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I am wrapping up interviews and my top choice is a solid NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center (only 45 of these in the nation). I have also interviewed at a couple of places with ivy league brand-names (names that my grandma would recognize). My top choice sends plenty of graduates to the local private practices in the area. The brand-name places I interviewed at have almost all of their fellows go into academics as assistant professors in disease-specific areas. I have absolutely no intention of doing academics and I strongly feel that my top choice right now would train me very well for private practice.

My question is what would I give up by not ranking those ivy league places first if I do not intend to do academics? Do private practices care about reputation/prestige of fellowship? What do private practices care about when hiring aside from the obvious (competent, board-certified, team-player)? I am potentially interested in joining the pharmaceutical industry down the road, maybe 15-20 years after practice. Does prestige of my fellowship matter for joining pharma as medical director? @gutonc can you weigh in? Again, I am comparing a solid NCI-designated CCC without a brand name with a NCI-designated CCC with an ivy league name.
 

stillpremed

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Nah private practices don't care about top names. Come from a solid program and more importantly feel comfortable taking care of all types of patients with your experience from fellowship.

Private practices care about how you are from a personality standpoint. That's why they have most the docs/staff to talk to you. See if they can work with you. See if you won't scare off referring doctors (and instead bring in referrals) with your personality. Knowledge/excellent patient care is assumed.
 
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FYI Gutonc has answered this exact question before if you want to search the forums instead of wait for him to answer again. Iirc it’s not a big deal but some (very few is my impression) groups might care because they like to advertise that their docs are from big name places. I think the better question is would that be a place you would even want to work, for example I imagine if I sat around in a practice with colleagues that liked to talk about their big name resume I would end up rolling my eyes a lot and struggling to keep a straight face.

I would rank the programs the way you liked them... if brand name is something personally important to you (or your grandma) then take that into account I guess. If all of a program’s fellows go into sub-subspecialty academics and you say you have absolutely no interest in academics then I think I would probably take that into account more though...

Disclaimer: I’m just a PGY4.
 

gutonc

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I am wrapping up interviews and my top choice is a solid NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center (only 45 of these in the nation). I have also interviewed at a couple of places with ivy league brand-names (names that my grandma would recognize). My top choice sends plenty of graduates to the local private practices in the area. The brand-name places I interviewed at have almost all of their fellows go into academics as assistant professors in disease-specific areas. I have absolutely no intention of doing academics and I strongly feel that my top choice right now would train me very well for private practice.

My question is what would I give up by not ranking those ivy league places first if I do not intend to do academics? Do private practices care about reputation/prestige of fellowship? What do private practices care about when hiring aside from the obvious (competent, board-certified, team-player)? I am potentially interested in joining the pharmaceutical industry down the road, maybe 15-20 years after practice. Does prestige of my fellowship matter for joining pharma as medical director? @gutonc can you weigh in? Again, I am comparing a solid NCI-designated CCC without a brand name with a NCI-designated CCC with an ivy league name.
You're asking 2 different questions here and the answers are different.

For a PP/Community general oncology job, the "prestige" of your fellowship program won't matter all that much, as long as you're a decent human being who can interact positively with colleagues, staff and referring physicians. None of the places you're describing seem like they'll be a hindrance (or real benefit) in that.

The other issue is the pharma medical director. I don't know if you've looked at job descriptions for those positions, but they require significant research experience as a PI in pharma trials and usually regulatory issues. It's going to be a rare PP job that will get you that. And yes, they will care about the prestige of your fellowship, as well as your publication track record after fellowship.

Bottom line is that I don't think any of these places are going to hold you back from either of these jobs, but the former might hold you back from the latter down the line.
 
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