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Interview experiences

Discussion in 'Internal Medicine and IM Subspecialties' started by oliviakler99, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. oliviakler99

    oliviakler99 Junior Member
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    I know it's a little early for this, but it would be great to get a thread going on interview experiences and impressions. I don't start interviewing until mid-December, but I know some people start interviewing soon....

    Good luck to everyone!
     
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  3. generalIM

    generalIM Member
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    I interviewed at three programs so far (two community based programs and one University program). The interview experience was very laid back at both of them. The community programs where trying to sell their program to me, no remotely challenging questions at these programs. Much more conversational - you know a little medicine but mainly football, hiking, politics, art, etc. Very low-key. Each of them had me interview with either 3-4 faculty members for 20-30 minutes. At one I had to interview with the Chief Resident.

    At the university program things were similar, no pimping or really hard questions, but a lot more like the Iserson's experience, tell me your strengths, weaknesses, etc. Only one interview there though, an hour with one faculty member.

    At all them I attended morning report and at least one conference. They preface by telling you, you do not have to participate, but you can (I recommend against it, there was one student who tried to participate but was shot down quickly by the faculty). Anyway, that is the experience so far.

    Oh yeah, only three interviews and I am all ready sick of being asked do you have any questions? I cringe when I hear it, I hate having to make up something to show interest, if I was not interested I would not have applied.

    In response to the other treads about dress for the formal dinner - no one dressed up at any of these places, very casual.
     
  4. oliviakler99

    oliviakler99 Junior Member
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    Thanks for the helpful info and glad to hear you had good experiences. Anyone else??
     
  5. DrHeartMD

    DrHeartMD Senior Member
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    had a great experience with emory...really friendly faculty and staff...residents were helpful...interviews were pretty low key, with two separate faculty interviews, lasting about 15-30 mins each...they were very conversational...anyway, awesome program ,with super stellar fellowship match rates, and just a great diversity of clinical learning experiences...
     
  6. Zolpidem25

    Zolpidem25 Senior Member
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    wow, that's good to hear about Emory.... thanks for the info!
     
  7. kmed

    kmed New Member

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    Had a great day at my Columbia interview... EXCEPT... in morning report the attending pimped the interviewees in front of all the residents. I thought that was unnecessary and stressful for those who were called on.
     
  8. raph91

    raph91 Member
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    Hey everybody,

    Wow getting pimped at Columbia stinks. I can understand it a *tiny* bit during the interview, but it's just wrong to do during a group session, especially in the middle of morning report.

    I had my interview at Jefferson recently. Pretty good overall. Only issue was that they had to change our interview schedules mid-stream because some interviewers had taken ill. It didn't feel like the person who interviewed me knew my file well, though I guess it's understandable because of the situation. The place was really nice - good fellowship placement (e.g., 11 of 13 cardio applicants matched), strong dedication to teaching, innovative changes, the housestaff appear happy. Also, being in the middle of Philly is nice. Only downside is the absolute necessity of a car (there are months where you have to go to Delaware or to a private hospital outside of Philly).

    Well, don't have my next interview for a while so I'll post more then. Good luck to everybody.
     
  9. BigBadBix

    BigBadBix Senior Member
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    Recently interviewed at University of Colorado - Drinks & pool at a local brewery the night before, everyone was very casual, mostly wearing jeans. Residents seemed very laid-back and eager to talk about how happy they are. The actual interview day consisted of intros and info about the program from several faculty and chief residents, followed by 2 30-minute interviews that were very chill. We went to morning report and then had lunch with the residents. About 20 of them showed up and stayed for about an hour to chat and answer questions. The day ended with a bus tour of the city and other hospital sites, narrated by the chief residents & PD. I took them up on the offer to attend rounds & morning report again the following day, which I highly recommend.

    Stuff I liked - Residents are VERY happy and supportive of one another, with great camaraderie. There's a diversity of hospital settings, including an amazing county hospital, a univ hosp, VA, and two privates. Great fellowship placement & the pulm/cc dept is one of the best in the country. Residents get autonomy & feel they are ready to handle anything by they end, but also have approachable attendings. On rounds, the residents were knowledgable & the attending was extremely impressive. Flexible curriculum - can spend up to 6 months on research, join the formal hospitalist track, etc. Program is front-loaded, but even as interns residents don't feel overwhelmed by the workload. People make the most of their time off, going out for drinks with other residents, skiing, etc. I don't ski, but it still seemed I could find things to do in the area. Weather is awesome, with 300 days of sun per year. Overall it felt like I would get good training, secure a great fellowship, and have a great time in the process.

    Stuff I didn't like - Stability is my primary concern. The PD is retiring and an assoc PD will be moving into his position. Everyone kept saying the outgoing PD would be staying involved, but I never got a straight answer as to how exactly that was going to work. The Chief of Medicine is relatively new, coming on board 2-3 years ago whe the old chief was let go after 25 yrs. They are also in the process of replacing 4 division heads. Several of the hospitals (but not all) are moving to Fitzsimons over the next couple of years. They put a positive spin on all of this, but it is hard to know what these changes will really mean for residents. With that said, they have continued to have happy residents and good fellowship placement over the past 2 years, so it seems that so far the program quality has remained intact despite the changes. I also had mixed feelings about Denver as a city but it wouldn't be a terrible place to live.

    Overall, I was very impressed and will rank the program highly.
     
  10. BigBadBix

    BigBadBix Senior Member
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    :eek: That makes me glad I haven't heard from Columbia yet. I don't think I would do well in that type of environment anyway.
     
  11. Mumpu

    Mumpu Burninator, MD
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    WashU -- very disappointing. I had high expectations given their reputation and the program left me plain cold. Housestaff are nice but the teaching is only average and the facilities plain suck -- two old, cramped, rundown hospitals that are not looking better even after the renovations. The interview itself was easy with only two questions. I got a strong impression the interviewer did not read my file beforehand. All in all, I'm not even going to rank them.

    BBB, glad you had a nice experience in Denver. Which one were you (and GIMed) anyway? I was the dude in the mafia suit. :)
     
  12. inositide

    inositide Senior Member
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    What's a mafia suit?
     
  13. orientedtoself

    orientedtoself resident
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    I can't believe there were three of you regular SDN posters in the same interview group at the same program, and you guys didn't figure each other out!!!
     
  14. BigBadBix

    BigBadBix Senior Member
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    I know, I thought that was funny as well. I think part of the problem was that there were so many people there so I didn't get a chance to talk to all of the other applicants. I did know Mumpu's first name so I recognized him by his nametag, but I didn't get a chance to introduce myself. He was always with other people and I felt like it would be weird to go up and say "Hi, I'm BigBadBix from SDN." I'm also pretty sure I figured out who GIMed was, but I wasn't certain and, again, didn't want to make an idiot of myself if I had picked out the wrong person! It was kind of fun to try to guess who was who though. I wonder who else I'll see on the interview trail. Next up is Duke on Dec 5th - anybody going to be there?
     
  15. Mumpu

    Mumpu Burninator, MD
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    Inositide... Think of a gangster minus the fedora hat and the Tommy gun. :)

    Oriented, it's not so easy. What in the world would a "mumpu" or a "bix" look like? If one of us was "hotblonde17," we would know to look for a middle-aged creepy guy. Otherwise, it's pretty tough.
     
  16. dukeblue01

    dukeblue01 Senior Member
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    I will be at Duke on Dec. 5th. I am afraid to see how "big and bad" this Bix really is. Though you have already hinted you are a lady. See you there.
     
  17. coogmed

    coogmed Member
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    Went to Duke last week- overall left very impressed, the residents seemed a bit of a mixed bag- some intense but most were very approachable and friendly. Day consisted of the usual program presentations and 2 formal 1- hour slotted interviews. One appeared to not even realize that he was interviewing a student that day and literally picked up my packet of information and was rapidly leafing through it during the interview (prob. b/c he was 30 mins. late!!). The other appeared to have read my files and had some relevant questions.
    overall:
    - No pimping or malignant attitude whatsoever
    - productive day w/ good facilities
    - relaxed, conversational interviews (even the late arrival)

    program +'s
    - Flexible 2nd and third year sched.
    -excellent formal teaching (lots of EBM built into everything)
    - intern/resident autonomy (maybe too much for some- taking call alone on a subspec. service during your first month as an intern can give one the goosebumps just thinking about it!!)
    - EXCELLENT fellowship placement (which is what we all expect- why am I even writing this?)
    program -'s
    - Frontloaded with overnight call during a great majority of your intern year
    - area a drawback for some (although I was drooling at the housing costs!)
     
  18. mangogurl

    mangogurl Member
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    Impressions of UVA

    Program size is around 30 residents. They are very close-knit. 3 chief residents who were all very sweet and are very involved in selecting the next class. Charlottesville is a small college town, was not for me, however many in my group loved it. The program director was present throughout the whole day as was the chairman, both of whom encouraged us to contact them with questions. Resident morning report, extremely well-attended, very interesting, residents are very knowledgable.

    2 interviews, 30 mins each: As I heard from an intern the night before, they do look over your file and so its a "real interview". They asked questions mostly concerning research and career interests (they were very easygoing, just looked over my app night before).

    There is only one main hospital. This could be good or bad depending on your previous experience (for me..a minus). Housing is affordable. An intern mentioned the difficulty his spouse is having with finding a job because of the paucity of openings and competition. Not sure if this is the case for everyone.

    Overall, very solid program!
     
  19. doctorjb77

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    Can anyone share some info on what the interviews at UMich and Mayo were like?
     
  20. hoddog

    hoddog Junior Member
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    I interviewed at University of Michigan. THe dinner the night before is very casual at an irish pub and is the usual chance to get to know the residents who all seem quite happy and to be a pretty cohesive group.

    The interview day starts with an information session in the morning with all the various program directors and assistant program directors. After the tour and lunch etc you go back to the main meeting room from which point staff come and get you and deliver you to your interviews. There are 2 30 minute interviews which are VERY relaxed and then a 10 minute interview with the program director or assistant program director also very layed back.

    The whole interview day was very layed back and gave me a very positive impression.
     
  21. doctorjb77

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    thanks hoddog! have my interview coming up soon. pretty excited about it, except forecast says it's going to snow.. with a high in the 30s..
     
  22. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner Member
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    Don't you just love the interviews where the residents REALLY want to talk about how happy they are. Some of them are genuine and I actually believe it, but others are just giving lip service. One place I was at had zero resident-only contact --there were always faculty members with the group and within earshot. When an applicant asked if they were happy, the sleepy/tired/slightly grumpy residents replied, "Definitely, that's why I chose this program." Give me a f***ing break! It was at that moment that I said to myself that the interview was over because I wasn't even going to rank that program. But I still went through the rest of the day with a smile on my face and several good "questions" to ask. Practice if nothing else.
     
  23. ucla2usc

    ucla2usc Senior Member
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    "happy residents" is gotta be the hardest thing to figure out about these places. I think the better question is how happy do you think you will be given the environment of the residency program? (i.e. community vs county vs tertiary vs super academic or psuedoacademic vs hierachy based vs laid back vs competitive environment, etc. and location location location). Oh, and I think the amount of b.s. scut is defintely a thing to look out for, nobody is happy doing paperwork and running around a building all day. Of course, if a resident or two says "Don't come here" that is a red flag. Otherwise, "oh, everyone here is so happy" is virtually always a bullsh%t line.
     
  24. yobabydoc

    yobabydoc Member
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    From what a friend of mine told me, don't be fooled by the laid back tude at Michigan, IM is malignant there...don't know much else or any specifics though, does anyone?
     
  25. bagel

    bagel New Member

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  26. Fermi

    Fermi Senior Member
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    OK, I've heard the same from multiple different people from around the country. However, none of these people actually trained at Michigan. One friend of mine from college recently trained in IM there and had nothing but good things to say--great teaching, no competition amongst residents, etc. Didn't comment specifically on the hours, if that's what people refer to as malignant.
     
  27. BStein76

    BStein76 Senior Member
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    Emory
    Positives: Cheap cost of living in Atlanta, diverse patient population ranging from indigent to more affluent, faculty seemed responsive to resident's needs, lots of independence at Grady (the whole hospital is run by residents), good reputation in the South and is well-known by other programs
    Negatives: Grady still somewhat lacking ancillary services compared to other county hospitals, commuting between the hospitals seemed to be a gripe from some residents

    Washington University
    Positives: Interns sleep 5-6 hours on call, no crosscover of patients completely unknown to you, cheap cost of living in St. Louis, excellent ancillary services (social work, nursing), academic focus with research time in 2nd and 3rd year, indigent patients are treated equally to patients with insurance, good reputation in Midwest and is well-known by other programs, Department head was very knowledgeable about basic and clinical research in the program
    Negatives: Little to no outpatient experience, the size of program makes it hard to know your fellow residents, the computer system seems a little more antiquated than other programs

    UTSW
    Positives: Excellent fellowship placement, lots of independence at Parkland, faculty seemed really approachable, cheap cost of living in Dallas, lots of opportunities for procedures
    Negatives: Lots of ward months, patient census per intern seemed higher than other programs, residents seemed pretty tired, little to no time for doing research compared to other programs

    Baylor Houston
    Positives: Excellent place for people interested in cards, 2nd year seemed pretty cush, cheap cost of living in Houston, residents seemed to live near the medical center in "Condo land", 3 hospital system (private, county, VA), although it is a large program, the residents seemed to know each other, tons of independence at Ben Taub and the VA
    Negatives: Ben Taub county hospital lacked many ancillary services, according to some interns, fluent Spanish is a must or it takes forever to get a translator, research opportunities seemed somewhat lacking, reputation is relatively unknown outside the South, program seemed like it needed Methodist for extra income

    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Positives: Excellent fellowship placement, great academic reputation, hospital facilities and computer system were excellent, lots of integration between the basic and clinical sciences, faculty seemed very approachable and taught during morning report
    Negatives: Little to no sleep on call as intern, very busy program, residents seemed tired, Ann Arbor is a college town and has less to do compared to larger metropolitan cities

    BID
    Positives: Very happy residents, best computer facilities so far on the interview trail, interns get to go home on call (sleep 5-6 hours on call), resident education is emphasized by the faculty, supposedly the department head makes personal phone calls to help with fellowship placement, hospital located in a very nice, safe neighborhood
    Negatives: Patient population seemed skewed toward geriatrics, very little to no inner city patients, although it is a Harvard affiliate, the program seemed a little isolated from BWH and MGH (more Harvard students matched at BWH and MGH)
     
  28. Mumpu

    Mumpu Burninator, MD
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    Yeah, what ARE people referring to as malignant? I know what it means in the context of a medical school but residency? Everyone works 80 so it's not the hours.
     
  29. ucladukes

    ucladukes Member
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    I cannot disagree more.

    I suspect that Mumpu might go to Northwestern, because those are probably the nicest facilities I have ever seen, but to call the Wash U med center rundown is blatantly wrong. Are they the most modern in the country? Probably not. Are the nicer than probably MOST in the country. In my experience, yes. In fact, many parts of the medical center are like a 5-star hotel, including the clinics (Center for Advanced Medicine) It is a I did a rotation there and I can say that the facilities are awsome compared to my school. Regarding the program, IF you can live in St. Louis, you would be foolish not to rank it. I interviewed there and got the impression that if you go there, you will be surrounded by mellow residents, you will not be overworked, and you will get the fellowship you want. As for the interviewer, that is one person, I think interaction with the housestaff, will probably say more about a program.
     
  30. BStein76

    BStein76 Senior Member
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    I have visited about 8 programs (I have not had time to post all my interview experiences yet though) and I haven't really found one that is really bad (even the ones with rumors). For some programs, the faculty are more approachable than others, but it is not like any of the residents say the faculty treat them like doo-doo.For example, some people will call programs with a VA "malignant" because the work load is usually higher there and the ancillary services are not as available (blood draws, patient transportation, social work). However, every VA that I have seen or heard about seems very similar. I think the government has found a way of standardizing the VA experience for the patient and the trainees :laugh: For the most part the major differences I notice between the programs are: cost of living, amount of sleep the interns get on call, patient census, level of ancillary services, clinical vs. research experience emphasis, quality of computer system, level of autonomy. I think everyone has a personal bias of how things work based on their experiences at their home institution.
     
  31. Mumpu

    Mumpu Burninator, MD
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    Facilities are not everything but the inpatient buildings are cramped, work areas are very small, and ICU rooms hold the bed and nothing else (want to run a COR in a 10x10 foot room? me neither). More importantly, I was not impressed by the program -- residents are nice but work is too easy, teaching is okay... All in all nothing to make it worth moving to St Louis for me. I'm glad you liked the program, obviously it is a better fit for you. Good luck with the process!
     
  32. raph91

    raph91 Member
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    Mayo-Rochester:
    Amazing place. Absolute dedication to education. Excellent fellowship placement. The program director and faculty seem extremely approachable. There is a variety of residents, ranging from F/IMG's to American-grads. However, all seem top notch, and many of the F/IMG's are MD-PhD's. Also ancillary services are the best I've seen anywhere, saving a significant amount of time for the residents. Negatives are 1) the weather (obviously), 2) the homogeneity of the population (you get some referred from elsewhere, but largely white, Minnesotan population), 3) this is really a major referral center so while they do admit from the ER, a LOT of cases are flown in from states throughout the midwest and the rest of the country too. The suit thing depends on the person, but you DO wear scrubs and a long coat on call and you can wear it the next morning too. Also, on call, you come in late (1-4 pm) and leave whenever your work is done the next day. This is nice because it lets you wake up late and it also lets the team on short call and the other teams sign out whenever the work is done. Negative because this means the admitting resident is also taking care of cross-cover which can become difficult at times. The call rooms are AMAZING but it's Mayo and they have the money to do that. Again, the weather thing stinks. Also, the location is not the best. Rochester is Mayo and IBM. There doesn't seem to be too too much to do as far as "hanging out." That's a major negative from my POV but for others it probably depends on the person.
     
  33. yobabydoc

    yobabydoc Member
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    Any impressions of these programs?
     
  34. lucyz02

    lucyz02 Junior Member
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    yeah--- I would also like to about any one who has interviewed at VCU???

    - Also, typically what are people experiencing in their interviews??
    (already read the interview forum, looking for more detail)
    Are they rather laid back?
    Any crazy pimping going on??
    thanks.......
     
  35. DaBigDawg

    DaBigDawg Member
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    I have interviewed at 5 places and every one of the interviews has been laid back except for one....
    I was asked the following questions during that interview:
    1) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
    2) What are 3 big issues in medicine currently and in the upcoming years?
    3) What was the last book you read and what did you like about it?
    4) Who is your favorite philosopher (i've got a philosophy degree).
    5) What are you scared of?
    and of course...
    6) Do you have any questions for me?
     
  36. Elahuhu

    Elahuhu Member
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    That's really a shame that you got this impression of the program on your visit. Coming from a current Barnes resident, I've got to say that pretty much everything you've said is wrong. While our hospital may not live up to the aesthetics of Northwestern, it's by no means "run-down" like you said. Our ICU rooms are about as big as other hospitals-- were you expecting a master suite?

    The education that we receive here is truly second to none. That's not a jab at other top programs in the country; it's just a fact that our attendings are awesome. The beauty of our program is that you get a ton of experience and exposure to all sorts of pathology, from the run of the mill stuff that rolls into our ED to the tertiary/quarternary referral cases too. We work hard here, but as you pointed out, our residents are not over-worked, but since when has that been a negative? Heck, if you're a sadist, then please choose another program!

    Trust me, I could go on and on about the strengths of our program, but I don't want to sound boastful, and I don't want to pick fights either.

    Again, sorry that you got that impression of our program; that's really not how things happen around here. But, that's what the whole process is about-- it comes down to your gut feeling about each place (even though you're only there for 8 hours).

    Good luck in the match!

    Cheers.
     
  37. ShizzleDaZam

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    hey, do you honestly, think attacking a future applicant looks good for your program? I have no idea who that person is, or why they wrote those comments. However, do you honestly think, every applicant that goes to your program, will have an epiphany on what a wonderful program it is?

    I find your pretentious attitude sickening, and I for one, am very happy that I decided to not go into your interview. I think when program directors or residents try to squash dissent. I think it looks very poorly for your program...

    good luck recruiting more ******s such as yourself :thumbup:
     
  38. irlandesa

    irlandesa Senior Member
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    yeah, I have to agree that the Wash U students/residents should settle down a bit. Not everyone is going to like your program (hey, everyone doesn't like mine!), and who cares where Mumpu went to school? I remember interviewing at some places where residents seemed to have a defensive attitude or made stupid comparisons to other programs, and this always sent their program down my rank list.

    OK, maybe I am a bit hypocritical since I got into it with someone from Tufts over UMASS v. NEMC, and I have a tendency to be an annoying braggart about our program. But when people ask me ?'s about other Tufts affiliated programs (esp. interviewees) that I had bad experiences at as a med student, I will tell them honestly what some of my impressions are based on my experiences, BUT will also let them know of that programs' strengths and what it has to offer. I actually still have positive things to say about Tufts-NEMC in spite of the fact that it was my home program and I didn't rank it.

    As for Wash U, I thought St. Louis was a surprisingly nice city when I interviewed at SLU for med school, especially in the spring! Heard great things about BOTH Wash U and Northwestern's medicine programs as well.
     
  39. interviewer2006

    interviewer2006 Junior Member
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    I actually got a very similar impression of Wash U. I don't think it's at all unreasonable to think these things based on the interview day experience, although current residents are of course free to disagree and indeed seemed quite happy. The residents were extremely nice people and were very social, but I wasn't particularly impressed with the facilities or the teaching. Sure it's the second largest hospital in the country, but many of the buildings are quite dated. Yes, the Center for Advanced Medicine is gorgeous, but most of your time won't be spent there. At least it's pretty to look at from the street. On the other hand there's the Wohl clinic, where you'll spend a half day per week, which in all seriousness looks like a jail ward. The walls are made of painted cinder blocks, and there's barely room enough to fit an examination table!!! The medical wards and units were in various states of renovation, and I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would carpet an ICU or a medical floor.

    But you probably shouldn't choose a program based on its facilities. I have other concerns as well, however. First, I didn't like the fact that a good 1/3 to 2/3rds of their patients have "private attendings." The residents spent a great deal of time discussing why this doesn't hurt their education, but I still don't like the idea of having to coordinate care and take orders from 3-4 other attendings on a daily basis. While I too am not a "sadist," I think that cross-cover experience is very valuable, and that sleeping 5-6 hours per night on call as an intern is a bit too relaxed for me. I don't think I'd learn medicine as well at Wash U as I could at a place like Penn, Duke or Michigan.

    Honestly, it just didn't have all that academic of a feel to me either. We attended morning report, but I was rather disappointed with the lack of participation in formulating a differential and discussing details about the cases. It was like pulling teeth! Even the chief seemed a bit detached, and the faculty members were no better. I wish we could have observed some rounding to get a better feel for how things really happen each day.

    I also had a number of residents complain bitterly about the abysmal computer systems. There are two different systems, but there's no computerized order entry (they're piloting it on one of the wards). One system is used for entering vitals and the like, and the other is for viewing labs and studies, and you can also use it to pull up films. It appeared to be VERY slow at times.

    On top of it all, the program director came across as rather distant and disinterested. His little talk about the program was devoid of any passion, and I couldn't see him as my advocate should I have any concerns as a house officer.

    Needless to say, I was very disappointed. For a top 5 or 10 program I expected a much better show, much better facilities, and a much better computer system. At least the residents were nice.
     
  40. souljah1

    souljah1 Attending
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    Stanford

    Overall, a strong program.. The P.D. is great! He really sets the tone for an academic environment and is really supportive of the residents. I spoke with him at the end of the interview day and he knew details about my application even though I did not interview with him. He is a mud-phud with a phud in medical education, so the residency program has a lot of emphasis on medical educaiton and teaching residents to be better teachers. I like that a lot. Stanford has a lot of $ (more $per faculty member than any where else on the globe).

    They have a pretty impressive 3 hospital system, so residents get exposed to an very diverse patient population. They have an impressive fellowship placement, with particularly good subspecialties in cardiology and heme/onc. The rotations through the subspecialties appear to be very helpful in furthering career choices and finding mentors for projects.

    I was a unimpressed with resident report. There was poor attendance and the residents that did show up seemed pretty uninterested. The chiefs and faculty members dominated the discussion and made numerous attempts to involve the residents in discussion. They seemed uninterested. The case was interesting, and I was disappointed. I didn't get a strong sense of teamwork, and come to think of it - I didn't hear that word all day. I barely met any interns, saw no medical students, and mostly interacted with junior and senior residents.

    The critical care training seems strong, but interns don't rotate through the Stanford U ICU. I asked why and the resident on our tour told us that interns likely can't handle 5 or 6 complex ICU patients. I don't think that is true. There were other comments that made me feel like people need to earn their stripes at this program.

    The location affords good weather, etc.- but it is a little too suburban for me. I think if I lived there my hair would be severely parted on the side, I'd have golf clubs in my car all the time, and I'd start tucking my shirt in all the time on weekends. It kind of weirded me out a bit.

    The call schedule is good. Q4, admit until 10, then night float for any others later in the evening. Makes me wonder why the hell they stay over if they stop taking admits at 10.

    The personality of the residents...They were really nice, very polite, smart. Given that, they didn't have a lot of diverse characters, senses of humor, etc. I felt bored when talking with them, for the most part. I think only one resident actually made me laugh all day. that is important to me. If I am going to be spending more time with residents than my wife, they better make me laugh, I better feel like I'm with 'my tribe', and I better feel like I'll have fun being up at 3am with them. I didn't.

    I felt like I'd receive great training, education, funding/support/mentoring, but I'd do so in an environment that is a little too suburban, a little too boring, a little too homogenous for me. My bay area ranking would be UCSF #1 then Stanford #2.
     
  41. cwy

    cwy Junior Member
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    While I would have to agree that Wash U may not put up as good a show as one would expect from a program of its caliber, I don't agree with some of your assessments.

    The part that I don't agree with the most is the issue with cross-cover and sleeping on-call. While there is some educational value to cross-covering, it by no means make or break your educational experience. It certainly would not make you learn less medicine at a place with less cross-cover. With the Wash U system, you do cross-cover when you're on-call, until about 9pm. You con't to cover your own patient, but the night-float intern takes over all other cross-cover. As a result, the on-call interns get to have more time with their brand new admissions and get some sleep. You still get to learn all about cross-covering both during the time before night-float starts and when you are on night-float yourself. This division of labor allows everyone to be able to focus more on their own tasks, whether it be reading up on your new admissions or dealing with a sick cross-cover patient. One of the biggest advantages I see with getting more rest/sleep when you're on-call is that you don't feel completely exhausted the next day and need to sleep the day away. Instead of sleeping, many interns can spend their post-call afternoon working on other things such as research projects. I firmly believe that this is one reason why a good number of residents at Wash U can get research done, publish, or present at national meetings DURING THEIR INTERN YEAR. These things are KEY for the fellowship application process, if you are interested in doing one. With the fellowship application process happening mostly during your second year, you will really be a step ahead of your competition of you have these things on your resume, especially if they're done during your intern year since it shows that you can continue to have great accomplishments in research while busy with your clinical duties as an intern. I can't emphasize this more, as I speak from personal experience in applying for a competitive fellowship.

    Regarding the physical facilities at Wash U, some rank them as one of the nicest in the country, while others don't like specific parts of them. The good thing is, Wash U is constantly building and renovating. All the floors and ICUs are being renovated in the hospital one-by-one, replacing them with spacier rooms (many doubles are being turned to singles) and nursing stations, hardwood floors, etc. One of the high-risk cards units and the CCU are already finished. One of the general wards is closed and in the process of being completely revamped, and the rest will follow one-by-one. Many of the surgical floors are complete and they look gorgeous. Too bad you didn't get to see them as they are not part of the medicine tour. We are told that the medicine floors will look similar when renovation is completed. In my opinion, these newly renovated general floors look almost no different from the VIP floor (13100). If you walk through the Wash U facility, you can see all the large-scale renovation and building taking place. As part of this rebuilding effort, we are told by our PD that we will be getting a completely new clinic facility within a year.

    There is also some misunderstanding regarding the "private attendings." The percentage of "private" patients you cited (~1/3) is about right. However, most of these patients are admitted by their specialists at Wash U with the respective subspecialty service acting as attending. For example, an ESRD patient admitted by one of the renal attendings will be admitted to the renal service and come to your team labelled as a "private." You don't need to coordinate with multiple outside attendings, as the renal service and the attending on that service is the attending for that patient. This is no different from other programs such as U Mich where they have specific subspecialty wards, except that you can get patients from different subspecialties on your team at one time. The patients are still being staffed by Wash U specialist attendings, who are all more than willing to teach. Only a small number of them are actually from community private primary care attending, as many of these patients would go on the non-teaching (Gold) or hospitalist service. Even these outside attendings are appointed as faculty of Wash U, with almost all of them being former chief residents.

    This reply is long, but I just want to clarify some of the things brought up in this forum. While some of these things are rather subjective, such as the aesthetics of the facilities, others are things that might not have been explained well during the interview day. As someone who went through this process, I would agree that Wash U's interview day is not really up to par with the kind of program it actually is and the other programs of its caliber (e.g. Penn, Duke, etc.) I hope my post can help clarify some of your concerns. If you have more questions, feel free to PM me or ask the program for the emails of some residents you can talk to. This is an important decision, gather more information before you choose. Don't just rely on "gut feelings."
     
  42. maddog75

    maddog75 Member
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    My experiences (i invite all to comment, even attack my thoughts, because I'm curious if others got these impressions).

    Emory: Left with absolutely nothing negative to say about this. Great hospitals, both private and public to balance out the experience. everyone was VERY nice. Residents were eager to talk to us and positive about their experience. Only thing for me is that Atlanta doesn't offer enough opportunities for my sig other next year.

    Baylor (houston): Also very positive. Negative for me, was that they ALWAYS are on call months (even on electives). I didn't get any vibes on the real effects of the Methodist split. I will probably have to email interns I know so taht I can speak to them about this one on one.

    Northwestern: Awesome facilities. Excellent match list and of course amazing location. Was not sure how the low key call factors into the real education. had one interviewer tell me that this no overnight call was a negative and I might have to agree, great for my tired brain, but ultimately the patient has to be cared for. One interviewer seemed to have a UofChicago inferiority complex. And looking back after that experience, I thought some of the resident's actions were also similar. While the residence director raved about how they were looking for nice people, I thought a good number of the residents at the previous nights dinner had no interest in talking to me or others.
     
  43. Anthony328

    Anthony328 Member
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    Encourage you all to come see what Univ of Arizona has to offer.
     
  44. Elahuhu

    Elahuhu Member
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    I don't think that the tone of my response was at all pretentious or inflammatory. If someone gets on this forum and starts making false claims about my program, I think I have every right to refute those claims. I'm not trying to say my program is any better than other programs; in fact I said that I'm not trying to bash other places, only trying to set a few things straight.

    As far as calling me a ******, man, that's really grown-up. :laugh:

    Anyways, good luck with the match. With the kind of attitude you have, maybe it's a good thing that you cancelled your interview.
     
  45. avmd06

    avmd06 New Member

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    IT was an extremely laid back interview-- mostly trying to sell the program with one 30 min interview with faculty. Everyone was incredibly nice...and no pimping.

     
  46. Seawolf

    Seawolf Junior Member
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    hm.....I think I'm going to cancel my Wash U interview now....
     
  47. BStein76

    BStein76 Senior Member
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    I am not from Wash U, but I interviewed there among other places. Unless you don't want to spend the money or the time I would interview there just to form your own impression rather than making a decision on opinions put forth by another person. There were a couple programs I had heard "rumors" about and I just politely asked interns/residents/faculty and they helped clarify the matter. My rank list before interviews has changed after interviews and I suspect it will continue to change until I complete all my interviews.
     
  48. Seawolf

    Seawolf Junior Member
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    yup, I think you hit it right on the spot. I think that I am just tired of travelling, and don't want to make a trip just for Wash U. It wasn't one of my top places as I don't have any family around and don't really want to be in St. Louis. However, I do have to admit that reading the above responses did solidify my decision.
     
  49. GIMed

    GIMed Junior Member
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    Emory: i was extremely impressed, especially since i had pretty high expectations going into the interview. the PD is wonderful, super sweet, approachable and adored by the residents. the residents were a very friendly, intelligent, and diverse group who made both the dinner and the interview day fun and informative. they were all very happy with their decision to go to emory, which is a good sign. grady is amazing, cannot be beat when it comes to volume and diverse patient population and crazy pathology. emory hospital was very nice and is an excellent tertiary care center. fellowship opportunities are very good, they take many of their own, especially cards, but people looking to go elsewhere seem to do very well.

    overall, it seems like a very well balanced program...the residents work hard and learn a lot but also enjoy a fair amount of free time for fun or research or both. there is no overnight call at grady anymore which has made this program less "malignant" although you still take overnight call in the ICU's and at Emory hospital. The home for the holidays program (4 days off at either xmas or new years) and the resident retreat were definitely huge pluses.
     
  50. Loopo Henle

    Loopo Henle Goin' straight for the IJ
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    I left very impressed with Duke. The residents seemed like an intelligent, hard working crowd, but they seemed happy and amicable as a whole. The pre-interview dinner was very nice, and we interacted with residents from all levels. The interview morning started at 0730. Everyone had a different schedule because they interviewed like 30 of us at one time. There were 2 interviews that were slotted for 1 hour each. These were pretty laid back. Overall we had a lot of time to interact with residents, interns as well as the chiefs. Call is q4, but there are several outpatient months with little to no call. You do take call alone as an intern (with backup of course). There is only one unit month (CCU) as an intern.
    There are three hospitals, and you actually see two of them (Duke north & a huge VA). The VA was very nice and is literally across the street from Duke North. Their fellowship match sheet was hard to argue with, it is obviously a very strong academic program. The current PD and chairman seem very well liked and approachable. I liked Durham a lot, but I am an old married dude. With three big universities nearby, I think it is a pretty happening place for singles as well.
    Pros: Overall I found it to be a very non-malignant atmosphere. Smart hard working residents that seem to have fun. Academically excellent, Great fellowship opportunities. Real good administrative support.
    Cons: Call rooms are spartan (the ones I saw had a bunk + a floor bed and a shared bathroom). No real resident lounge with a couch and TV. Apparently there isn't a lot of down time on call.
    Then there is always the short white coat thing- I don't care about this, but it apparently ruffles the pride of some so this could be a con as well. Although, this tradition apparently carries on because the residents want it to, and have voted to keep it that way.
     
  51. Fermi

    Fermi Senior Member
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    I had a positive impression of the Colorado program. Someone already posted an exhaustive review, which I agree with for the most part. The pre-interview gathering at the microbrewery was a good time and pretty well-attended by interns; there were several in attendance. Residents were very friendly although it seemed the upper levels didn't know each other as well as you would expect. This is probably a product of the large program size (40-50 per year) as well as the five hospital system which fragments everyone. Everyone did seem very nice and fairly laid-back, as I have heard so often on these boards. However, coming from the midwest I don't think it was any moreso laid-back than here; this is probably a bigger factor for those coming from the east or south. That said, every resident I talked to said they chose CU because they clicked with the people. And they liked the mountains. (One resident said that the caliber of housestaf is better than one would expect for this institution largely because of the location.)

    Interns seem to work very hard, and they will tell you this, but they also said they were happy and getting good training. Many said it can be a big pain getting used to the five different hospitals, with all different EMRs, orders, forms, etc. However, one private hospital is leaving the equation next year so it should be a little better. We were also told that the entire medical school and University Hospital will be moving en masse to the new campus sometime in 2007, and a new VA will be finished there the next year. It's not clear how the move will happen, whether it will really happen on time, and thus how it will affect this incoming class of residents. As they are now, the facilities I saw (University, VA, Denver Health) are above average.

    Along the same lines, as a previous poster noted, there is also a lot of administrative change--a few department heads and the program director are being replaced. My interviewer told me that many faculty have left CU because of the new campus move, but things have stabilized now. I did not get a good feel as to whether this was a positive spin or whether there is still some instability.

    The bus tour was quite entertaining and a good way to end the day--don't miss it.

    Overall, I was impressed with the program and people, and found Denver to be a pretty nice and manageable city.
     

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