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Heme/Onc Fellowship Application Thread

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clueless1

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    Strangely enough, the places I didn't like very much all made a big show of saying that they wanted to impress me and prove that they were the right program for me but then spent the rest of the day preaching that they were the "one true Onc training program" and that if I went anywhere else to train I might as well go into PM&R for all the good my training would do me as an oncologist. Most of them also spent a ton of time impugning other programs I'd applied to.

    The places I liked on the other hand said, in essence, "this is what we've got, this is where your interests/experience/background mesh with what we have and this is why you'd fit in well at this program...we hope you feel the same way."

    And it's kind of funny to see that the randomness of the application/invite system doesn't change between residency and fellowship...I'm much more sanguine about it this year. I applied to the "Big 5" cancer centers (Hutch, MSK, MDA, Farber, Fox Chase) and a few other places, all w/ comprehensive cancer centers. I got interviews at all (including UCSF and Stanford) but 2, Farber and (of all places) Columbia. The Farber I can kind of understand, but Columbia? That rejection actually made me laugh.

    And yes...don't forget to register w/ NRMP. It's $40 and there's no late fee...unless you consider not being able to submit a ROL until next year a late fee.

    I know exactly what you mean...I should qualify what I meant by "show me something" by saying I don't mean put on a grand spectacle and blow my socks off, I mean let your program speak. Whatever it is that impresses people on interviews, I'm looking to be impressed - whether that be by presenting your program or by putting on the full-court-press, programs can shine in different ways. I was just saying I was taking the approach that I am looking at programs w/ a critical eye, vs being all nervous about looking good for the programs.

    Yeah, the process is ridiculous - I think that maybe some of the interviews might actually be based on what your interests are, though...for example, I know I don't want to be a transplanter, and all my research and stated research interests were in solids, so it wasn't suprising to me that I didn't get an interview at the Hutch or Stanford, whereas I got more or less equivalent level interviews at places where there are more solids going on like MSK. Or, I could just be completely full of crap and I'm imagining rationales where there are none. The Columbia thing makes no sense, but it ultimately just doesn't matter....I mean, would you have ranked there over any of the places you interviewed already?

    What did you think of UCSF by the way? I've heard mixed reviews. Haven't been yet.

    Thanks for the heads-up re: registering for the match. I finally have a weekend off!!!! Gonna waste it by sleeping and watching basketball...I may not leave the apartment for the next 72 hours.
     

    puju

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      What is the deal with Stanford. I know it is not a comprehensive cancer center (a bit suprised!!) but still it is stanford and has the name. Do you guys think that not being a CCC does affect the training. Where would you put stanford in the grand scheme of things, esp when it comes to choosing it for your training. Any insider scoop about it;s strength with solid vs liquid tumors and quality of training of fellows. Thanks for your input.
       

      MidwestMD

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        I have a confession, I've lied on the interview trail :oops: While talking to other applicants at a recent interview, someone had asked if I had interviewed at UofChicago yet and I said that my interview was "coming up." That was a blatant lie...and I'm not entirely sure how it slipped past my tongue ;) I think it's funny how competitive/insecure I can get, even over really stupid things. I was so embarassed about it afterwards that I told my fiance the same day, and she just rolled her eyes and laughed at me. I think she's used to me being a DORK by now. Have you guys said/done something just as silly or am I the only insecure ****** on SDN?

        PS- I have now met Sarthi...I'm wondering when I'll run into Brooklyneric or clueless1. Cherryghost is a whole stratosphere higher than me and I just don't think our paths will cross :laugh:
         
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        onc4me

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          I read earlier that someone posted MSKCC is interviewing only 50-60 people, well, the truth is they are interviewing 120 or so for their 15 spots. On my interview day, there were 11 people and they've been interviewing for a while.

          Just an FYI.
           

          clueless1

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            I figured MSKCC would be interviewing a lot of people...I mean, only interviewing 50-60 people is crazy for a 15-fellow class in the Match, because that assumes just about everyone they rank 1 or 2 is ranking them 1 or 2, which may not be the best assumption given the caliber of candidate that they interview. Although I suspect that the above scenario is probably not too far off their actual numbers...

            Midwest - it's possible we met on the trail and just didn't realize it...But if we haven't by now, it won't happen because I'm essentially done interviewing. Don't sweat the insecurity - everyone does it to a greater or lesser extent. Most of the time, I'll just tell people if they ask "I didn't interview there", because it's not a lie and you don't necessarily have to admit you didn't get an interview at whatever program it is you're talking about. That's insecure, but whatever...interviews are nerve-wracking enough that you don't need additional insecurity from your fellow interviewees...
             

            SNP

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              Glad to see that there is some discussion still going on on this board. Kinda helps pass the time while waiting for the match in 3 months.
              .
              I am curious to hear from people who are interested in more basic research how you feel about extending your fellowships to gain the pubs/experience to have a lab. Secondly, how do you think the various programs stack up in terms of how they protect your time for research during the post-clinical time?
               

              Imatinib

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                Hey guys,
                I'm new to the forum and just like everyone else am reaching the end of the interview trail- Thank you lord!
                I think ghettomd 's qs is imp esp since I want to cancel a few of my really late interviews.
                Has anyone interviewed at A.E.-Montefiore ? Is it worth going to ???
                P.S. This is a great forum but really nerve wracking at the same time!:)
                 

                gutonc

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                  FWIW, I'm only going to 6. I decided not to go to UCLA and USC (both of whom contacted me in just the past week). If I was an R2 or R3 and could more easily get time off it would be different but I'm an intern (applying for the ABIM research pathway) and I've had to squeeze this stuff in the middle of call months. So at this point I'm hoping 6 will be enough!

                  Good luck to everyone else.
                   

                  njmedresident

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                    Does anyone know what the deal is with George Washington Univeristy?

                    I got an invite for an interview with them last week. Seems really late.

                    I had called them in January and they said they had filled
                    their spots for 2008 and were not participating in the match.

                    My first thought is that someone gave up their spot for whatever reason
                    (pregnant, got a better position somewhere else, etc). Less likely is that they suddenly got funding for an additional spot.

                    Someone told me that they are on probation.

                    is this true?

                    Thanks.
                     

                    MidwestMD

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                      Hey guys,
                      I'm new to the forum and just like everyone else am reaching the end of the interview trail- Thank you lord!
                      I think ghettomd 's qs is imp esp since I want to cancel a few of my really late interviews.
                      Has anyone interviewed at A.E.-Montefiore ? Is it worth going to ???
                      P.S. This is a great forum but really nerve wracking at the same time!:)

                      AE is a decent program. Small center but supposedly has one of the strongest benign heme programs in New York (sickle cell, hemoglobinopathies, etc). Friendly program director (Dr. Gulcap) and fellows all feel VERY confident w/ their clinical training. Half of grads go into private and there's no pressure to stay in academic. Ok amount of publications by the fellows and there are research opportunities "if you're motivated." Good pt diversity w/ it's location in the Bronx. I wasn't all that impressed w/ the fellow conference (4 fellows sat around a table in a cramped room discussing beign heme issues w/ an attending) but the attending seemed very knowledgable.
                      I guess it depends on how badly you want to be in the New York area. If you really want to be in New York, it's probably worth checking out but I only saw one other New York program so I don't have a great appreciation of Cornell, Columbia, Mt. Sinai, etc. Good luck with your decision!
                       
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                      heme onc appl

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                        gw has 1 slot (most likely for one of their own residents ... but maybe for you). i know they were thinking about expanding the program as they may soon be staffing a private hospital as well but will not do so this year. i have not heaerd about problems with probation.
                         

                        hemegirl

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                          Hi ,

                          Any of you who are canceling any of your interviews please let us know on the forum as well as the program. One of us might be able to squeeze in if we happen to be the unfortunate ones on hold and in the area. For some us it may be the difference between matching and not matching.

                          good luck and Thank you.
                           

                          Imatinib

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                            Thanks Midwest MD-that was very useful! Its not so much about staying in NY but I feel that I need to go for a certain number of interviews in order to match-even if this happens to be not as good as some other places I've been to.
                             

                            interestedinonc

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                              hello everyone,

                              i am a first-time poster and after reading all your thoughts on the thread, I feel that everyone seems to be very supportive and helpful. I am interested in Heme/Onc (more the Onc than the Heme) and unfortunately, my residency program has not been very helpful in terms of info on fellowship. I had some practical questions and was hoping if anyone could give me some advice now that a lot of people seem to be finishing up the trail.

                              Some background: I did fairly well @ a well-ranked medical school-stayed there for residency (and am now finishing up internship), good board scores, AOA, however, very little research experience. I am the king of choosing projects that lead nowhere and this has been a persistent trend since college-so I have no abstracts or publications to speak of. I confess I am not that interested in research long-term and would like to find a program that emphasizes the clinical setting more but would like a strong background in both ideally. Reputation /name does not matter to me- I prefer strong patient exposure w/a balanced workload (I don't mind working hard) and most preferably a safe city setting that is still convenient (in terms of daily necessities), easy to navigate, affordable, where the hospitals are fairly close together. On a superficial note, I'm not a fan of driving through snow/bad weather to get to work. I'm sorry this is so long-winded but I hope you will be able to understand where I am coming from.

                              Here are some of my questions-

                              1) Based on my background, what programs (or cities) would best fit my personality and how many should I apply to in order to have a safe chance at matching?

                              2) I have 3 wks of vacation my second year. What is the best time to schedule my breaks to coincide w/interview dates? (and if scheduling didn't work out, how were you able to manage it?)

                              3) How many interviews were you able to schedule and go to (and what is an ideal number?) How is a typical interview day experience?

                              thank you to anyone who can help me! I hope to participate more in the forum and continue to help others as well.
                               

                              ITP123

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                                Please feel free to reply, because I am struggling with this right now. Would people go to a Sloan, MD Anderson, Hopkins even IF they may not want to do academics, i.e. go there for the name rather than for what will train them for what they want vs. a less renound but still national medical center, i,e. a Northwestern, UMDNJ, NYU type etc? I am curious how people are ranking programs because unlike residency this is actually training us for what we will directly do for a living. name is not everything! we will all get jobs!

                                -thanks all and goodluck!

                                -match list starts 4/11!
                                 

                                HAM2

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                                  to interestedinonc:
                                  -I think you'll do fine as long as you have shown some interest in research even if u don't publish. (I have had the same problems when choosing projects and aside from Sloan, MD anderson etc I got enough interviews at good places)
                                  -most interviews for me were in feb and march, although they can go from late jan to april I think, what I did is I scheduled one wk off during this time for one month and easy rotations for the other. I suggest you try to sched more flexible rotations in Feb-April next year and try to get as many days off for interview as possible so that u don't have to waste so much vacation time
                                  -As far as good programs for you, I've interviewed in some places in the south (texas, ga, fla, nc) and there are I think good programs with good balance (if u want to do <18 mo of research) there's mayo jacksonville, baylor, utsw for example also uthscsa seemed good, others usually divide fellowship 18 mo clinical 18 mo research but this might not be bad for heme/onc since it's getting to be so research oriented
                                  well, that's my opinion, hope it helps!
                                   

                                  MedOnc2B

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                                    Any thoughts on the Chicago programs?

                                    I've been to most but U of C (didn't want me :mad: ) and UIC (goin there Friday). MidwestMD, u still out there? others looking to stay in the city have any recommendations to those of us trying to secure a spot?

                                    Northwestern wows with great downtown location and nice facility. From my sources and interview experience there seems to be quite a few internal candidates. Personable fellows. Faculty seemed a bit disinterested in the interview process, but were cordial.

                                    Rush seems to be the most clinically oriented.... huge hospital. not much basic science going on. only 2 spots:scared: and tend to keep their own.

                                    Loyola had great facilities and esprit de corps. BMT seems to be a strong point at LUMS and Hines VA provides good basic training platform in most malignancies (I guess male malignancies....:idea: )

                                    What the heck happened to Advocate Lutheran? ERAS took my money... the least they could do is send me an email. :confused:

                                    Speaking of what the heck happened... anybody hear from Wisconsin? sounds like turmoil city with an attempt to combine heme and onc. any further details avail from those in the know?
                                     

                                    clueless1

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                                      Nah, I'm done interviewing...Was scheduled for a few more, but just ran out of energy, money, time, and patience...

                                      Don't know much about Chicago except U of C and Northwestern...Northwestern is actually the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chicago (surprisingly...not U of C) if that's important to you. They have a ton of money and are probably going to be the program in Chicago in a decade, but right now the scientific big-dog is still U of C.

                                      Anyone with any idea when programs are having their ranking meetings? I know you can start making a list this week, but I wonder what timeline the programs are working on?
                                       
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                                      onc4me

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                                        I think most programs will have their rank list completed by the end of April.

                                        As far as ranking goes, this decision is obviously important as it will train us to do what we're going to do the rest of our lives. If you're not interested in an academic career then I wouldn't rank MSKCC, MD Anderson types as # 1 because you won't get the training you need to be a private oncologist whereas another program might train you more broadly.

                                        This crazy process...still over 2 months. Seems so far away.
                                         

                                        gutonc

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                                          hello everyone,
                                          Here are some of my questions-

                                          1) Based on my background, what programs (or cities) would best fit my personality and how many should I apply to in order to have a safe chance at matching?

                                          2) I have 3 wks of vacation my second year. What is the best time to schedule my breaks to coincide w/interview dates? (and if scheduling didn't work out, how were you able to manage it?)

                                          3) How many interviews were you able to schedule and go to (and what is an ideal number?) How is a typical interview day experience?

                                          thank you to anyone who can help me! I hope to participate more in the forum and continue to help others as well.

                                          FWIW, i think that NYU would be a great program for you. Excellent clinical training (2 full years) w/ a wide variety of pathologies (county hospital, private hospital, VA) and good teaching. They will swear up, down and sideways that they only want to train academic oncologists and that they really value research but I felt like that place would probably provide excellent, broad-based training to someone looking to practice general oncology in the community. One thing to think about is that every academic program out there will say that they only want to train academics and feel betrayed when their grads go into private practice. Take this with a grain of salt but keep in mind that if you apply to or interview at academic places, this will be the undercurrent to any conversation you have.

                                          As for interviews, check w/ your program and see if they offer time off for interviews. My program gives you 10 paid days (not vacation or sick days) during your training to interview for fellowships or jobs. There is no coverage for call rotations though. I scheduled all but 1 of my interviews (including a week-long trip to NYC and Chicago) during an ambulatory month. Interviews generally happen in Jan-Mar (with a few in December and I have a colleague who's interviewing in the last week of May). If you schedule a consult or ambulatory block for Jan/Feb or Feb/Mar you should be fine w/ regards to scheduling interviews.

                                          Finally, the # of interviews is of course variable. I only managed to squeeze 6 in (got 9 offers out of 10 apps) so I'm stuck w/ 6. You're an AMG w/ AOA and, presumably, good letters in your file. You'd probably be just fine w/ 6-12 interviews. Interview days themselves are pretty much exactly like they were for residency w/ the exception of having more interviews and splitting them (usually) b/w clinical and research faculty. Also, I had some interviews (MSKCC/UCSF/NYU) where there were 10-15 people interviewing and others (Hutch/Northwestern) where I was the only one there. Otherwise, an interview is an interview.

                                          Good luck
                                           

                                          MidwestMD

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                                            Any thoughts on the Chicago programs?

                                            I've been to most but U of C (didn't want me :mad: ) and UIC (goin there Friday). MidwestMD, u still out there? others looking to stay in the city have any recommendations to those of us trying to secure a spot?

                                            Northwestern wows with great downtown location and nice facility. From my sources and interview experience there seems to be quite a few internal candidates. Personable fellows. Faculty seemed a bit disinterested in the interview process, but were cordial.

                                            Rush seems to be the most clinically oriented.... huge hospital. not much basic science going on. only 2 spots:scared: and tend to keep their own.

                                            Loyola had great facilities and esprit de corps. BMT seems to be a strong point at LUMS and Hines VA provides good basic training platform in most malignancies (I guess male malignancies....:idea: )

                                            What the heck happened to Advocate Lutheran? ERAS took my money... the least they could do is send me an email. :confused:

                                            Speaking of what the heck happened... anybody hear from Wisconsin? sounds like turmoil city with an attempt to combine heme and onc. any further details avail from those in the know?


                                            Hey MedOnc2B,

                                            I only interviewed at Northwestern and Rush, and it looks like you have a pretty accurate handle on both (in addition to Clueless1's input).

                                            Northwestern DID seem a bit disinterested during the interview process at times, but I was told by a fellow who is currently training there that the PD is a little aloof to start with. Long history of good clinical training (a current 1st yr fellow actually said it's pretty tough the first yr). And with their new Division Head they're making a strong push towards basic science research w/ new labs and heavy recruitment of researchers. 50% of fellows usually go into private (with 100% of the last class going private), but they're also trying to change that this year. I heard a rumor that they're cutting the fellows down from 6 to only 4 per year due to previous fellows making up to $200k in moonlighting (could just be BS though). Clueless1 is right that it's the only NCI designated center in Chicago but UofC is doing some great Phase 1 trials and is still the research powerhouse in Chicago.

                                            Rush is probably the ugly sister in Chicago that still deserves to get married. Great benign heme program (probably strongest in Chicago) and the Division Head of Hematology (they're separate from Oncology) is GREAT! Fellows are confident in their clinical training and secure great offers once they graduate, but it's not the place to go if you want a promising career in academics (as told to me by a frank interviewer there). They only take 2 per yr at this time and 5 internal applicants all want to stay (or so I was told). So I guess they're really only looking to take 1 outsider this yr.

                                            Didn't apply to Loyola or UIC (heard less than rave reviews) and saved my money apparently w/ Advocate. Got dissed by UofChicago but that's life :p

                                            If you really wanted to be in the Midwest and wasn't committed to Chicago, I would really check out UofMichigan as well...but that's just my 2 cents

                                            Good Luck!
                                             

                                            ITP123

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                                              Ok, here it is the rank list opens today and many of us were lucky enough to great interviews and some were unlucky, still going to be great oncologists, but got some mediocre interviews, now what do we do? The truth is I think the rankings is more than reputation but where you, your wife or even you and your wife and kids or partner want to live. At the end of the day I am sure you can do private or research from the best of places like MD or SLoan, but could also do anything from good but lesser known like the ohio states, etc, but family, friends and sanity are the most important beyond title. For the longest time i was thinking about going to most beautiful environment, i.e. san diego, texas, florida, etc but at end of the day the wife needs to be happy. That is my two cents to hopefully answer some confusion during this time of ambivalance. Plus its still a rank and somewhat out of control! ha!:idea:

                                              -replies welcomed.
                                               

                                              ghettomd

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                                                From what I have observed... A great reputable/research program (Sloan, Hopkins, USCF) can open up great opportunities, whether to join a prestigious practice or go into academic career.. on the other hand, ones that chooses community or even lesser name academic centers will have a harder time transitioning back or advancing in their academic careers.. In my opinion, one should always go to the best program possible, unless you are limited by personal reasons... at the end of the day someone from Sloan will have a better opportunity to do whatever they want in their career.. just my two cents.



                                                Ok, here it is the rank list opens today and many of us were lucky enough to great interviews and some were unlucky, still going to be great oncologists, but got some mediocre interviews, now what do we do? The truth is I think the rankings is more than reputation but where you, your wife or even you and your wife and kids or partner want to live. At the end of the day I am sure you can do private or research from the best of places like MD or SLoan, but could also do anything from good but lesser known like the ohio states, etc, but family, friends and sanity are the most important beyond title. For the longest time i was thinking about going to most beautiful environment, i.e. san diego, texas, florida, etc but at end of the day the wife needs to be happy. That is my two cents to hopefully answer some confusion during this time of ambivalance. Plus its still a rank and somewhat out of control! ha!:idea:

                                                -replies welcomed.
                                                 

                                                cherry ghost

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                                                  been out of the loop for a while. glad to see most everyone is content with the interviews. seems like hem/onc is getting more and more competitive but still not nearly as competitive as cardiology or gi. my fellow residents who are applying to cardiology are great residents, ivy league educated, etc are having to interview at community centers because they just aren't getting interviews at big name places.

                                                  for the next year applicants trying to decide on how many to apply or interview, i'd say if you're not sure, apply to more. you'll know fairly soon into interview season whether or not you're going to get interviews from some, all, or none of the places. i believe by early february i had heard an answer from almost everyone. the one place i hadn't heard from (stanford) i still haven't heard from.

                                                  as for putting together rank lists, i think people are unjustly dogging the research heavy places for the access to clinical exposure. while its true the md's anderson's, sloans, hopkins, etc do want their physicians to become academic attendings who focus on research, i'm pretty sure almost everyone they train will be competent clinical physicians. if by chance a fellow from a sloan-like institution turns out to be a poor clinician then i would not blame the institution but rather the fellow.

                                                  the bigger question to answer when making a rank list is whether or not you'll be happy in an institution where the primary focus is to train researchers rather than clinicians if you really abhor research. i wouldn't want to live in a closet just because of the name of the institution and would want to go to a place that best fit my career goals. that being said, if your goal is to gain entrance to a cush private practice, i'm sure having a big name fellowship could only help. whether its worth lying to the fellowship by feigning an interest in research for three years is up to the individual. the last and probably the most important factor for many of us in making a list is whether or not our significant other will also be happy in the city.

                                                  just my two cents. congrats again everyone and good luck on the match.
                                                   

                                                  dresden

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                                                    One more interview to go, I'm beat.

                                                    I might disagree with a few of the comments being made out there re: the "hard-core academic" programs; although I think there are some very valid points in this forum. A few of our faculty have come out of MSKCC and the like. These places are not fundamentally designed to train community physicians. Its not their mission. Just go to some of these places and the first thing they say is: "If you're interested in community practice then we're not for you." The people I've met out of MSKCC didn't even get Heme boarded so that they can spend an extra 6 months in the lab. Does that sound like a good community prep to you? I would encourage the applicants next year to apply to a lot of programs, both big and small. If you are really interested in community practice, I think the best training you're gonna get is at a smaller, less academically oriented program, where the faculty will pay the most attention to you as a clinician rather than a sweat shop worker for the lab. Examples I would throw out there would be Dartmouth, OHSU, and Wake Forest, but there are many more.

                                                    Maybe some of you guys who have been to some very good programs for training community oncologists could throw out some suggestions for the next years applicants.

                                                    Good luck to everyone in the match. I'll crack a cold one open for you come D-day.
                                                     

                                                    Tositumomab

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                                                      Guys,
                                                      I ended up getting a few interviews including Cleveland Clinic, U Mass, SUNY etc since my last post. Did any of you get any feedback from CCF program?
                                                      Input appreciated.
                                                      Tositumomab:p
                                                       

                                                      ITP123

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                                                        why has the chat room chatter gone quite?

                                                        i hate this rank list nonsense....

                                                        my rank order list goes something like this

                                                        1. chocolate cake
                                                        2. brownies
                                                        3. banana cake
                                                        4. apple babka
                                                        5. cheese cake
                                                        6. carrot cake last.

                                                        any thoughts:) ...:rolleyes:
                                                         

                                                        NEMC

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                                                          why has the chat room chatter gone quite?

                                                          i hate this rank list nonsense....

                                                          I HATE TOO> BUT THERE IS STILL TIME UNTIL JUNE 7, I REMEMBER?

                                                          my rank order list goes something like this

                                                          MY TRANSLATION:: JUST FOR FUN..

                                                          1. chocolate cake -- CHICAGO CAKE
                                                          2. brownies -- BROWNies
                                                          3. banana cake -- BI CAKE
                                                          4. apple babka -- NYU BIG APPLE
                                                          5. cheese cake -- FOX CHASE CAKE
                                                          6. carrot cake last. --CALIFORNIA

                                                          any thoughts:) ...:rolleyes:

                                                          THOUGHTS? HOW MANY WILL PROGRAM RANK OUT OF INTERVIEWS? FOR EXAMPLE, IN A PROGRAM WITH 4 POSITION, HOW MANY PROGRAM WILL RANK? I HAVE NO IDEA...
                                                           
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                                                          happybob

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                                                            so have most of you worked on your rank list already? when is the deadline? the whole process is still a little confusing to me. i remember back during the residency match, each program would tell you their exact program code to use when making your rank list. i don't recall seeing any program code during my fellowship interviews. also what do you do with some programs that offer multiple tracks? i think some programs allow you to apply to more than one track, do you then rank both tracks separately? Are there separate program codes for the separate tracks from the same program?

                                                            btw, are you guys emailing programs to let them know if you are ranking them high? would that help?
                                                             

                                                            signomi

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                                                              I got a call from a program asking me to register, as they wanted to rank me. So hey, I have a snow cone's chance this year!

                                                              For the programs with a research path and a clinical path, you can rank each path or only one. If you rank both, you must rank them separately. One program told me they are sending out a mass email soon to explain as there seems to be confusion.

                                                              I was at an interview yesterday and a guy no showed! Without a call or an email or anything. Wow, were they pissed!
                                                               

                                                              clueless1

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                                                                Hey guys...long time no see. My excuse, and what I presume is the reason the board's been so quiet, is that I used up all my easy rotations during interview season, and now am in the midst of 2 straight unit months. Bummer.

                                                                At any rate, have any of you heard from your potential top ranks? I have heard nary a peep from any program - from what I can tell, they're keeping it pretty close to the chest. Or maybe it's just in my case. At any rate, I'd like to hear about it if people are getting notified, if only because it may help me formulate some semblance of a list if I knew I was/wasn't high on other programs' lists. Or not, who knows?

                                                                HAM, don't know anything about Duke, but from what I hear, it's probably the best in the Southwest, for whatever that's worth.
                                                                 

                                                                sarthi

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                                                                  I am not sure what to make of it, even if a program/PD gives any feedback, because they tend to be vague (understandable) and you don't know how many interviewees they send the same kind of feedback.

                                                                  I did hear from 2 programs (one email and the other email + letter)- Similar kind of messages " We are delighted to say that our committee members think highly of your fellowship application. We will look forward to working with you and shape your future career as a hematologist-oncologist, should the NRMP yield a match with our program"

                                                                  I am not reading too much into these kinds of feedbacks-> all programs which have interviewed you, would want you to rank them highly, irrespective of where they rank you...? any thoughts? opinions?

                                                                  -S

                                                                  Hey guys...long time no see. My excuse, and what I presume is the reason the board's been so quiet, is that I used up all my easy rotations during interview season, and now am in the midst of 2 straight unit months. Bummer.

                                                                  At any rate, have any of you heard from your potential top ranks? I have heard nary a peep from any program - from what I can tell, they're keeping it pretty close to the chest. Or maybe it's just in my case. At any rate, I'd like to hear about it if people are getting notified, if only because it may help me formulate some semblance of a list if I knew I was/wasn't high on other programs' lists. Or not, who knows?

                                                                  HAM, don't know anything about Duke, but from what I hear, it's probably the best in the Southwest, for whatever that's worth.
                                                                   

                                                                  Invicta1

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                                                                    I'd be a bit cautious with what program directors tell you. Last year a friend of mine was told by a CA program that he was "ranked to match" when in reality he was ranked 1 seat out of their quota # and did not. Take from it what you will...
                                                                     

                                                                    clueless1

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                                                                      I'd be a bit cautious with what program directors tell you. Last year a friend of mine was told by a CA program that he was "ranked to match" when in reality he was ranked 1 seat out of their quota # and did not. Take from it what you will...

                                                                      I agree...Short of offering you a contract on the spot (illegal), I take the approach of I'll believe it when I see the match letter.

                                                                      Having said that, it's nicer to hear from programs than not, as you at least know you're in the mix, be it one spot out of the guaranteed matches or whatever. As opposed to not hearing, which presumably means you are either not on the list or far enough down that they don't think they'll get to you. Either way, I'd rather have some idea, even if it's a vague one.
                                                                       

                                                                      NEMC

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                                                                        Hey Clueless1 and Sarthi,

                                                                        I haven't heard diddely squat from any of my programs either. I'm also hoping that it doesn't mean anything either. Good luck!

                                                                        interestingly, when I chatted with a program director during the interview, I asked that whether they will notify me about the ranking st some point. The program director said they will not, and added "if you hear from some other programs about that, do not trust it because this is not supposed to be honest " as he said that, although I didn't hear from this program, I highly respect it.
                                                                         

                                                                        HAM2

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                                                                          But are you as applicants telling programs you are going to rank them high or one or whatever or just being vague like the programs, if so do you do it through the thank you letter, another email, have someone call for you? (I haven't done anything but normal thank you's but I'm hearing this might happen where people call, etc but maybe it's in other fields)
                                                                           

                                                                          cyberdoc2

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                                                                            For those interviewed at Penn, how do you guys think of the program? One of the fellows told me : if you want to go for private practice this is not a place for you. They even went further to say Fox chase is much stronger in clinical training. I am very much interested an academic career but at the same time I would like to have superb clinical training too. Can someone here comment on clinical training at Penn please? Between Penn and Fox chase, I like the fact that at Fox chase, almost 100% outpatient oncology training. Again, please say something to enlighten me.
                                                                             

                                                                            germanIMG

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                                                                              this is true in some way or the other for all top, i.e academic programs:
                                                                              May it be, DFCC, MSKCC, MDACC, Johns Hopkins or PENN, all of these programs are not really the place to go, if private practice is your goal.
                                                                              It would be to some degree a waste of your precious time, as all of these programs will focus in the 2nd part of the fellowship on reearch, may it be bench or patient oriented. Penn is an integrated program, so you will get 18 months of clinical training, 18 months of research. During your 18 month clinical training you will probably get an excellent clinical training for an academic center, i.e VA experience, care of Pt with primary diagnosis vs referral with a good mix of both, Heme and ONc, with an excellent Auto/Allo transplant, even some PEdi heme/Onc if you so wish. The 2nd part, your clinical duties will be minimal to non-existant, because you are supposed to focus on research.
                                                                              now how does the above relate to your question, particular to Fox Chase.
                                                                              At Fox Chase you will have 24 months of dedicated clinical time, and still two 1/2 day clinics during the rest, which wuld be your research time of 12 months.
                                                                              Obviously the first differences are the time allocated to clinical training vs research.
                                                                              Your Pt population will be mainly primary diagnosis at Temple; a good mix, but probably comparable to Penn in regards to referral at Fox Chase.
                                                                              You will get longer clinical exposure and more of it at Fox Chase, but almost no protected research time.
                                                                              these places are absolutly not comparable, that's why all these ranking questions, and which is a better place to train, do not make that much of any sense.
                                                                              Both serve very distinct career and training choices.
                                                                              How does clinical training at penn stack up against the other academic centers:
                                                                              you probably get a broader, realistic exposure at Penn with more autonomy then let's say at dana Farber or MSKCC, but not as intense then Hopkins.
                                                                              Does that mean you will become a better clinician at one then the other?
                                                                              probably not, as 1) it always mostly relies on your own motivation and
                                                                              2) you really go to these places to get the academic, i.e research opportunities and thus will most likely have minimal clinical exposure for at least 18 months, probably even more, and thus will always be less sharp, then your fellow colleague from Fox Chase clinically.
                                                                               

                                                                              clueless1

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                                                                                Doesn't get more definitive than that...germanIMG once again closes the book on a topic. Personally, I applied to Penn but not Fox Chase, specifically because of what germanIMG was alluding to - I am choosing a fellowship based on research opportunities, not necessarily "strength of clinical training", whatever that means. As mentioned, you will get adquate training anywhere; better at some places than others, but enough to be a practicing oncologist if that's what you choose. It's the quality of the research and PI's at an institution that makes the difference in the top academic programs, and I guess most importantly, finding someone you want to work with. Penn was a phenomenal example of that, in my opinion. I also liked Hopkins, MSKCC, UCSF and UCLA for much of the same reasons. If you just want to practice as an oncologist in the community, it's probably totally true that your training program makes no difference...although you may be better off at a more clinically-oriented program in the long run, because frankly after completing my interviews it seems like the top programs are training you to be a researcher with barely passable clinical skills. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but probably not by much...

                                                                                Of course, having said that, let me just add that the reputation of your training program does matter, even if you want to go into practice. Obviously, you'd be more sought-after if you came from MSKCC than East Popcorn State, but then again, maybe not by that much...
                                                                                 

                                                                                happybob

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                                                                                  so have all of you submitted your rank list? when is the absolutely last day that it needs to be certified?

                                                                                  anyway, regarding the current hot topic of research vs clinical programs, i can only provide my 2 cents regarding west coast programs since i pretty much only applied to the west coast. i agree with pretty much everyone above. my interviews at top places like fred hutch/uw and ucla felt more like i was interviewing for post-doc or phd lab research positions, while places like usc and uc davis definitely have a more clinical program. like everyone is saying, it really depends on what you are looking for. it's true that most people that go to the top programs have a desire to do academic research, but you can always find a few fellows going into private practice even at those programs since private practice is where the "MONEY" is. if your goal is to become a well-trained clinical oncologist at a private practice making a lot of money and don't see yourself running a lab or making minimum salary at an academic place, then you should look long and hard at some of these more clinically oriented programs. another factor to consider is the location of the program. if you just want to go into private practice, go to a good clinical program near where you want to end up. For example, in California, programs like USC and UC Davis don't rank as high as places like UCLA, Stanford, or UCSF because they are both considered very clinical and most of their fellows and faculties don't do that much research. But both programs are very prominent feeders into the heme-onc communities in Los Angeles and Bay Area respectively, both highly desirable areas. You'll be able to find a big alumni network in these areas that can help you land a good job. I'm sure if you are trained at prominent places like MSKCC or MD Anderson and decide to do private practice later, you can still get a job everywhere, but you may need to jump through more loops to find a desirable job.
                                                                                   

                                                                                  sludge

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                                                                                    I am new to this forum and wish had known about this earlier. I am considering between Hopkins vs. MSKCC vs. BIDMC vs Duke. Didn't get an interview at DFCI. I liked BIDMC the most. What are your thoughts on this program? Any red/green flags that you have experienced or heard about?
                                                                                     

                                                                                    ITP123

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                                                                                      question for anyone who knows? when leaving fellowship can you get a job as a medical oncologist alone or is heme required to enter private practice. In what I heard maybe 15% of private practice is heme, thus a lot of practices do want heme. However, I have heard that if your a medical oncologist(no benign heme) then you can still find a job in a practice that is just oncology without much problem as well and even sometimes subspecialize in a practice, such as be the GI oncology guy or the GU guy at that site.

                                                                                      Any thoughts? I tried searching jobs and its unclear whether heme is required since many of the big cancer centers focus on onc and not benign heme.

                                                                                      -L.A.
                                                                                       
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