TheaterOfTheme

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Hello all,

The interview season rages on and I am still holding to my conviction of wearing suit pants while on zoom :p

I was hoping to get some input from the experts here on some of my top programs. To me the most important parts of a program are 1. Community/fit (often hard to judge via zoom), 2. Early psychotherapy exposure, and 3. Some built in time for research and publishing

1. UW: Obviously a phenomenal program. I love the PNW and all that the program offers, but I worry about the call schedule and the recent resident strikes that happened. Of note, if I chose UW I'd likely rank the rural Montana Track first (2nd two years in Montana). I'm into the rural thing, I've always dreamed of living in Montana.

2. U Cincinnati: This program stuck out to me as one of the most truly well-rounded and developed of places I've been able to interview at. I loved the early psychotherapy exposure, amount of research, the lighter call schedule, the people, and the way the PD interacted with us. It seems like an incredible place. Only downside is its in Ohio--but Cincinnati doesn't look so bad. I'd rank this number one if this program was in the mountains on the West Coast somewhere, if that means anything.

3. UA-Tucson: This program is fairly well-rounded and it seems to have a good culture. I love Tucson. I wish they had more research time built in and that psychotherapy started in the 2nd year. Good vibes from the faculty and residents.

4. University of Massachusetts: I haven't interviewed for this one yet (one of my last interviews), but the program strikes me as a great one ticking all my little boxes.

5. University of Nevada Reno: I list this in the top as I love Reno, NV. I'd basically choose this to be in the Sierra Nevadas. There's a new program director who is changing things up and she has some excellent plans. Low research, but they start psychotherapy in the 1st year now.

6. UCSF-Fresno: This also seems like a really well-rounded program that is education-focused. The main downside being that you are in Fresno--which isn't so bad to me, but there isn't too much for my spouse to do there.

7. SUNY-Upstate: I was impressed with this program when I interviewed--but I have some hesitations given a really weird aspect to their program where they have "rural tracks" that you can rank that lead you to being indebted for 5 years to a rural hospital with semi-low pay in upstate NY. One doesn't have to rank these, but the fact they operate something like that throws me off a little bit.

I have other programs that may be 'ranked' higher academically than some of these, but I would rank them lower based certain aspects of the curriculum that don't fit me as well imo. Any advice would be great! Thanks so much.
 
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Hello all,

The interview season rages on and I am still holding to my conviction of wearing suit pants while on zoom :p

I was hoping to get some input from the experts here on some of my top programs. To me the most important parts of a program are 1. Community/fit (often hard to judge via zoom), 2. Early psychotherapy exposure, and 3. Some built in time for research and publishing

1. UW: Obviously a phenomenal program. I love the PNW and all that the program offers, but I worry about the call schedule and the recent resident strikes that happened. Of note, if I chose UW I'd likely rank the rural Montana Track first (2nd two years in Montana). I'm into the rural thing, I've always dreamed of living in Montana.

2. U Cincinnati: This program stuck out to me as one of the most truly well-rounded and developed of places I've been able to interview at. I loved the early psychotherapy exposure, amount of research, the lighter call schedule, the people, and the way the PD interacted with us. It seems like an incredible place. Only downside is its in Ohio--but Cincinnati doesn't look so bad. I'd rank this number one if this program was in the mountains on the West Coast somewhere, if that means anything.

3. UA-Tucson: This program is fairly well-rounded and it seems to have a good culture. I love Tucson. I wish they had more research time built in and that psychotherapy started in the 2nd year. Good vibes from the faculty and residents.

4. University of Massachusetts: I haven't interviewed for this one yet (one of my last interviews), but the program strikes me as a great one ticking all my little boxes.

5. University of Nevada Reno: I list this in the top as I love Reno, NV. I'd basically choose this to be in the Sierra Nevadas. There's a new program director who is changing things up and she has some excellent plans. Low research, but they start psychotherapy in the 1st year now.

6. UCSF-Fresno: This also seems like a really well-rounded program that is education-focused. The main downside being that you are in Fresno--which isn't so bad to me, but there isn't too much for my spouse to do there.

7. SUNY-Upstate: I was impressed with this program when I interviewed--but I have some hesitations given a really weird aspect to their program where they have "rural tracks" that you can rank that lead you to being indebted for 5 years to a rural hospital with semi-low pay in upstate NY. One doesn't have to rank these, but the fact they operate something like that throws me off a little bit.

I have other programs that may be 'ranked' higher academically than some of these, but I would rank them lower based certain aspects of the curriculum that don't fit me as well imo. Any advice would be great! Thanks so much.

I think location, work/life balance, and general feel of your co-residents should be paramount. If you read, be curious, etc. you're going to get a good education at *most* programs regardless.

For me, UW is a phenomenal institution and program but I would opt for something with a better work/life balance (of course maybe you're different). I think priorities shift once you get into a program - I remember the aura the big names had at the time, but now that I'm half way through the grind of residency, the chance to have a life outside of work is more valuable to me. Just something to keep in mind.
 
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TheaterOfTheme

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I think location, work/life balance, and general feel of your co-residents should be paramount. If you read, be curious, etc. you're going to get a good education at *most* programs regardless.

For me, UW is a phenomenal institution and program but I would opt for something with a better work/life balance (of course maybe you're different). I think priorities shift once you get into a program - I remember the aura the big names had at the time, but now that I'm half way through the grind of residency, the chance to have a life outside of work is more valuable to me. Just something to keep in mind.
That's wonderful advice. I appreciate it. It is tremendously difficult to get a good feel via zoom. The latter half of UW-Montana woulds certainly be significantly more balanced...Decisions are tough! Deciding on what I want to priortize is the key difficulty. lol
 
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reca

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I interviewed at most of those programs. In terms of "tiers" of program, I would put it as:

Tier 1:
UW
U Cincinnati
U Mass

Tier 2:
Tucson
UCSF Fresno

Tier 3:
Suny Upstate
UN Reno

Fwiw, I ranked U Cincinnati #2 (because of location) but would likely rank it #1 if I were going through the match again. I had less psychotherapy training than I wanted during my residency and would changed my rank list accordingly.
 
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Stagg737

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If this is your current order then it sounds like UC should be your #1 right now. If the only thing holding you back is lack of mountains and you love everything about the program itself, I'd favor that unless you find the Cincinnati as a city unbearable. You can always move to the mountains after residency and vacations are a thing.
 
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Merovinge

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If this is your current order then it sounds like UC should be your #1 right now. If the only thing holding you back is lack of mountains and you love everything about the program itself, I'd favor that unless you find the Cincinnati as a city unbearable. You can always move to the mountains after residency and vacations are a thing.
It's honestly a really decent mid-western city. Downtown is being revived in a pretty cool way, nice walkability now. COL is super reasonable, drivable to other reasonable cities (Louisville is really close and fun). Airport could be better given you'll want access to it frequently but it's not bad. Has an excellent children's hospital and UC in generally is a pretty solid all around medical institute.
 
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TheaterOfTheme

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If this is your current order then it sounds like UC should be your #1 right now. If the only thing holding you back is lack of mountains and you love everything about the program itself, I'd favor that unless you find the Cincinnati as a city unbearable. You can always move to the mountains after residency and vacations are a thing.
That order was just a stream of consciousness--but I guess it may be close to what I was thinking rank-wise. Thanks for the input. I just love them mountains lol. Granted I don't ski, rock climb, or anything like that.

It just seems odd to choose to live in Ohio vs Tucson or the PNW. Thats the part I have a hard time reconciling.
 

TheaterOfTheme

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I interviewed at most of those programs. In terms of "tiers" of program, I would put it as:

Tier 1:
UW
U Cincinnati
U Mass

Tier 2:
Tucson
UCSF Fresno

Tier 3:
Suny Upstate
UN Reno

Fwiw, I ranked U Cincinnati #2 (because of location) but would likely rank it #1 if I were going through the match again. I had less psychotherapy training than I wanted during my residency and would changed my rank list accordingly.
Thanks for the advice. Means a lot! I'd definitely agree with those tiers.
 

TheaterOfTheme

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If this is your current order then it sounds like UC should be your #1 right now. If the only thing holding you back is lack of mountains and you love everything about the program itself, I'd favor that unless you find the Cincinnati as a city unbearable. You can always move to the mountains after residency and vacations are a thing.
Cinci seemed amazing from top to bottom! But everything is virtual so I'm often doubting my gut impressions. *sigh
 

LovingLithium

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For ranking, Location was the #1 thing for me. The program itself was #2. So, my number 1 is a balance of both of those.

What someone told me that helped me a lot was... Imagine finding out you matched at that program... How do you feel about it? Some programs may be prestigious but would you be happy in living in that city? Is it worth moving your life all the way there to work all out?
 
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I may or may not have weighted the quality of food in a particular location as one of my top three most important factors.

figure out what's most important to you, and use that to guide your rankings.
 
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hallowmann

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Cinci seemed amazing from top to bottom! But everything is virtual so I'm often doubting my gut impressions. *sigh
Not being able to eat Grippos BBQ chips or Hot & Spicy popcorn after your interview is what you really should be disappointed by. Its been many years since my interview, but I pictured myself easily living there and there seemed to be quite a bit of need in the community, which would lend itself to good learning. I didn't quite click well with the program, but seriously, Grippos afterwards combined with the sweet AirBnB experience made me question whether I should go years without being in Cincy again.
 
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TheaterOfTheme

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Hey all, I'm really in between UNM and UA-Tucson! Any thoughts on these two? It seems like there may be more opportunity at UNM, but that there also may be worse infrastructure being that New Mexico is a poor state.

Also still wrestling with the idea of ranking UW, UCinci, and UMass lower than these two. I feel the locational fit is better for me in the desert programs to be honest, but these three are so impressive *on paper*!
 
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Everyone is going to have different priorities when it comes to choosing programs. This is a very personal decision and not something that you can “outsource.” Interview days - especially on Zoom - can provide a very brief glimpse of what a program is like, but the reality is that it’s necessarily going to be incomplete and likely the most positive view of a program possible.

Remember that residency is training. It’s not a place to party or make lifelong friends. It’s a job and you probably aren’t going to have the “good vibes,” ”everything is great,” ”wow this is so amazing” feel that you may have had in medical school. Rank places that you feel would prepare you best to become the psychiatrist that you want to be and can help you grow in whatever professional interests that you have. Avoid overtly malignant programs that don’t care about you or your training and only care about covering their clinical services. Be weary of falling into the misguided (IMO) belief that programs have some kind of special sauce that can make you a more superior psychiatrist than other programs - that isn‘t true, and at the end of the day you are going to be most responsible for your learning and development. Certainly individual programs have strengths that may be well-tailored to your particular interests, and there is obviously a minimum level of quality needed in order for you to learn adequately, but the truth is that most programs affiliated with a university or health system that you’ve heard of will very likely fit that criterion. Other considerations are going to be personal and something you will have to work out yourself.
 
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Merovinge

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Everyone is going to have different priorities when it comes to choosing programs. This is a very personal decision and not something that you can “outsource.” Interview days - especially on Zoom - can provide a very brief glimpse of what a program is like, but the reality is that it’s necessarily going to be incomplete and likely the most positive view of a program possible.

Remember that residency is training. It’s not a place to party or make lifelong friends. It’s a job and you probably aren’t going to have the “good vibes,” ”everything is great,” ”wow this is so amazing” feel that you may have had in medical school. Rank places that you feel would prepare you best to become the psychiatrist that you want to be and can help you grow in whatever professional interests that you have. Avoid overtly malignant programs that don’t care about you or your training and only care about covering their clinical services. Be weary of falling into the misguided (IMO) belief that programs have some kind of special sauce that can make you a more superior psychiatrist than other programs - that isn‘t true, and at the end of the day you are going to be most responsible for your learning and development. Certainly individual programs have strengths that may be well-tailored to your particular interests, and there is obviously a minimum level of quality needed in order for you to learn adequately, but the truth is that most programs affiliated with a university or health system that you’ve heard of will very likely fit that criterion. Other considerations are going to be personal and something you will have to work out yourself.
This is great advice, however I will say if you are single that residency does end up being a point in time that many people end up finding life partners after pausing their life through medical school. Almost every single resident I interacted with socially (at least 75% of 30+ people) got married or started dating someone they eventually married while in training. If you feel a certain location is going to better suit you in that domain (aka you fit the city better), it's not unreasonable to consider that at this point. I certainly also made lifelong friends through training although I think you'd be hard pressed to find a training location where you would not.
 
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aksame

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Gee, going to graduate from the residency soon and joining one of the program as a faculty, see maybe my future resident here, maybe =)
 
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Hello all,

The interview season rages on and I am still holding to my conviction of wearing suit pants while on zoom :p

I was hoping to get some input from the experts here on some of my top programs. To me the most important parts of a program are 1. Community/fit (often hard to judge via zoom), 2. Early psychotherapy exposure, and 3. Some built in time for research and publishing

1. UW: Obviously a phenomenal program. I love the PNW and all that the program offers, but I worry about the call schedule and the recent resident strikes that happened. Of note, if I chose UW I'd likely rank the rural Montana Track first (2nd two years in Montana). I'm into the rural thing, I've always dreamed of living in Montana.

2. U Cincinnati: This program stuck out to me as one of the most truly well-rounded and developed of places I've been able to interview at. I loved the early psychotherapy exposure, amount of research, the lighter call schedule, the people, and the way the PD interacted with us. It seems like an incredible place. Only downside is its in Ohio--but Cincinnati doesn't look so bad. I'd rank this number one if this program was in the mountains on the West Coast somewhere, if that means anything.

3. UA-Tucson: This program is fairly well-rounded and it seems to have a good culture. I love Tucson. I wish they had more research time built in and that psychotherapy started in the 2nd year. Good vibes from the faculty and residents.

4. University of Massachusetts: I haven't interviewed for this one yet (one of my last interviews), but the program strikes me as a great one ticking all my little boxes.

5. University of Nevada Reno: I list this in the top as I love Reno, NV. I'd basically choose this to be in the Sierra Nevadas. There's a new program director who is changing things up and she has some excellent plans. Low research, but they start psychotherapy in the 1st year now.

6. UCSF-Fresno: This also seems like a really well-rounded program that is education-focused. The main downside being that you are in Fresno--which isn't so bad to me, but there isn't too much for my spouse to do there.

7. SUNY-Upstate: I was impressed with this program when I interviewed--but I have some hesitations given a really weird aspect to their program where they have "rural tracks" that you can rank that lead you to being indebted for 5 years to a rural hospital with semi-low pay in upstate NY. One doesn't have to rank these, but the fact they operate something like that throws me off a little bit.

I have other programs that may be 'ranked' higher academically than some of these, but I would rank them lower based certain aspects of the curriculum that don't fit me as well imo. Any advice would be great! Thanks so much.
Hello, I am considering SUNY Upstate, but had a difficult time finding more information about the downsides of their rural tract. Where did you find info that it's low pay, etc?
 

TheaterOfTheme

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Hello, I am considering SUNY Upstate, but had a difficult time finding more information about the downsides of their rural tract. Where did you find info that it's low pay, etc?
I guess it’s average pay, but it’s kind of a raw deal because you have no control over your schedule or career options. There was no real benefit to it :/
 
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TheaterOfTheme

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Thank you. Also, just confirming, usually committment tracts offer loan repayment. This was not included correct?
Nope! I asked the PC and residents and apparently it wasn't. It really turned me off from SUNY Upstate tbh. The program seemed great, but the fact that they had these rural contracts w/ no real benefit was really concerning to me.
 

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Nope! I asked the PC and residents and apparently it wasn't. It really turned me off from SUNY Upstate tbh. The program seemed great, but the fact that they had these rural contracts w/ no real benefit was really concerning to me.
Out of curiosity how did you feel about UW vs U Cincy head to head? What’s the tie breaker for you?
 

TheaterOfTheme

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Out of curiosity how did you feel about UW vs U Cincy head to head? What’s the tie breaker for you?
Hey! I went w/ UW over U Cinci mostly due to location, but I actually ended up ranking both fairly low and below quite a few "lower tier" places too. TBH, had a weird interaction with the U Cinci PD that really turned me off. Initially, UCinci seemed better due to COL and possibly better work hours. But they failed to publish their call schedule on their website/applicant information, and I didnt get a straight answer from anyone as to what the schedule was like. Then I saw on the reddit spreadsheet that they have call into 4th year, and they definitely didn't tell me that during my interview. At least UW was comprehensive about their program and call etc.
 
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redstapler22

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I know this is last minute but does anyone have any thoughts on UT Austin vs. UT San Antonio? Austin is definitely a newer program but has quickly established itself as a strong and innovative program with manageable call. UT San Antonio is more established and services three hospitals (community hospital, VA, and active military hospital) but has a good amount of call.
 

TheaterOfTheme

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I know this is last minute but does anyone have any thoughts on UT Austin vs. UT San Antonio? Austin is definitely a newer program but has quickly established itself as a strong and innovative program with manageable call. UT San Antonio is more established and services three hospitals (community hospital, VA, and active military hospital) but has a good amount of call.
How bad is the COL difference? I really wanted an interview from both of these places, but didn't get them. I went to a virtual open-house for Austin and I really like their program--lots of psychotherapy! I've heard COL is bad in Austin, but if its pretty close between the two, I'd go with Austin for therapy. Thats my bias tho!
 

redstapler22

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How bad is the COL difference? I really wanted an interview from both of these places, but didn't get them. I went to a virtual open-house for Austin and I really like their program--lots of psychotherapy! I've heard COL is bad in Austin, but if its pretty close between the two, I'd go with Austin for therapy. Thats my bias tho!
Thank you TheaterofTheme. The cost of living is 12% higher in Austin, TX when compared to San Antonio but that's reflected in the increased salaries at Austin. I agree with you 100% that Austin has the better psychotherapy (which is important!). Just wondering if that makes up for UT San Antonio being more established.
 

LutGholein

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I know this is last minute but does anyone have any thoughts on UT Austin vs. UT San Antonio? Austin is definitely a newer program but has quickly established itself as a strong and innovative program with manageable call. UT San Antonio is more established and services three hospitals (community hospital, VA, and active military hospital) but has a good amount of call.
I have a few friends who rotated through UT San Antonio and loved their time there—mostly had mentioned that SA has great COL in comparison to Austin. Both sound great though!
 

TheaterOfTheme

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If COL is equal given salary adjustment, I’d go with lower call. I’m really not speaking from any experience with the programs here though. Just my general principles haha.
 
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TexasPhysician

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I know this is last minute but does anyone have any thoughts on UT Austin vs. UT San Antonio? Austin is definitely a newer program but has quickly established itself as a strong and innovative program with manageable call. UT San Antonio is more established and services three hospitals (community hospital, VA, and active military hospital) but has a good amount of call.

What do you mean by newer? They have both been around for a long time. UT Austin is the new name, but Austin has had a psych residency and child fellowship for 15+ years. I’m not that old to know the exact year. The same faculty were there to help with the transition. It has only gotten better. I have friends that have graduated from there and enjoyed it. I don’t know enough about the programs now, but historically Austin has had a college clinic and San Antonio has been more VA/military based. Austin has the some of the major state facilities for involuntary commitments. Half of the SA residency program is military. Historically that half will rotate PGY3-4 in areas that the civilian half does not have access too due to lack of clearance. You’ll have much different experiences civilian vs military. I can’t confirm if this is true any longer.

In knowing where many students match in the last 5-10 years, I can tell you that Austin is more competitive applicant wise. It is a harder match. Austin does have a higher cost of living, and it has been experiencing tremendous growth. It’s a very popular city with home prices going much higher.

SA has a better cost of living with lower home prices. It is a better planned city for expansion. It is not as “cool” as Austin with the young crowd.

I ranked Austin higher than SA before it transitioned to UT -Austin in name.
 

redstapler22

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What do you mean by newer? They have both been around for a long time. UT Austin is the new name, but Austin has had a psych residency and child fellowship for 15+ years. I’m not that old to know the exact year. The same faculty were there to help with the transition. It has only gotten better. I have friends that have graduated from there and enjoyed it. I don’t know enough about the programs now, but historically Austin has had a college clinic and San Antonio has been more VA/military based. Austin has the some of the major state facilities for involuntary commitments. Half of the SA residency program is military. Historically that half will rotate PGY3-4 in areas that the civilian half does not have access too due to lack of clearance. You’ll have much different experiences civilian vs military. I can’t confirm if this is true any longer.

In knowing where many students match in the last 5-10 years, I can tell you that Austin is more competitive applicant wise. It is a harder match. Austin does have a higher cost of living, and it has been experiencing tremendous growth. It’s a very popular city with home prices going much higher.

SA has a better cost of living with lower home prices. It is a better planned city for expansion. It is not as “cool” as Austin with the young crowd.

I ranked Austin higher than SA before it transitioned to UT -Austin in name.
Thank you TexasPhysician. When I wrote newer, I meant a newer university-based program. From my understanding of both programs, you're right about everything you typed. From what you know, is the Austin program experiencing any growing pains as it continues to transition from it's community based origins?
 

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Thank you TexasPhysician. When I wrote newer, I meant a newer university-based program. From my understanding of both programs, you're right about everything you typed. From what you know, is the Austin program experiencing any growing pains as it continues to transition from it's community based origins?

Ive only heard good things.
 

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