nacholibre

7+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2009
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1) OK so most of us would be thrilled to get an ENT spot in Siberia, it's still fun to think about all the programs out there and where we will be spending at least 5 years of our life.

The onset of scheduling 4th year and the potential of doing an away rotation has got me thinking about where I would want to end up if the choice were up to me. I wanted to start getting some advice on how to pick programs that I might be a good fit for and programs that would suit me.

Of course we've heard the superficial stuff (i.e. super-academic types vs more community based) but what kinds of things should we be evaluating and where can I find some more detailed info on programs because 90% of the program websites I've looked at may as well just be the same website with a different name at the top of the page.

When attendings on here say "you need to have something specific about my program that interests you" what kinds of things are you talking about.

In other words how can we best evaluate a program.
 

OtoHNS

ENT Attending
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Aug 16, 2010
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The best ways to evaluate programs are 1. talking to interns and PGY-2 residents at your program about their application/interview experiences and 2. seeing for yourself on interview days.

You don't need to come up with some brilliant unique reason for why you're interested in any particular program. You just need something other than "I applied to 100 programs and I got an interview here, so here I am."
 

DrBodacious

15+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2003
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You mention "locale" but I guess you are talking about programs, overall? Evaluating programs can be really difficult.

Looking at the size of the faculty and other information on the website is a way to get the basic information. But, it won't inform you about the things that would make the program a good fit for you. Word of mouth is the only useful source for that, really. This can come in the form of recommendations from fellow students, ENT residents at your home institution, faculty, alumni from your med school that are ENT residents at other programs. You have to be careful about the quality of information and the context/bias that is involved. No one who is giving you advice is going to have the context/perspective that is perfect for you. You might talk to a resident at a program that is a totally different personality than you that will turn you off to a program. But, if they are a 4th year, they will be out of the program by the time you are doing your ENT years. And really, you (as a ENT-bound medical student) probably don't have the context/perspective in evaluating programs that is really good for you. I.e. Most people going through interviews think they are going in to fellowships/academics, and most graduation residents go in to private practice.

You are unlikely to find any useful specific information on programs on SDN or other messege boards like otomatch.

Since you mention "locale," the location is something that you should consider, if not for any other reason, if for that this is something you can research/"get a feel for" on your own. i.e. This may be one of the few things you can really evaluate with out doing an away rotation at a place to find out how the program really is, or without knowing someone who is able to give you an in-depth evaluation of the program. Yes, residents work a lot (more or less depending on your specific program). But, different cities/area have a different feel, and you will be enjoying (or not enjoying) your time off in that location for 5 years.

My biggest take home piece of advice for ENT-bound medical students is that you should put a solid effort in to networking and seeking out advice, but, at the end of the process, the vast majority of ENT programs are very high quality, the majority of faculty/residents in ENT are in this field because they are exceptional in some way, and you will get a lot out of any place you match.
 

survivordo

Gettin' through it
Jan 18, 2013
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Like Dr. Boadacious said, the only way to get info on programs is through word of mouth/visiting. I feel you really have to at least visit a program to know it, even if you only spend one day. In the end the most important aspect of your program is how well you will fit in. Like you said in your post, you are going to spend at least 5 years with these people!

Survivor DO
 

neutropeniaboy

Blasted ENT Attending
15+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2002
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You don't need to come up with some brilliant unique reason for why you're interested in any particular program. You just need something other than "I applied to 100 programs and I got an interview here, so here I am."
This is what I was implying in my dissertation, which I recently posted.

You could say something like: "I like your program because you have the only program in the region with 3 facial plastic surgeons and that's going to be invaluable training;" or "you've published extensively about hair cell regeneration and that is of interest to me as someone who likes otology."

It's not hard to get to know some of the unique factors about a program.

Sent via Tapatalk.
 
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nacholibre

7+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2009
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Medical Student
A couple of questions in the face of scheduling my 4th year:

1)Can you geographically "pigeon-hole" yourself with an away rotation. I went to medical school outside my home state, and am thinking about doing an away back at home because yes it will be quite convenient and cheap, but the program appeals to me and I can provide several realistic and compelling reasons for this. But if I do my only away at a smaller program (where I guess theoretically I would have a better chance of matching) are programs going to read into that and think well obviously he's gonna he wants to go to this "less competitive" program. Is it that big of a head game??

2)My dream is to get to Denver or west for residency. Obviously this cuts down the number of programs big time and I'm wondering about the chances. I don't know how to ask this without sounding like an naive douche so apologies in advance. Can I assume that if I probably meet the Step 1, research, and decent LOR "cutoff criteria" for most programs that I can expect an invite from most programs I apply to?? What other factors are going to affect this?

3)Anyone know anything about the University of Nevada LV program??
 
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nacholibre

7+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2009
95
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Medical Student
Bump.
 

Savannah

ENT Resident
10+ Year Member
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Aug 5, 2006
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1. I can't answer for sure for this question, but I think this away would help your match chance in your home state. I would guess other programs may or may not read into this depending on how well you can sell it on interview day (repeat "I did it because it was cheap").

2. No, even people with stellar creds get rejected. Apply broadly. Also consider if anyone from your home program has interviewed or matched there lately.

3. Nope, sorry.

In regards to the previous question, to make a program stand out in your mind, look at their depth of faculty. Is every specialty covered? Do they have depth (more than one faculty) in most specialties? Look at private/public hospital mix (residents have autonomy with public patients). Look at recent publications (pubmed) by faculty and residents to see what they research. Other things to look at are case numbers, resident turnover, city size, weather, if the residency is multi-city or not.

Good luck!
 

ayushman80

10+ Year Member
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Dec 8, 2007
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I just matched into ENT. Locale for me really depended on how family friendly the city was. There are a lot of things to consider when picking a program. These things have been discussed extensively on other threads. I just want to highlight for anyone to not forget taking family life into account when picking a program. Significant others and young children may not appreciate cities with high crime rates or may want to move to a city because of other family reasons.