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Good PSF Programs

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by jv00927, May 8, 2008.

  1. jv00927

    jv00927 Member
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    I'm really considering doing a PSF next year. Which ones give you resident-level responsibilities? At this point, I don't have a preference for AP only or AP/CP integrated. For those of you who've done a PSF and interviewed around when applying for one, what are your thoughts on these programs? Thanks in advance.


    Los Angeles
    - UCLA HOSPITAL CENTER FOR THE HEALTH SCIENCES (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES)
    San Francisco
    - UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO (UCSF)

    Connecticut
    New Haven
    - YALE-NEW HAVEN MEDICAL CENTER

    Florida
    Tampa
    - UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA COLLEGE OF MEDICINE

    Massachusetts
    Worcester
    - UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL SCHOOL

    Minnesota
    Minneapolis
    - UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA AFFILIATED HOSPITALS

    Missouri
    St. Louis
    - SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

    New Mexico
    Albuquerque
    - UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO AFFILIATED HOSPITALS

    New York
    Bronx
    - ALBERT EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND MONTEFIORE MEDICAL CENTER
    New York
    - NEW YORK UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER

    Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia
    - UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA MEDICAL CENTER
    Pittsburgh
    - UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

    West Virginia
    Morgantown
    - WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER
     
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  3. sohsie

    sohsie Member
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    You will get resident-level responsibility at UCLA.

     
  4. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
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    what is the motivation for doing these? A year of your life is massive lost opportunity cost. People need to start valuing the years of their life more...
     
  5. Ekard81

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    Resident level responsibilities at Saint Louis University as well.
     
  6. Logos'

    Logos' Member
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    ...
     
    #5 Logos', May 9, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  7. Psychopathology

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    UCLA - Resident level responsibility. Fairly, a greater fund of clinical knowledge is expected from a PJF than from a PSF, but both hold the fort, gross, and preview as would be expected from a resident on any particular service. Very talented and patient fellows will often help you out. Excellent balance of AP & CP if that's what you're looking for. AP is subspecialty sign-out (more-so than at most other institutions). Some exceptionally strong residents. Even though it is a great program at a top institution, people are very kind and laid back.

    YALE - In speaking with people who ran the program a couple of years ago, I had the impression that fellows shadowed residents for about half of the year and spent the second half of the year working on a basic science project. Did not seem as structured as other PSFs and the emphasis seemed to be on research. This might work to your advantage depending on what you hope to gather from your experience.

    UMASS - Resident level responsibility. Was AP only when I interviewed there. Required NP and lots of autopsy. Elective opportunities (CP if interested although I have not met with any of their CP faculty). Excellent, new facilities and cool attendings. Some exceptional students/residents have rotated through this fellowship.


    Why do a PSF? I did mine for precisely the reason that Doc suggested I shouldn't. I value my time... more than I value my money. Don't come from any and probably will never be swimming in it. Wasn't sure about pathology but read through Robbins, started to enjoy and understand the subject that put suffering through first year of med school in clearer context, and subsequently wanted to learn as much as I could about the field. Third year is much more productive on account of completing one of these given improved insight into residency and a point of reference to compare all other careers in medicine. My classmates who did not do a PSF are having a hard time deciding whether or not do go into pathology and some of them clearly have no idea what they're getting into (i.e. 'I wanna do path cuz I hated surgery... too much blood and guts', or 'I wanna do path because I don't like working with people'... clearly no clue what they'd be getting into). Regardless, they'll still make it into great residencies and some of them will feel satisfied with their career choice despite making it after one or possibly two four week rotations.

    Also, for those of us who are not hermits: some PSFs require you to work very hard during the week but not quite as hard on the weekends, if you catch my drift. This is one of the joys of pathology (but probably not a good reason to go into it seeing that your responsibilities don't end when you leave the hospital). That said, call is nothing like the call you will take in clinical medicine. You may not even have to take call during your PSF. If you're efficient, then you will be able to enjoy a day or so off and an occasional Friday night. You will also have time to go to the gym and not miss a second of sleep. CP rotations are inherently light and will also be a good time to work on twelve simultaneous projects while memorizing Henry's and Ackerman's cover-to-cover..... or to get out of the hospital and make some friends if you're at an away program and new to the area.

    PSF = best possible exposure to pathology that you can get as a medical student, especially as a pre-clinical med student + loads of responsibility that you will not come close to having in your third year + opportunity to work hard doing something that you may or may not fall in love with and make as a career + opportunity to train at an institution other than the one that you will rotate through during third year + opportunity to meet prospective colleagues + much more downtime than you will have during third year and thus, an opportunity to enjoy life a little bit while you still can. Financially, there is no possible incentive do complete one of these things, unless it confirms your career interest, thus, sparing you the hassle and lost earning potential of matching into a less enjoyable residency and subsequently dropping out (or worse, completing one) when you realize that it is not for you.
     
  8. SLUsagar

    SLUsagar rock chalk jayhawk
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    i'd throw Stanford to the mix. recently started a PSF program 3, maybe 4 years, back. but you'd never guess it was fairly new, the program runs smooth as a baby's bottom. We've had 2 per year historically, and last year we took 3 (included some outside people, so no inside bias going on). I think there's a formal interview process, but if you're decently smart and motivated i think you'd be fine, just want to weed out the losers in the group. PSFs we've had have been super freaking awesome, and I hope that tradition continues. PSFs basically function like residents when on-service, a bit lighter duty (i.e. case volume) early on, perhaps goes up as year goes on. Ample opps for research/elective time etc as you're given formal months to do so.
     
  9. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
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    Huh, if you are still doing PSF years after the ABP has discontinued credit for them THEN by definition you are the group loser.
     
  10. SLUsagar

    SLUsagar rock chalk jayhawk
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    regardless of whether you WANNA do the PSF year or not, just commenting that we've got a decent setup.
     
  11. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
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    do you guys even have poker games anymore?

    how can you claim to have a "decent setup" without resident poker?
     
  12. SLUsagar

    SLUsagar rock chalk jayhawk
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    still do from time to time. even squeezed in some days at the race track (which recently closed).
     
  13. green mantis

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    Yes, you'll get a break between 2nd & 3rd year. However, when you go back to school, you'll still be a 3rd year. PSF's don't count towards medical school graduation either...


    ----- Antony
     
  14. DarksideAllstar

    DarksideAllstar you can pay me in bud
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    As someone who had completed a PJF, I could probably right two pages full of pros and cons, none of which would make the decision to do one any different than it already is. There are myriad of reasons to do it or not to. Personal circumstance is a big one (it was one for me). The vitriol against doing one is beyond me-- I'm not sure why anyone really cares. Why does anyone care if I take a year off from med school--for any reason? People take time off between undergrad and med school pretty regularly, but no one is citing the "massive lost opportunity cost" there. In fact, doing anything aside from leaving college and working is massive lost opportunity cost. I think most people in medicine realize that a year delay in graduation is lost income (and compound interest), but I digress.

    late
     
  15. Psychopathology

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    Do not misconstrue the fellowship as an opportunity to take it easy and have fun, because the better programs entail much work and responsibility. You will probably decide whether or not pathology is a career option and you will encounter a good amount of stress. That said, it can be quite an eye opening experience in more ways than one and you will certainly have more downtime during parts of your fellowship than you will have when you return to medical school. That's part of the package. There are many ways to take advantage of that. I'm not advocating that you take the fellowship lightly or conversely implying that you feel ashamed of devoting time to anything that is not considered work. Everyone, no matter their attitude and performance at work, has different values, goals, and priorities. Decide for yourself if the fellowship is worth your time and effort and make the most of downtime in what way you see fit.
     
  16. DarksideAllstar

    DarksideAllstar you can pay me in bud
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    I'm not certain who this post is directed at, but I know for damn sure I worked as hard as the residents that year (harder than some, that's for certain). The fellowship doesn't entail the in-house overnight call aspects of the M3 year (which makes it horrid in its own right), however, on a daily basis I think I was busier from 8-6 (or 7, or 8) during my fellowship than I was as a third year med student (with the exception of my general surgery rotation). Otherwise, I tend to agree with the sentiment of your post.
     
  17. Psychopathology

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    The post was for people on the fence about doing a fellowship. I agree with your assessment.
     
  18. jv00927

    jv00927 Member
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    Thanks for all the replies. It's definitely been very informative, especially your guys' thoughts on individual programs. Right now I'm leaning towards doing the fellowship, but I have a couple months to finalize my decision so that will probably help me make the right choice.
     

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