorly flawed.
It lists a 8 resident community practice d penrose Colorado as many tiers above the university of Colorado and Columbia in Manhattan.

And it seems Midwest programs are ranked too high. I'm sorry but in general the coasts will attract the most competitive applicants. And that is true in most all industries.
aaaaandddd there it is. It was only a matter of time before Pathstudent made his coast-centric elitism be heard.

Program quality and location are different things. This list goes by reputation (primarily the former). Desirable location is far, far more subjective than a programs quality and reputation. I bet Hawaii can attract great applicants- it doesn't mean the quality of the program is somehow superior.

If we are going by quality of location, clearly Hopkins doesn't make the top 50 since it's in the middle of the ghetto in a ghetto town.
 

tiredguy

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aaaaandddd there it is. It was only a matter of time before Pathstudent made his coast-centric elitism be heard.
If we are going by quality of location, clearly Hopkins doesn't make the top 50 since it's in the middle of the ghetto in a ghetto town.
You're trying to make your point by trashing Baltimore? You sound just as elitist as he does. You should mind your manners, as some people reading this forum call Baltimore home. While certainly far from perfect, it has improved dramatically over the last 10 years. Many residents and fellows live within walking distance of the hospital and do walk to work, which would not be the case if it were still "in the middle of the ghetto".
 
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BlondeDocteur

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Sometimes we talk about 'prestige' as though it's completely divorced from reality, just a con or a shell game. After all, that's the basic etiology of the word. But I think reality and prestige co-create each other. The best programs have the best reputations and the best reputations attract the best people who make it into the best program.
 
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gbwillner

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You're trying to make your point by trashing Baltimore? You sound just as elitist as he does. You should mind your manners, as some people reading this forum call Baltimore home. While certainly far from perfect, it has improved dramatically over the last 10 years. Many residents and fellows live within walking distance of the hospital and do walk to work, which would not be the case if it were still "in the middle of the ghetto".
Actually, I was being sarcastic using stupid criteria, given it was the top program on this list. I actually like Baltimore, been there many times.
 

2121115

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Winning at sitting in traffic; paying crazy rent for a run-down bungalow; and being surrounded by deadbeats and fake boobs from around the country who are currently waiting your table but are actually "actors" waiting for their big break?
Haters gonna hate.
 

gbwillner

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Haters gonna hate.
Unlike Baltimore, I actually do have quite a distaste for Los Angeles. Every time I go back I am reminded about just how I can't stand it there. So yeah, I guess I am a hater. To each his/her own. My family loves it there. I've had the privilege of having lived in west coast, east coast, Midwest, and south, and there are few places I would never like to live. LA is one of them.
 

maji

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It upsets me to see my former residency as close to the bottom. We had great training and secured excellent fellowships at competitive programs. The program itself offered multiple fellowships and was frequently in the top 10% of programs when it came to USCAP platforms/posters. But hey, I guess we can't compete with Penrose in Colorado Springs.