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Heme/Onc application thread '08-09 version

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marrow

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Do the interviewers respond to the thank you letters? None of mine responded so far. Does that mean they will not rank me high? This whole thing is giving me jitters!!
 

bossenton

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Generic questions:
1. Why hem/onc?
2. Why our program?
3. Goal in 5-10 years?
4. Past training in hem/onc?
5. Where else you got interviewed? How did they go?
6. Family issues?
7. Any questions for our program?
No one asked about details about research so far.:luck:

Thanks for the questions, very helpful for confidence. Good luck for your interviews!
 
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yunfat

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in general, most of the interviews were very laid back just as erythrocyte1 mentioned. if they give you a list of interviewers, i would check to see if they do research in your area... if so, definitely be prepared to answer questions. i definitely had some detailed discussions regarding my research with several interviewers (regarding methodology, results, etc.)

although not the norm, i did get pimped about heme/onc stuff on 2 occasions so far...

as for responses after thank you emails... it definitely varies from program to program... depends on the PD.

quick question for people who got interviews from MD Anderson - can you post the contact person and his/her phone/email? I still haven't heard from them and would like to see what's going on. Other than interview invites, anyone else hear from them?

thanks...
 

Nonamegoodname

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Review: Cleveland Clinic

IV day: 11 am to 4 pm (2-3 hours of sleep in the morning is a great plus)
# of interviewer: 4 (program has 2 PDs)
Accommodation provided:No
# of applicants interviewed in one day: ~5
# of applications : 300
# interviewee: 30
# of positions:
6
Clinical: was supposed to be very busy but it is not anymore. when u r on the floor u r on call Q6 with calls from home. you have residents and interns in inpatient hem and onc and occasionally consult service. u r role is not to be an intern but act as a supervisor, teacher and trainer.
Authority: so-so. depends on the attending, hospital you are rotating and yourself
Helping hands: NPs , PAs especially in BMT service.
Research: there are some world figures in cancer research there. they attract patients twice as high as case. the case comprehensive cancer center is run by both groups in research fields. they have shifted more and more to research field and u have to present inn ASH ASCO etc...
Neighborhood: I liked it. I think in spring and summer cleveland is very beautiful though if u are from florida do not go there. winters are nasty.
Allowance: none.
FLOWs: extremely happy. both PDs seemed very approachable.
Mentorship: strong.
Flows destination: they like 100% academics and they are reaching it.
Interviewers: excellent.
PDs: excellent, very calm and reassuring.
Overall score: 8.8/10

So far 1- CC 2- Duke 3- UCSD 4- BU 5- MONTEFIOR.
 

bossenton

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in general, most of the interviews were very laid back just as erythrocyte1 mentioned. if they give you a list of interviewers, i would check to see if they do research in your area... if so, definitely be prepared to answer questions. i definitely had some detailed discussions regarding my research with several interviewers (regarding methodology, results, etc.)

although not the norm, i did get pimped about heme/onc stuff on 2 occasions so far...

as for responses after thank you emails... it definitely varies from program to program... depends on the PD.

quick question for people who got interviews from MD Anderson - can you post the contact person and his/her phone/email? I still haven't heard from them and would like to see what's going on. Other than interview invites, anyone else hear from them?

thanks...

Thanks Yunfat. The contact person at MDACC is:
Ms Schwarz

Ph: (713) 792-7246

[email protected]
 

cdql

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In general, how competitive is the landscape for heme/onc application? In perusing, it seems like heme/onc is right up there with GI/cards in terms of compensation but no one really mentions it being right up there with GI/cards in terms of difficulty of getting in.
 

doc20

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I was looking at match rates for cards, gi and heme onc from nrmp match data
and GI>cards> heme/onc
it ranks number 3 just slightly below cards to get in
 

Helops

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Hey,
It is not over yet. I got 2 more IV this week... from Arkansas (Monday via e-mail) and Georgetown (today via e-mail).
So, please keep checking your e-mail...
Have a great weekend!
Helops
 

marrow

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Has anyone heard from USC after the interview interms of response to your thank you letter? Please respond. Thanks.
 

MDgoing4MPH

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Hi Marrow,
I haven't gone to USC yet, how did ur interview go? how did u see the program?
As far as response to thank u letters, I have got 2 very good responses , 2 "thanks for coming" and I think 3 no responses, even with the very personalized thank you letter following up on our discussion during one to one interview.
I think having a great personalized response to your thank you letter is a plus but I don't read alot into not getting one. Some PDs are very busy plus there are lots of policies in each program that they have to deal with in order to select their applicants.
Having said that, I think it doesn't show a good attitude from PD not responding to thank you letter even with one line "thanks for coming".
I think alot of follow up emails will come in early-mid May when they finalized their ranking list.
My opinion is 70-80% of ranking list has been set even before interview. 15-20% is your interview and the rest is the follow ups , finding connections, calls from your PD and reference, etc... .
 

Nonamegoodname

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Review: University of Minnesota

IV day: 8 am to 4 pm
# of interviewer: 2
Accommodation provided:No
# of applicants interviewed in one day: ~6
# of applications : 300
# interviewee: 40
# of positions:
6
Clinical: calls are from home. If I remember correctly u'll be on call Q4 but most of the work is being done by residents, interns, PAs and NPs. usually u will come 7:30 and will leave around 7pm. u round with ur team then attending will join u and some times pharmacist , NPs and head nurse will be in the round too. then u round with the attending to discuss interesting cases in higher levels. like many programs it has inpatient hem, inpatient onc, BMT and consult. there are 3-4 other hospitals that you rotate but most of your inpatient load is in the university hospital , the rest are outpatient.
Authority: so-so. depends on the attending.
Helping hands: NPs , PAs especially in BMT service.
Research: If you want to become BMT expert this is your place. they have 30 year database of BMTs they have done. Basic science is pretty strong. They are working on their solid tumor research but it's a fair statement that U of M hem/onc is HEM plus onc.
Neighborhood: the weather is COLD. VERY COLD, VERY VERY COLD. but the neighborhood is good. Minneapolis is nice city with lots of day and night activities. If you are single and "looking" this is the place u want to be!:) the expenses are reasonable.
Allowance: none.
FLOWs: happy. U of M offers visa so that might biased some flows. I think it's one of the best programs that offer visa pretty easily.
Mentorship: strong. though I think there is no systematic mentorship. the burden is totally on PD , Dr Burns, who does it very well but it's just her. She asks for your career goal by April first year and she does follow up with you to make sure u r in good standing.
Flows destination: 50-50. like all other programs they try to train academician but some fellows refuse. they are pretty flexiable with your goals though. they give u more out patient clinic if u want to go to PP.
Interviewers: very good. nothing extraordinary. after couple of interviews, questions are being repeated. where do u see yourself in 10 years, u r in X program, how do u see it , It seems u r doing Y, tell me more about it, if u have done ur med school outside of US then DO u want to go back to ur country... they have grading sheet in front of them and they will score u after the interview. but nothing to worry about.
PD: excellent. on top of BMT of fellows.
Overall score: 8.4/10

So far 1- CC 2- Duke 3- UCSD 4-U of M 5- BU 6- MONTEFIOR

CC & Duke were in another league.
Comparing UCSD and U of M. Nothing can beat San Diego in term of weather and location but I think U of M was far stronger in research especially in BMT if that's what u like.
 

futuremd1978

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Has anyone gotten an IV or rejection from them? I haven't heard anything and they have 7 spots so I assume they have a lot of interviewing to do.
 
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her2

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yep, a friend got an IV from UofC a few weeks ago.
 

Tykerb

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I was wondering if anyone here has accepted or otherwise been offered a pre-match? Thanks!
 

MDgoing4MPH

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I've been offered pre-match very early in the season. I've declined it. nothing after that. hope i made a right decision.
 

vabz

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Any interview experiences from UPitt?
 

Nonamegoodname

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Review: Yale

IV day: 8 am to 4 pm
# of interviewer: 3 (was supposed to be 4, some interviewers didn't show up! )
Accommodation provided:No
# of applicants interviewed in one day: ~6
# of applications : 250
# interviewee: 40
# of positions:
5 (onc)
Clinical: calls are from home. Q5-6. Not a heavy work load place at all. 2-3 inpatient in Yale hospital, one two month in VA. the rest in outpatient. as a second year u don't take any call.
Authority: so-so. depends on the attending.
Helping hands: NPs , PAs in clinic, in hospital, every where.
Research: some of faculties are very into research and clinical trial. In terms of basic science you can get your PhD but facilities ... they just said Yale is known for basic science. .
Neighborhood: Not good at all.
Allowance: none.
FLOWs: happy. though some of 2nd and 3d year fellows weren't still sure what they want to do with their lives. .
Mentorship: I am not sure. Fellows said PD knows about mentorship program. when we asked program director , she didn't mention anything specific but she said it's there.
Flows destination: 50-50.
Interviewers: surprisingly PD was the worst interviewer. I don't know if she was tired or not, but she didn't try to sell the program at all. After going to 5-6 interviews, you realize that it's not only about us trying to sell ourselves but it's up to them also to sell the program and I think PD couldn't or didn't want to do that.
PD: look above.
Very strong point: New cancer center will be opened in Oct this year.
Very weak point: interview day. Very disorganized. They gave us a 2 hour tour which wasn't necessary at all. I can't believe interviewer doesn't show up in the interview day. No data base, no very structured mentorship program. very limited inpatient exposure - I'm not very into it myself but even I, found it VERY limited. -
Overall score: 5.6/10

So far 1- CC 2- Duke 3- UCSD 4-U of M 5- BU 6- Yale 7- MONTEFIOR

*CC & Duke were in another league.

** Comparing UCSD and U of M. Nothing can beat San Diego in term of weather and location but I think U of M was far stronger in research especially in BMT if that's what u like.

*** I think in some aspects Monte is stronger than Yale. Their cancer center and research opportunities both clinical and basic are far better. Monte is much more intense in terms of patient loads. More autonomy. At the end of the day I think just the name of "Yale" puts Yale on top of Monte.

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Cetuximab

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Review: University of Minnesota

IV day: 8 am to 4 pm
# of interviewer: 2
Accommodation provided:No
# of applicants interviewed in one day: ~6
# of applications : 300
# interviewee: 40
# of positions:
6
Clinical: calls are from home. If I remember correctly u'll be on call Q4 but most of the work is being done by residents, interns, PAs and NPs. usually u will come 7:30 and will leave around 7pm. u round with ur team then attending will join u and some times pharmacist , NPs and head nurse will be in the round too. then u round with the attending to discuss interesting cases in higher levels. like many programs it has inpatient hem, inpatient onc, BMT and consult. there are 3-4 other hospitals that you rotate but most of your inpatient load is in the university hospital , the rest are outpatient.
Authority: so-so. depends on the attending.
Helping hands: NPs , PAs especially in BMT service.
Research: If you want to become BMT expert this is your place. they have 30 year database of BMTs they have done. Basic science is pretty strong. They are working on their solid tumor research but it's a fair statement that U of M hem/onc is HEM plus onc.
Neighborhood: the weather is COLD. VERY COLD, VERY VERY COLD. but the neighborhood is good. Minneapolis is nice city with lots of day and night activities. If you are single and "looking" this is the place u want to be!:) the expenses are reasonable.
Allowance: none.
FLOWs: happy. U of M offers visa so that might biased some flows. I think it's one of the best programs that offer visa pretty easily.
Mentorship: strong. though I think there is no systematic mentorship. the burden is totally on PD , Dr Burns, who does it very well but it's just her. She asks for your career goal by April first year and she does follow up with you to make sure u r in good standing.
Flows destination: 50-50. like all other programs they try to train academician but some fellows refuse. they are pretty flexiable with your goals though. they give u more out patient clinic if u want to go to PP.
Interviewers: very good. nothing extraordinary. after couple of interviews, questions are being repeated. where do u see yourself in 10 years, u r in X program, how do u see it , It seems u r doing Y, tell me more about it, if u have done ur med school outside of US then DO u want to go back to ur country... they have grading sheet in front of them and they will score u after the interview. but nothing to worry about.
PD: excellent. on top of BMT of fellows.
Overall score: 8.4/10

So far 1- CC 2- Duke 3- UCSD 4-U of M 5- BU 6- MONTEFIOR

CC & Duke were in another league.
Comparing UCSD and U of M. Nothing can beat San Diego in term of weather and location but I think U of M was far stronger in research especially in BMT if that's what u like.

Hi Nonamegoodname

Thank you for that very nice eval of the program.... I had a very similar feeling after my interview. I was kind of surprised too...

There is REALLy something lacking in the program. Very disorganized. All the ambulatory clinics [3months in first year] are in a different hospital and is almost an hours drive from the main hospital in a community setting. And youa re expected to come to the main campus for conferences [one of the itnerviewers who was a recent graduate said that there were no faculty showing up for the core conferences and recently with the new director there have been some push for the faculty to show up to the friday conferences---- 'push for faculty' to show up???? hmm this tells a lot about the lack of commitment of the faculty to the fellowship program.] Faculty very average and no authority; Yale is very known for its basic sciences but is extremly lacking in the translational component. Clinically no match to the other major programs in the northeast area. I happened to speak to an internal medicine resident in yale and she did not speak good about the program too..

I was really surprised by the inpatient facilities--- 28 beds, and the rest are triaged to the medicine services... Fellows do all the HnpS and admit orders for patients... this is the only program I saw that....

It is a HORRIBLE neighborhood.... the city of new haven sucks.

I think Monte is a better program than the yale program.
 

Nonamegoodname

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Hi Nonamegoodname

Thank you for that very nice eval of the program.... I had a very similar feeling after my interview. I was kind of surprised too...

There is REALLy something lacking in the program. Very disorganized. All the ambulatory clinics [3months in first year] are in a different hospital and is almost an hours drive from the main hospital in a community setting. And youa re expected to come to the main campus for conferences [one of the itnerviewers who was a recent graduate said that there were no faculty showing up for the core conferences and recently with the new director there have been some push for the faculty to show up to the friday conferences---- 'push for faculty' to show up???? hmm this tells a lot about the lack of commitment of the faculty to the fellowship program.] Faculty very average and no authority; Yale is very known for its basic sciences but is extremly lacking in the translational component. Clinically no match to the other major programs in the northeast area. I happened to speak to an internal medicine resident in yale and she did not speak good about the program too..

I was really surprised by the inpatient facilities--- 28 beds, and the rest are triaged to the medicine services... Fellows do all the HnpS and admit orders for patients... this is the only program I saw that....

It is a HORRIBLE neighborhood.... the city of new haven sucks.

I think Monte is a better program than the yale program.

Thanks Cetuximab,
Same here. There was a grand round and there was 3-4 residents, 3-4 fellows, 2 attendings and the rest was medical students and interviewees.
I agree, I think the amount of clinical exposure, especially to sick inpatient hem/onc patients is very limited. One fellow was very happy that almost 90-95% of work is being done by residents and interns. All they do is to order chemos which is in the computer.
You should deal with 4 computer system !
When one asked one of fellows to mention one important change during 3 years of his fellowship, he said adding research seminar!
I think Yale medical school is one of the best so they recruit motivated medical students, has a relatively good residency program so residents are strong and that's why 90-95% of work will be done by them.
Surprisingly for mentioning one of Yale's strength, the PD said we have just been accredited til 2014! so you won't have any problem!!!! (?) In other programs they talk about fellows achievements, placements, grants, etc....
I think if Yale is not worse than Monte, definitely it's not a better program.
 

Cetuximab

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Hi Nonamegoodname

How do you feel about the BU program. Do you think it is better than the monte program?

I found the fellows to be very happy and appears to be a strong program both clinically and research. Lot of opportunities.

Thanks

Thanks Cetuximab,
Same here. There was a grand round and there was 3-4 residents, 3-4 fellows, 2 attendings and the rest was medical students and interviewees.
I agree, I think the amount of clinical exposure, especially to sick inpatient hem/onc patients is very limited. One fellow was very happy that almost 90-95% of work is being done by residents and interns. All they do is to order chemos which is in the computer.
You should deal with 4 computer system !
When one asked one of fellows to mention one important change during 3 years of his fellowship, he said adding research seminar!
I think Yale medical school is one of the best so they recruit motivated medical students, has a relatively good residency program so residents are strong and that's why 90-95% of work will be done by them.
Surprisingly for mentioning one of Yale's strength, the PD said we have just been accredited til 2014! so you won't have any problem!!!! (?) In other programs they talk about fellows achievements, placements, grants, etc....
I think if Yale is not worse than Monte, definitely it's not a better program.
 

Nonamegoodname

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Review: NCI

IV day: 9 am to 3:30 pm
# of interviewer: 4
Accommodation provided:No
# of applicants interviewed in one day: 16
# of applications : 350
# interviewee: 70
# of positions:
10 (onc) 3 (heme)
Clinical: u rotate at NCI hospital, Navy, Gorge Town. No resident, no intern. when u are in NCI hospital u r on-call once a week (sth like that) in one year you are on call just 5-6 days (mostly weekends) the rest is moonlighting opportunity which u can earn up to 25000$ per year. Almost all patients in NCI hospital are on protocol and research team has to decide about their management. Navy u will see outpatient as well as consults. same is for george town. Though I think george town has its own fellowship program so basicly you are just an "additive!". You don't see alot of basic, just been diagnosed cancer patients , what u see often is cancer patients with weired presenations or a very complicated course.
Authority: I should say close to ZERO.
Helping hands: NPs , PAs, research teams,
Research: the strength of NCI especially if you are a lab person and u want to spend ur entire life in lab. If u are a lab person, NCI is your heaven... that's for sure. If u not a pure lab person, then there are opportunities for translational research. if u are into clinical research then really I think there way stronger programs in US with tons of phase 3 trials. In NCI u rarely see phase 3 trial. It's all about phase I and II. The atomosphere of program told me that there should be a very strong commitment. If you don't feel that commitment or u are just 1% not sure what you want to do afterward then NCI is out of picture.
Neighborhood: great.
Allowance: NIH loan repayment which is an excellent deal.
FLOWs: happy. they talked alot about their projects and almost nothing about their clinical experience.
Mentorship: should be great. though I'm not sure. Again my feeling was the comptetion among researchers are so tough and tight that it may jeopardize the honest mentor-mentee relationship. It's not based on evidence I just felt that way.
Flows destination: academics, research, FDA, pharmaceutical companies, but couple went to PP. why? I don't know. where they prepared ? i'm not sure. most probably not.
Interviewers: all of them great. NCI knows what it's looking for and knows that even some well qualified candidates may not fit into their unique program. I had very good discussion with all interviewers. It wasn't about " tell me an interesting case" or " how many interviews u got" but in a very systematic discussion was about to find if our interests fit into eachother or not. All interviewers have read my application very carefully and they asked me to explain couple of points that were not clear to them. I liked all of them, though all of them were pure lab researchers.
PD:(onc) I like him alot. at least he seemed to be very supportive. PD (heme) was great too. Again as I said if you like to do lab research and you know that 100% you are NOT going into PP, then NCI is D PLACE.
Overall score: NCI can't be scored like other programs. It's not like anyother program.

So far 1- CC 2- Duke 3- UCSD 4-U of M 5- BU 6- Yale 7- MONTEFIOR + NCI(?)

*CC & Duke were in another league.

** Comparing UCSD and U of M. Nothing can beat San Diego in term of weather and location but I think U of M was far stronger in research especially in BMT if that's what u like.

*** I think in some aspects Monte is stronger than Yale. Their cancer center and research opportunities both clinical and basic are far better. Monte is much more intense in terms of patient loads. More autonomy. At the end of the day I think just the name of "Yale" puts Yale on top of Monte.
 

vabz

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Any IV experiences from SUNY Buffalo?
 

Nonamegoodname

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I think other people should start sharing their IV experience otherwise I will stop writing too cause this is simply unfair.
 

Helops

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Dear Nonamegoodname,

I totally understand and agree with you... few people other than us had posted opinions/experiences....

Well, just as I quick note, I visited Boston University. Small program very focused in hematology- where all the research opportunities are... Nothing going on for solid tumors research... But if you want to go in private practice, I think the program fits your profile... you will spend 6 months at the VA during your first year, where the fellows see lots of bread and butter oncology...
Program director seems to be very nice as well as the fellows. But again, if you are into clinical research (there are limited in-house clinical trials), specially for solid tumors, this might not be the place for you.

Please let's keep sharing our interviews experiences....
 

Cetuximab

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Nonamegoodname

i agree.. we need more people writing in this forum.

Just returned from cornell

very disappointed with the program.. very strong emphasis on basic research and ''compulsory'' lab year [u spend the whole 2nd yr in the lab], I like basic research but do not want to spend that much time in the lab and i hate beeing told what to do. First year call the hardest I have come across. Lot of wholes in the clinical expertise--- lung/headnneck/melanoma programs are virtually non existent. this is a huge chunk of oncology. Very strong heme program but very protocol driven, will however get good training in both benign and malgnanant heme.
Perks are great housing is very good esp. in upper east side.

my 2 cents...

if you have any plans for going into PP at some time, there are far better programs than this. If you have a strong interest in MPDs and lymphomas and wish to persue an academic track, this may be a good program, and again there are better programs than this.

I feel columbia and Mount sinnai were more well rounded programs than cornell. I did not realize that was the case until I visited cornell.

thanks


Dear Nonamegoodname,

I totally understand and agree with you... few people other than us had posted opinions/experiences....

Well, just as I quick note, I visited Boston University. Small program very focused in hematology- where all the research opportunities are... Nothing going on for solid tumors research... But if you want to go in private practice, I think the program fits your profile... you will spend 6 months at the VA during your first year, where the fellows see lots of bread and butter oncology...
Program director seems to be very nice as well as the fellows. But again, if you are into clinical research (there are limited in-house clinical trials), specially for solid tumors, this might not be the place for you.

Please let's keep sharing our interviews experiences....
 

Cetuximab

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So true...


Hi Nonamegoodname

Did u interview at U Wash? I am going there on april 3rd. I think it is a very strong program. How was ur exp if uve been there?

I like UCSD a lot too the city is awsome. I think UCSD will be in my top 3 too. Not so sure yet about duke. Durham is a very boring little town. Program was good.

Thanks
 

erythrocyte1

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IV day: 7 am to 2:30 pm
# of interviewer: 7
Accommodation provided: Partial (self-pay $99)
# of applicants interviewed in one day: 10
# of applications : 350
# interviewee: 65
# of positions:
8
Clinical: Rotation among U.Washington, county hospital, and FHCRC/SCCA transplant clinics. Busy 1st year, but manageable. 18 months clinical training divided between benign hematology, malignant hematolgy and oncology. Broad exposure.
Authority: Not bad.
Helping hands: PAs, and house staff.
Research: Total 2 years dedicated to protected research. Most of them are involved into basic research. Very strong in research! They are expecting fellows writing their own grants starting from 2nd year.

Neighborhood: good.
FLOWs: happy. If you have your own grant, you can stay in the Hutch, otherwise, you may go to other academic facilities. 25% go to private practice. The U.Washington is the only med school among five states around the upper west corner.
Mentorship: strong. You will go to different meetings and talk to different mentors. The fellowship program director will help and guide you to find the best mentor for you.
Interviewers: great. Most of the interviews are proud of their research and would like to talk about their research if you are interested. They are also interested in the research you did. There were a lot of intelligent talks in my interviews.

PD nice and supportive (information from fellows). The coordinator is very nice.

Overall score: 9/10. However, if you don't like research, don't go to the Hutch. The program asks 2 dedicated years for research. Total 3.5 years for the whole fellowship. Personally I really like this program.

Another thing is about the "grey". Over 1/2 years, the sky in Seattle is "grey". If you are an emotional person, it may not be a good place for you.
 

cbus09

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I interviewed at NIH with both NCI and NHLBI. Although they are research driven, I felt like at least with NHLBI you had a pretty good clinical exposure. You do 18 months of hem/onc at NIH (where it's protocol driven), Johns Hopkins University, Washington Hospital Center, VA, and Navy. To me, the fellows were happy and felt confident in their clinical skills. You can also do research with anyone at NIH (not necessarily with NHLBI or NCI). Although mostly everyone ends up staying in academics some do go to private practice and do fine. I'm going to rank NHLBI very high because I like the idea of rotating at various places and seeing different systems. Also, it's great to work with the world experts in their respective fields. Although I'm not sure which route (academic vs. pp) I want to take in the long run, I'm pretty sure I'll stick with academics initially. I really don't see much of a difference between NIH clinical structure and other top academic programs. Most of the fellows at MD Anderson were MD/PhDs and very much into their own research. All the big academic programs want their fellows to stay in academics. If you wanted to do private practice right after fellowship, I don't know what the point of going to a top academic program would be anyways other than the name. Just my two cents!
 

gutonc

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    IV day: 7 am to 2:30 pm
    # of interviewer: 7
    Accommodation provided: Partial (self-pay $99)
    # of applicants interviewed in one day: 10
    # of applications : 350
    # interviewee: 65
    # of positions:
    8
    Clinical: Rotation among U.Washington, county hospital, and FHCRC/SCCA transplant clinics. Busy 1st year, but manageable. 18 months clinical training divided between benign hematology, malignant hematolgy and oncology. Broad exposure.
    Authority: Not bad.
    Helping hands: PAs, and house staff.
    Research: Total 2 years dedicated to protected research. Most of them are involved into basic research. Very strong in research! They are expecting fellows writing their own grants starting from 2nd year.

    Neighborhood: good.
    FLOWs: happy. If you have your own grant, you can stay in the Hutch, otherwise, you may go to other academic facilities. 25% go to private practice. The U.Washington is the only med school among five states around the upper west corner.
    Mentorship: strong. You will go to different meetings and talk to different mentors. The fellowship program director will help and guide you to find the best mentor for you.
    Interviewers: great. Most of the interviews are proud of their research and would like to talk about their research if you are interested. They are also interested in the research you did. There were a lot of intelligent talks in my interviews.

    PD nice and supportive (information from fellows). The coordinator is very nice.

    Overall score: 9/10. However, if you don't like research, don't go to the Hutch. The program asks 2 dedicated years for research. Total 3.5 years for the whole fellowship. Personally I really like this program.

    Another thing is about the "grey". Over 1/2 years, the sky in Seattle is "grey". If you are an emotional person, it may not be a good place for you.

    Three minor corrections:
    1. You forgot the VA as a rotation site...one of 3 (last I checked) VA BMT centers in the US.
    2. UW always manages to forget the other med school located just 180 miles to it's south when it gives the "5 states" statistic. I think they include AK, ID, WY and MT in their equation but forget the only other populous state in the region (Oregon).
    3. We only tell people it's gray half the year so they won't move here. It doesn't work very well on Californians or New Yorkers but we still try it.

    I loved the Hutch and ended it up ranking it #3, largely for it's lack of solid tumor experience and it's transplant obsession (which makes we want to poke needles in my eyes). Hard to beat for basic science though.
     

    anhem

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    FOX CHASE CANCER CENTER
    IV day: 9 am to 4:30 pm
    Day starts at Temple, where they give an overview of the program followed by 1 interview and then a tour(for which they couldn't find a fellow, and director himself had to show around). Then applicant expected to drive/take cab over to FCCC where they spend rest of the day. At FCCC, starts with noon conference/lunch, followed by program overview by one of the fellows and then interviews. At the end, another fellow takes applicants on tour.
    # of interviewer: 1 at Temple, 4 at FCCC (including PD)
    Accommodation provided: no
    # of applicants interviewed in one day: 4
    # of positions: 6
    Clinical: fellow starts either at Temple or FCCC and spends entire yr there, and reverse during second yr(selection done randomly). At Temple- all heme, inpatient, outpatient and some transplant. At FCCC, all outpatient, and transplant at nearby Jeanes hospital. At FCCC, phenomenal clinic training as fellows only do various subspeciality onc clinics throughout the yr.
    3rd yr for research or more clinics if going into practice.
    Research: good opportunity for translational and clinical research. This is a great place for solid tumors, not as much for transplant, Temple has a strong heme division.
    Neighborhood: good around FCCC, bad around Temple.
    Fellows: friendly. 50/50 into practice/academia. this yr, 1 staying at FCCC, 2 joining Jefferson on staff.
    Mentorship: The fellowship program director will help/guide you to find the best mentor for you. But a lot depends where fellow starts in first yr. If one starts at Temple but interested in solid tumor research, may not get enough exposure at FCCC until second yr and vice versa with heme.
    Interviewers: all nice and friendly.
    PD : so-so. One of the 3rd yr fellows told us not to be surprised if PD falls asleep during your interview!
     
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    Cetuximab

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    Three minor corrections:
    1. You forgot the VA as a rotation site...one of 3 (last I checked) VA BMT centers in the US.
    2. UW always manages to forget the other med school located just 180 miles to it's south when it gives the "5 states" statistic. I think they include AK, ID, WY and MT in their equation but forget the only other populous state in the region (Oregon).
    3. We only tell people it's gray half the year so they won't move here. It doesn't work very well on Californians or New Yorkers but we still try it.

    I loved the Hutch and ended it up ranking it #3, largely for it's lack of solid tumor experience and it's transplant obsession (which makes we want to poke needles in my eyes). Hard to beat for basic science though.

    Hi Glutonc

    What were your top 2 programs before UWash? I heard UWash has expanded tremoundously in solid tumors as well, isnt that the case? It has a very strong presence in the SWOG and even CALGB. Basic science as you mentioned is outstanding especially so in stem cell signaling.

    I am looking forward for my last interview at UWash on April 3rd. I am finally DONE. now is the hardest part........ RANKING. I think now i am even more confused than I was when i began......

    I am sure same this is the case with every1.....

    We can use some help here guys.... please post your experiences and any information that might help us thru.. this process and ----'let this be a happy match for every one'


    regardss
     

    Tykerb

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    Good luck to everyone here. Does anybody know when program quotas will be finalized? thanks
     

    Darkside

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    Heard yesterday via email from WVU (West Virginia) about an interview. Multiple times during the last two weeks of April...
     

    gutonc

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    Hi Glutonc

    What were your top 2 programs before UWash? I heard UWash has expanded tremoundously in solid tumors as well, isnt that the case? It has a very strong presence in the SWOG and even CALGB. Basic science as you mentioned is outstanding especially so in stem cell signaling.

    regardss

    I ranked my current program and UCSF ahead of UW. Honestly, I could have flipped a (3-sided) coin between the 3 of them and been happy at any of them.

    I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say UW has expanded "tremendously" in solid tumor but they do recognize it as a weakness of their program and are working on it. It's been 2 years since I interviewed there though and haven't paid any attention to their faculty recruiting so they may have ramped up their solid tumor division more than I'm aware of.

    Transplant still runs the show there clinically though and for someone who had a hard time not jumping off the roof during my BMT months (3 of 4 of them during the winter), it would have been a tough place for me clinically.

    I in no way mean to turn people off of the program. You should go there, see the place and see if it works for you. It's solid training and you'll have a lot of opportunities coming out of there.
     

    ghettomd

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    One strategy I used was to rank programs based on overall score... I came up with several categories on what were the most important things to me in a fellowship program (Location, Reputation, Research, Clinical training, quality of life, etc...) and compiled a total score for each program... I then added intangible points to the programs based on the way I felt about them... I think that worked pretty well for me...

    Hi Glutonc

    What were your top 2 programs before UWash? I heard UWash has expanded tremoundously in solid tumors as well, isnt that the case? It has a very strong presence in the SWOG and even CALGB. Basic science as you mentioned is outstanding especially so in stem cell signaling.

    I am looking forward for my last interview at UWash on April 3rd. I am finally DONE. now is the hardest part........ RANKING. I think now i am even more confused than I was when i began......

    I am sure same this is the case with every1.....

    We can use some help here guys.... please post your experiences and any information that might help us thru.. this process and ----'let this be a happy match for every one'


    regardss
     

    Helops

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    Hello everybody,

    I need some input... could anyone comment on UCLA/Start program vs Hopkins... I want to develop an academic career in solid tumors, mainly clinical with some translational work.

    Thanks!
     

    Cetuximab

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    Hello everybody,

    I need some input... could anyone comment on UCLA/Start program vs Hopkins... I want to develop an academic career in solid tumors, mainly clinical with some translational work.

    Thanks!

    I have not interviewed at Hopkins. But from what I researched, it has a very strong solid tumor program. Outstanding translational work. Enormous resources, offcourse hopkins is outstanding, u also have options of going to NCI -CTEP if you choose to. Clinically very very strong faculty, experts in their respective field. I think UCLA is no match for hopkins in terms of authority. I did not like how the solid tumor was segregated in UCLA to sana monica..... i personally felt the program was disorganized.
     

    vabz

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    MSKCC
    IV day: 9 am to 1;30 pm
    Day starts at MSKCC where one of the program co-directors will give an overview of the program (1hour). This is followed by 3 45 min interviews with faculty based on your research interests. Then you have a lunch in the conference room at Rockefeller Pavilion with the fellows + tour.
    # of interviewer: 3
    Accommodation provided: no
    # of applicants interviewed in one day: 8
    # of positions: 15
    Clinical: Fellows spend an year in inpatient and outpatient oncology rotations (including heme malignancies). They can spend anywhere from 2-4 years in oncology. Also available are 3 months in benign heme at Weil Hospital for Columbia and Cornell for those who want to do dual certification.
    Research: Good opportunity for translational, basic and clinical research.
    Neighborhood: Upper East Manhattan....good area. Provide subsidized accomodation for fellows.
    Fellows: friendly. 90% academic
    Mentorship: The fellowship program director will help/guide you to find the best mentor for you. Research protocol should be done (and defended) by the end of the first year.
    Interviewers: All nice and friendly
    PD : One of the co-directors I met was very nice.
     

    gutonc

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    MSKCC
    Fellows: friendly. 90% academic

    FWIW (and this obviously changes from year to year), when I interviewed the prior year's graduates and current senior fellows were about evenly split going into academics and PP. This was also the only program where I interviewed where the PD was completely honest about this fact. Pretty much everywhere else (where the academic/PP mix was similar or more towards PP), the party line was "well, occasionally one of our graduates escapes out into the community to practice but we're pretty much completely academic." MSKCC the story was "yup, about half and half, as long as they're happy, we're happy."

    There were only 2 things standing between me and MSKCC as my #1. It's in NYC and I'd just escaped that place a year earlier and the fact that most of their faculty did NOT train there and I was warned that if I wanted to get a faculty spot there, it was better to train elsewhere. It was hard to walk away from the research opportunities and the subsidized housing though.
     

    GiantsChamps

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    FWIW (and this obviously changes from year to year), when I interviewed the prior year's graduates and current senior fellows were about evenly split going into academics and PP. This was also the only program where I interviewed where the PD was completely honest about this fact. Pretty much everywhere else (where the academic/PP mix was similar or more towards PP), the party line was "well, occasionally one of our graduates escapes out into the community to practice but we're pretty much completely academic." MSKCC the story was "yup, about half and half, as long as they're happy, we're happy."

    There were only 2 things standing between me and MSKCC as my #1. It's in NYC and I'd just escaped that place a year earlier and the fact that most of their faculty did NOT train there and I was warned that if I wanted to get a faculty spot there, it was better to train elsewhere. It was hard to walk away from the research opportunities and the subsidized housing though.


    After also interviewing at MSKCC, I will say that if you plan on going into PP, MSKCC is NOT for you. They really gear you for being in expert in one section of oncology (GU oncology, GI oncology, ect.). In fact, most fellows do NOT leave the program being double boarded.

    As far as MD Anderson, be prepared for 7-8 interviews on Saturday morning in 30 min intervals (from 9AM-1:30 PM). They call it there version of "Speed Dating."
     

    TAXOTERE

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    Its time to think about the ROL now for me.

    1. UCLA
    2. U of Chicago
    3. U of M
    4. Wash U

    Wish I had a clear idea which one I really like the most. Every program has pros and cons. Does any one has a clear favourite out of these programs ? or any personal experiences ?
     

    medonc09

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    Speed dating at MDACC? That sounds like fun....any "bad interviewers"??? Was it very rough or similar to other programs???
    Thanks for the answer!
     

    Cetuximab

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    Its time to think about the ROL now for me.

    1. UCLA
    2. U of Chicago
    3. U of M
    4. Wash U

    Wish I had a clear idea which one I really like the most. Every program has pros and cons. Does any one has a clear favourite out of these programs ? or any personal experiences ?

    I liked U Michigan a lot. Very strong basic science with a lot of translational component. esp in stem cell research. Very nice faculty, no specific weak areas, i think solid tumors are esp strong. Fellows seemed very happy, very good metorship and academic placement. In my top 5.

    U Chicago, strong overall. tremendous opportunities for research, faculty very supportive. Good mentorship. Very strong faculty and highly placed in ASCO steering committees. Very good placement into academic positions. Fellows very happy, good call schedule. Chicago is a great place. Will most likely make it to my top5

    WashU, very heme centric program Dr Sandler is the furture ASH president and PD. Strong BMT. very strong basic science, however skeptical about the mentorship in other areas. Trandtionally not well known for solid tumors... they r building their thoracic and head n neck programs. St louis is again a big turn off.

    UCLA; program undergoing lot of restructuring and changes with recently build RRmedical center. The solid tumor service is in a different hospital in santa monica and BMT in RRMC. Had a sense that the fellows wer'nt too happy in the program. However, strong reputition with renowned faculty like slayman. I did'nt get a good sense about the mentorship at UCLA. Speaking to the PD didnt quite get a good feel for the program. I think the leadership is lacking and is very disorganized. Moreover, I didnt quite like LA and most likely end up not ranking UCLA
     
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