U Mich hands down. Far stronger academic institution although you will work harder than at WashU. And while Ann Arbor is not exactly the awesomest city, it easily beats the unshaven armpit of the Midwest that is St Louis.
Interviewed at both last year. I was left with the impression that WashU rides too much on the reputation of their medical school and was unimpressed by the leadership (PD speech was only about how it was UW that was on probation, was interviewed by someone who had not read my application and had nothing at all in common with my career goals or personal interests), by the quality of clinical cases, by the facilities (especially the hideous clinic), or by the overall feel of the program. Michigan was quite spectacular. End result? Michigan was ranked a very close second (would've been first if they had a hospitalist track). WashU was left unranked.
I was also in the position of ranking these two programs and ended up ranking Wash U higher. You asked which program was more resident friendly, I think that would have to be Wash U even though Michigan has apparently made some strides from its formerly very malignant atmosphere.
Agree that you will work harder at Michigan but I think the clinical training, fellowship placement, etc are similar.
The one knock on Michigan when I was applying several years back was that it was one of the programs known as more "fellow driven". Don't know if that's still true.
Overall, very similar programs. Go with where you got the better vibe.
And don't listen to Mumpu...just search the previous posts for his diatribes against WashU.
I liked both programs. Admittedly, I have more experience with Wash U, but here are some of the reasons why I am ranking Wash U above Michigan:
-More diverse patient population, more underserved. If you're interested in ID, you will definitely see more HIV-related disease at Wash U.
-I actually prefer St. Louis to Ann Arbor. It's more of a real city as opposed to a college town, with, in my opinion, more stuff to do. The symphony is world-class, Forest Park is great, many nice and different neighborhoods with cool old architecture in the city.
-New program director is very friendly, approachable and proactive.
They're both great programs -- I don't think you can go wrong either way.
I don't think you can go wrong with either of these programs. All my advisors have put them on par as equals and the best 2 programs in the midwest. i think both places have been labeled malignant in the past, but i think both places are not malignant and in fact more friendly than many of the other elite programs. i have heard that michigan has a more east coasty culture/attitude but i found no merit in this personally.
Michigan: better schedule now with fewer call months and lower patient caps, strong PD, good fellowship match (although all I can find are the 5 yr pooled data), nice facilities with almost a complete electronic medical record system. maybe a less socioeconomically diverse pt population than wash u. ann arbor is an awesome college town, but still a college town if that is not your thing. residents seemed awesome, very smart and laid back.
Wash U: nightfloat system, 80% of residents report preferring nightfloat--this could be a plus or minus, new PD who seems very dedicated, research powerhouse with unique opportunities for resident research (CSTAR), st. louis is a decent midsized city - not chicago but very affordable, probably more inexpensive than michigan. fellowship match lists look very good for last few years in the competitive subspecialties but hard to compare without yearly data from UM. did not get to meet too many residents, but seemed very nice.
personally, i think it is all gut feel and where you would prefer living between these programs.
one of the previous posters continues to post his negative interview experience, i did not find any merit this post this year on my interview day, there is a new enthusiastic PD, renovations of the floors/units. The clinic is perhaps less plush than others, but not much different than some of my university's clinic space, there are other clinic locations and a new building planned from what i understand.
no one can claim with any sort of authority that michigan is "far stronger", they are both elite programs and institutions. some might even argue that wash u is the stronger national reputation.
I'd go with Michigan. I think Ann Arbor is a cool town and if you want a "bigger city" feel you can always go to Detroit and the surrounding suburbs (which I think are much nicer than St. Louis). I just felt like St. Louis was in the middle of nowhere. I'm sure you'd get similar training at both places. I guess you just have to go with your gut, but I'd go BLUE
Mumpu was very outspoken last year against WashU. I read and re-read his comments and debated applying to WashU. I figured there must be some truth to this and Mumpu was just pointing this out and not backing down, or he was a lunatic.
There was another program that SDN people also complained about that I also debated seeing, and that place ended up being about the same as last year. After making it a point to check out Mumpu's vocal complaints from his interview at WashU last year, I have concluded that he was right on (thought the lunatic part I'm still not convinced about). The facilities did suck, and badly. And the private patient thing was a big complaint of the residents.
But note the past tense. The inpatient wards have all been remodeled and look gorgeous. The outpatient clinic looks either like a jail if you believe me, or a bomb shelter post-thermonuclear war, if you believe Mumpu. Either way, it ain't pretty.
The private patients, according to what I was told on interview day by the PD, are completely gone. However, it talking with residents, they still exist in cardiology. There are some private practice cardiologists who still see their patients at Barnes-Jewish, and it seems that these cardiologist aren't about to leave. Now, was I lied to during my interview day? I don't want to be nit picky, but it does raise red flags when I was specifically told something on interview day that turns out to be false. I don't want to call anybody a liar, but I left with the distinct impression that private patients are completely gone. This was mentioned more than once by the PD. I was later told by somebody who just came off of cardiology that this isn't true. Are these few remaining private patients a big deal? Probably not, in the grand scheme of things. Is the lying a big deal? Probably not, and I'm betting there is a very benign explanation for this, but it does make me wonder.
So anyway, thanks Mumpu for calling it like you see it. But luckily, things have changed since you were there last year.
I just wanted to thank everyone for their input. Cearly by now I've had to make my decision and certify the rank list. I decided to go with U of MI and then Wash U. Again, all of your input really is appreciated and helped me out a lot!
Bigtuna, considering that SDN has a heavy preponderance of people who believe Hahvahd, Yale, WashU, etc. are totally perfect flawless awesomest programs, I feel obligated (yes, admittedly repeatedly) to point out my feelings on the issue to bring some sense of balance into the equation.
To be fair, I still don't understand where U of M's patient population comes from since they are sort of in the middle of nowhere. I've heard of people there experiencing a dearth of low-income disease like HIV/AIDS trainwrecks (but if you want inner-city disease, you should go to a place that has a real county hospital -- I bet none of the single-building programs have particularly good indigenous exposure).
not that it matters now that it is after 9PM but i just finished certifying my list with wash u as my #1 and michigan #2 so obviously i think they are both great programs. i wanted to live in a real city, and i like st. louis just fine. i also liked night float at wash u and the research opportunities available at wash u. the more diverse population appealed to me as well. but having said that, i would be perfectly happy to match at U of M. i think fellowship match is pretty equivalent at these places, great competitive subspecialty matches and some match out east/west as well.
There is a difference between a real city, and the god forsaken place that St. Louis is.
I've only been here two years and I've had my car broken into 4 TIMES, I've been ran into from behind at a stop light by an uninsured motorists, and have had my fair share of altercations with the indigent.
If I wasn't stuck here, I would have gone somewhere else as I am pretty sure any city is better than St. Louis.
Hard to find a city worse than St Louis. But it's only residency (3 years) and Wash U will help you get to fellowships in other cities. So I don't think the city should turn you away from the program. Unless you have a signifcant other who would be miserable there.
I lived in St. Louis for a while and found it to be a satisfactory city. No worse than any other mid-sized city that I have ever been to. Most but not all people who are outspoken against StL have only visited it briefly. I found Philly to be a horrible city when I visited, but I am told by many that it is a great place and most people who live there think it is awesome. Moral of the story is be wary of anyone's opinion of a city especially if they don't live there. It is difficult to get a true understanding of a place without living there.
I did medical school and undergrad in saint louis am now in residency at Michigan. Michigan is clearly superior, especially in the following areas.
1. If you want to do GI, you'll get interviews EVERYWHERE just b/c of the prestige of the faculty there and opportunities to get letters and work with world experts. its known as tops in GI.
2. the caps are now 8 TOTAL per intern, with only 4 new patients per call. its is completely benign, with caps lower than any program i know of. no cap busters anymore either with the hospitalist service able to offload all of the dumps and flogs. good for resident education.
3. residents are all brilliant. students i knew in saint louis got into Wash U who didnt even get an interview at michigan. everyone seems to be AOA at michigan.
4. no private patients at michigan.
5. the PD at michigan is the nicest fairest guy youll meet. He's also a famous GI doc which helps the cause. one of the main reasons i came there.
6. the computer system in great, all records are electronic, and filters exist so well that you get a progress not from 1997 in front of you with 3 clicks.
CONS: dont know enough about cards to call michigan superior for it, but i know mich residents are going to top 5 places for interviews.
i personally liked saint louis more than ann arbor, but STL grew on me and they have cool pockets of culture, and an awesome bar scene, although not a big city feel. also, there is not alot of HIV at umich, probably not an ideal place for ID, although they have the famous kazanjian.
bottom line. to call michigan malignant is the furthest from the truth. the caps are unbelievable at 8 per intern with no strings attached. the residents are chill, and people have a good time.