Interviews and the like...

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by fugax, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. fugax

    fugax Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    As we all sit and wait for news from programs, I was wondering if anyone had an interest in keeping a thread going regarding program interviews.

    1. Wilmer
    2. MEEI
    3. Bascom
    4. Jules Stein
    5. Doheny
    6. Sheie (UPenn)
    7. Iowa
    8. Wills
    9. UCSF
    10. NY Eye & Ear
    11. Columbia
    12. Cornell
    13. Yale
    14. Cleveland Clinic
    15. Emory
    16. Baylor
    17. Tufts
    18. Northwestern
    19. U Chicago
    20. U Washington
    21. OHSU
    22. Duke
    23. Stanford
    24. U Michigan
    25. Einstein
    26. Case Western
    27. U Wisconsin Madison
    28. Med Coll Wisc
    29. Brown
    30. Wash U

    In particular, I was wondering if people had begun to hear from the East Coast programs (like Wilmer, Wills, etc.) There's been a fair amount of "buzz" that this application year is looking to be quite competitive, is this a fair assessment of what some of you out there have heard? Since there aren't very many forums out there for people applying in ophtho, I thought starting a thread like this might help where people could possibly discuss their thoughts on particular programs and/or their experiences from interviews. Since I haven't had an interview yet (first one coming up next month in Iowa), I thought I'd pass some of the wait time by seeing how others of you out there are getting along. Best of luck to all the applicants! :)
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Oftalmologo

    Oftalmologo Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fugax,

    I think your idea of an interview forum/discussion link is a great idea. I have not interviewed yet, but I now have seven scheduled. I have not heard from any of the top schools yet, though I guess it is possible that I never will. From your list I have only heard from Yale, Northwestern, Med Col of Wisc, and Baylor along with a few others. Hopefully in the next week or two more responses will start arriving. Good luck to all! Let's keep in touch.
     
  4. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,633
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Iowa just sent out invitations this week. You should hear really soon.

    It is very competitive this year. At Iowa, we receved over 75 applications with USMLE STEP I scores of over 250! That's insane.

    Good luck, and maybe I'll have a chance to meet you when you interview here.
     
  5. fugax

    fugax Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I heard from Iowa this past week and I'm really looking forward to learning more about your program. I'm scheduled to visit on Nov 15th, so hopefully we can meet up to talk more...as things stand right now, it will be my first interview. Can you give me/us some idea of what the interview day is like there? Thanks :)
     
  6. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,633
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Fugax,

    Congrats on your interview! I'll definitely see you then. The interview day consists of about 4-5 interviews. You get interviewed by 2 people during each interview. Also, there's two senior residents on the selection committee. It's a pretty relaxed setting. You'll have lunch with all the residents and some faculty. Then we all gather for dinner, and you'll have the opportunity to meet all the residents in an informal setting.

    Once you receive the interview, it's a whole new ball game. In my opinion, the interview is the most important element now.

    You'll love Iowa. This was my first choice, and I am very fortunate to be here. Iowa is one of the best residency training program because it is designed to be resident friendly. Although places like Bascom and Wilmer (Johns Hopkins) have higher rankings because of research and reputation, they do not provide as much formal resident lectures and teaching. For example, at Iowa, we have department morning rounds every morning. In the evening, we then have speciality teaching conferences. On Saturday mornings, we have lectures designed to help prepare us for the boards. In addition, residents are not over worked here, and you have time to learn and have productive interactions with the faculty.

    Good luck!
     
  7. 360modena

    360modena Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wuddup party people! Long time user, first time poster.

    I have ophtho interviews set up at BU and at Kresge. Northwestern has me on a waitlist for an interview and Stanford declined to interview me.

    I haven't heard anything else from the other programs I applied to.
     
  8. fugax

    fugax Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    just thought i'd ask if anyone has heard anything from UCSF, Jules Stein, Wilmer, or Wills...anyone? If so, how did they contact you? Thanks and best of luck to everyone...
     
  9. chef

    chef Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm not an applicant myself this year but I am very interested in the field. I understand many of you have interviews coming up.. I thought it would be great to have everyone share their experiences and feedback about the different programs after interviews. You may post about anything - the size of program, atmosphere, facilities, faculty, residency life, quality of teaching, on call schedule, research opportunities, location, nightlife scene, ANYTHING! So post away ladies and gentlemen and good luck everyone!!!
     
  10. dkline1000

    dkline1000 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think this thread is a great idea. I hope more people will respond to it so we can reach critical mass. I can't believe there's nothing else like this out there--it makes so much sense.

    Anyway, here's my experience so far:

    Heard from: Utah, Tufts, Yale, UPenn, Rush, USC, Stanford, MEEI, UVA, U Chicago.

    Haven't heard anything yet from NY programs or other Cali programs.

    Good luck everyone!
     
  11. fugax

    fugax Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just thought I'd add onto the growing list of programs...so far I've heard back from: Doheny, Baylor, Yale, Northwestern, Case Western, Med Coll Wisconsin, Iowa, Wilmer, Sheie, Mayo, MEEI, BU, Bascom, Stanford, U Chicago, adn Wash U. I'm guessing that the remaining programs are waiting for Dean's Letters since we're so close to Nov. 1. Any word from other California programs or

    Andrew, quick question for you, since I saw that you went to Hopkins, I was wondering if you could comment on what you think are the positives and negatives of Iowa and Wilmer...Also, I'm trying to decide if I should drive to Iowa (from Chicago) or just fly into Cedar Rapids. I noticed in the information your program gave out that there is a free shuttle bus to Iowa City from the airport, would you recommend this or would you suggest renting a car?

    Thanks and good luck to everyone!
     
  12. Spinola

    Spinola Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anyone on the list have any knowledge of the Yale ophthalmology residency? They seem to have an OK clinical department, though the research side of things seems rather underdeveloped.
     
  13. dkline1000

    dkline1000 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    so far, the only ones i've heard from that haven't been mentioned elsewhere are Montefiore and Columbia.

    good luck everyone, let's keep this going! anyone else out there?
     
  14. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,633
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Fugax,

    First, I recommend that you take the free shuttle bus. Iowa City is tiny, and you can get around downtown by walking or taking the free Cam bus. There's not much to see so driving is not necessary.

    I can give you an honest assessment of both programs because Wilmer and Iowa were my two top choices. I ended up liking Iowa more because of two things: 1) Iowa is a resident friendly program and 2) the area is great for Family. I think the reputation is stronger for Wilmer because of the research; but, I think Iowa residents are better trained. I'll explain more below.

    These are the factors I looked at when I interviewed:

    WILMER-
    *Location*
    Hopkins is located in the pits of Baltimore. It's a rough city to have a family or live in if you're not used to working in an inner city setting. The security is much better now, and there are armed guards at each street corner. IDs are required all over the hospital. New security rules were implemented after a woman was assaulted on campus and a professor was mugged and locked in his car trunk.

    *Faculty*
    Outstanding. The faculty love to teach and many are involved in cutting edge research. I worked closely with Neil Miller, Susan Bresslar, and Irene Maumenee. They were awesome mentors.

    *Residency Training*
    The residents receive good training because they see many patients. However, I think you have to be self-motivated because the resident clinic is extremely busy and there is little guidance, i.e. you see patients and manage as you see fit. Call is Q4 in the Wilmer ER, and it's tough. Everyone sends their patients to the Wilmer ER after hours. I've seen one resident having 10 people waiting to be seen at 11 PM. Also, There is not a lot of formal lectures or conferences. I often felt like the system was sink or swim. Most will do great because the best and brightest get in, so they all do well.

    *Surgical Training*
    Not as good as many other programs. The numbers of surgical procedures are marginal. I have been told that if you want surgical training, then do a fellowship. Nearly all residents go into fellowship. It is also emphasized that Wilmer trains future directors and academics; thus, there is not a lot of support for those who want to go into private practice.

    *Fellowship Match Rates*
    You'll get your pick. Wilmer grads do extremely well.

    *Research*
    Tons of research funding and cutting edge research.

    *Reputation*
    The Wilmer name speaks for itself.

    *Numbers entering practice vs academics*
    Many will enter academics. I don't have the exact numbers.

    IOWA-
    *Location*
    College Town that is perfect for families with children. Great school system too. I didn't find many top 10 ophthalmology programs that had many residents with kids. The other one with tons of kids is Wash U. I had kids so Iowa City is perfect. People don't need to lock their houses or cars. The town has enough to do, but it is small for single individuals. Most of the residents here are married and have children. In my class of 5 residents, there is a total of 5 kids.

    *Faculty*
    Outstanding. Each speciality has a leader in the field. Faculty are friendly and enjoy working closely with residents. We don't have a resident clinic at the UIHC (asides from our 12 week rotation at the VA); thus, we work closely with the faculty. Also, because the faculty sees all patients, I think there is less chance for error and mis-management; which, can occur without supervision. At Bascom Palmer, the resident can see as many as 40-60 patients in one day. If there is any problem, then they can ask the faculty member. If you're busy with a clinic, then how bad does a problem has to be before you seek help? Here at Iowa, you move at your own pace; you're encouraged to be complete rather than fast as a first year. Some residents see 10 patients per day, and others see 20 or more.

    *Residency Training*
    I've been told by many programs that this is one of the best residency training programs. Iowa is resident friendly because we're not over worked and it's designed to teach residents and prepare them for both private practice and academic medicine. For instance, Iowa is one of the few programs, if not the only program, that gathers for department morning rounds every morning. Residents and faculty present at morning rounds using Powerpoint, video, microscopic slides, and overheads. In addition to morning rounds, there are also afternoon speciality conferences every day, e.g. retina FFA rounds, plastics, neuro-ophthalmology, or cornea. Finally, we also receive lectures prepared by faculty to help prepare for the OKAPs and boards. These lectures take place every Saturday. In aggregate, Iowa resident's likely receive more lectures and didactics than any other program.

    *Surgical Training*
    We receive good surgical training here, and the residents are recruited aggressively by many practices around the country. Surgical numbers are moderate, and because Iowa is the only tertiary referral center in the state of Iowa, we get a fair share of cases. We may not get open globes from guns or knives, but we get many from farmers banging on farm equipment, BB guns, and turkeys (these birds go for the eyes of young children).

    *Fellowship Match Rates*
    It varies year to year because on average, only 50% of residents decide to do fellowship. Of the residents who do, they all match very well. Last year, 2 stayed here for peds, 1 stayed here for cornea, and 1 went to the MEEI.

    *Research*
    Not as great in volume as some of the bigger programs, but the research done here is of high quality. In particular, Dr. Ed Stone is the first ophthalmologist in the world to be appointed a Howard Hughes Investigator Research Award. This locks him into about $1 million each year for research which is renewable. He's cloning new genes for inheritable retinal diseases. Dr. Stone (Stone Rounds) also holds a weekly gathering on Tuesday evenings where we eat dinner and discuss interesting retina cases. This is a unique and invaluable experience.

    *Reputation*
    Iowa has an outstanding reputation and is considered one of the best.

    *Numbers entering practice vs academics*
    I think it's split 50-50, but more have entered private practice in recent years.

    At all the places I interviewed, I considered all of the above when I made my match list. Other programs I liked were Wash U, USC, and MEEI. I have a family so Iowa is the perfect place for me. I hope this helps.
     
  15. fugax

    fugax Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Andrew,

    Thanks for that detailed and informative post. It was exactly the type of thing I was looking for (and then some...). Based on your suggestion, I've decided on just flying into Cedar Rapids. Any recommendations on places to stay? I'm planning on staying Friday night so that I can be there for the dinner with the residents, so I'm sure I will get a chance to meet you. The program at Iowa does sound excellent -- a nice mix of didactics, hands-on training, and good resident-faculty interactions. Do many of the residents involve themselves with basic science research at all? You mentioned Dr. Stone, are there other prominent faculty (particularly in retina) who do basic science work?

    A few other questions I thought I'd throw your way:
    1. What is the call schedule like at Iowa? at Wilmer?
    2. If you could compare the overall level of happiness/satisfaction of Iowa v. Wilmer residents...
    3. Do programs ever give applicants a sense of whether they really want them at their program? (I've heard mixed things about this and just thought I would throw it out there...)
    4. What sorts of things are there to do with your free time in Iowa (what do you do for fun?)

    Thanks again, Andrew ... for taking the time to post here.
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,633
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Hi,

    Dr. Stone is the primary basic science researcher for retina; however, the other retina staff are involved with clinical research and pharmacological research for AMD, diabetes, and neovascularization.

    I'm sure I'll meet you during morning rounds, lunch, and dinner.

    In regards to places to stay, the IOWA HOUSE HOTEL will give you a discount and you can walk to the hospital from there. It's in the center of town; thus, you can walk to the main strip in Iowa City. There's plenty of other cheap places to stay around Iowa City too.

    Some residents work with basic science research, mainly with Dr. Stone. Most residents are involved with clinical research. Every resident is required to complete a research project before graduation.

    A few other questions I thought I'd throw your way:
    1. What is the call schedule like at Iowa? at Wilmer?

    Call at Wilmer is in house Q4D. It's very busy. As a second year, you're backup for the first years.

    Call at Iowa is Q10D during the Weekdays and Q5Weekend Days. This breaks down to about 4 calls per month as a first year; thus, I'm on for 2 weekdays and 2 weekend days each month. We're in house until 10 PM, and come back in if there is a trauma or emergency. Call for second years is 2 days per month, no weekends and no Fridays. As a third year, you're backup from home.

    2. If you could compare the overall level of happiness/satisfaction of Iowa v. Wilmer residents...
    On a scale of 1 to 10... with 10 being the happiest

    Wilmer 3-5 (7-9 if you're really into the reputation)
    Iowa 7-10 (Iowa is well known for it's "resident friendly program")

    3. Do programs ever give applicants a sense of whether they really want them at their program? (I've heard mixed things about this and just thought I would throw it out there...)

    Yes. However, Iowa doesn't really tell you anything. Wilmer will if you call them. Rules are that the program cannot contact you, but you can call them to express interest. You can't ask them your actual rank, but you can get a feeling. Wash U called me on the phone so that I could ask more questions if needed. Some programs will send you a letter saying thank you and that they hope you pick their program. These are tiny gestures of interest.

    4. What sorts of things are there to do with your free time in Iowa (what do you do for fun?)

    I have a family, so I spend a lot of time at the movies with the kids. My wife and I go out to dinner a lot. There are bands that come to town, but you'll have to hang out with the college students. The football stadium is across the street, so you can go to the football games. Many people in the department tail gate. You can attend wrestling matches and basketball games. If you're into plays or theater, then there's Hancher and other local theater. We're also very close to Chicago, and several residents will take weekend trips to Chicago. Several residents water sky and sail at the local reservoir and lakes during the summer. It's a nice college town, so there's all the activities supported by the University.

    The residents also hang out together a lot, and we have people over for dinner/BBQs/etc... It's a very friendly program! :)

    I spend some time on SDN, and I'm a big computer geek so I play Warcraft III some times.

    I find that my time is limited, however, because I'm reading and trying to learn all of ophthalmology in 36 months!

    I'll see you when you come. Find me and introduce yourself. You can see my picture from the Department's Website:

    http://webeye.ophth.uiowa.edu/dept/RESFELO/pix/resfelo2002.htm

    Good luck!
     
  18. fugax

    fugax Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just thought I'd update people about programs again since this thread seems to have died down a little: heard from UCLA, Emory, and Columbia. Still waiting to hear from: Colorado, UCSF, Oregon (OHSU), Wills (by Nov 15th apparently), Cornell (by early next week), and New York E&E.

    Does anyone know anything about Einstein's ophtho program? Just curious...


    Andrew,
    Thanks again for all of your help. It's incredibly helpful to have someone in your position whose brain we can pick... I'll certainly see you on the 15th. Also, do you know anything about Peds at Iowa?

    Thanks & good luck to everyone!
     
  19. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,633
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Attending Physician

    Peds at Iowa is AWESOME. Great people and department. Two residents from Iowa stayed here for peds this year. Also, did you see the rankings in Ophthalmology Times Oct 15?

    Iowa was ranked 3rd for overall ophthalmology program, ranked 3rd for best residency program, ranked 4th for best clinical care, and ranked 6th for best research program. :)

    It's great to be here!
     
  20. 360modena

    360modena Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    anyone hear from programs in mahattan yet?
     
  21. fugax

    fugax Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Heard from Columbia, Mt Sinai, and Einstein...still no word from NY E&E and Cornell. Anyone hear from either of those places yet? I heard that Cornell will be giving out invites this week (I was told this by one of their administrators over the phone) and NY E&E will have invites out by 11/15. That's pretty much all I know.
     
  22. chef

    chef Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    1
    360modena.. wow u have an expensive taste in cars.. ! :D
     
  23. fugax

    fugax Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just thought I would add a quick update to the growing list...heard from Cornell today via email, but still no word from NY Eye & Ear. Does anyone out there have any thoughts on this program?

    Also, Andrew, did you do your PGY-1 year in Iowa? If so, how was it?

    Good luck to all...
     
  24. 360modena

    360modena Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    NY E&E will send out invites by 11/22. Interview days are 12/13 & 12/14.
     

Share This Page