Is UCSF a malignant program?

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by G0S2, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. G0S2

    G0S2 SDN Angel
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    I don't mind hard work at all and most of the residents seem to get out at or after 6pm daily. Being treated like a dog, however, is a different story. Is there a current UCSF resident that can make any comments about the program? I have done some searching on SDN but nothing useful pops up.

    Any insight appreciated including from those that have interviewed there this season.

    Thank you.
     
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  2. fakin' the funk

    fakin' the funk ASA Member
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    Maybe that's because they're not treated like dogs.

    I mean, uh, yea dude, hella malignant there bro, don't rank it! :D
     
  3. ucsfgaspain

    ucsfgaspain ASA Member
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    I think I can give you the low down on UCSF. I graduated med school, residency, and fellowship there. I finished about 7 years ago from residency. Is it malignant? I don't think so. Do you work your ass off? Of course. Nothing comes for free. If you are going to go to a program with a top reputation you are going to be challenged. It's no joke. I pulled plenty of 100+ hour weeks. You guys actually have it easier now since you have time limits on residency now. We didn't when I went through.

    The advantage of the program is that you do everything and the clinical experience is extremely varied. You get to do the weird and wonderful cases at the main center and get to the down in the dumps major trauma stuff at the county hospital.

    This is probably true at all academic programs but if you are constantly being asked to work late, it actually is a sign that your attendings trust you. Why? Cuz as an attending, I want to make my life easy. I'm going to choose a strong resident to do the cases cuz I don't need to worry about them. Unfortunately, this leads to punishing the strong (staying late as a strong resident) and rewarding the weak (sending the weak resident home early) during residency.

    the good thing is that, the cream always rises at the end of the day. If you've got mad skillz and good expereince and technique, you'll do all right out there.

    the rep of ucsf. opens a lot of doors. What you do after the door opens, however, is up to you. I've met plenty of anesthesiologists that are amazing that didn't come from top programs. i thing that have mad skillz better than mine. But they had tougher times in finding jobs than I did cuz reputations do matter.

    With the current economic downturn, and the inevitable slashing of health care costs. I wouldn't turn down top programs b/c they are "too malignant" if they have great reputations. Real malignancy is when you finish residency and can't find a F**ing job.
     
  4. G0S2

    G0S2 SDN Angel
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    Thank you very much.
     
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  5. scotchnwater

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    I'm doing my internship as part of the UCSF Categorical program right now, so I have yet to start the real fun of being a CA-1, but I will offer you the insights I have.

    For starters, I would say I have not observed anything resembling "malignancy". My definition of malignant (of which there are several, I'm sure) is having a poor and borderline-adversarial relationship between attendings and residents and amongst the residents themselves. The attendings I've already worked with in the ICUs and seen in the OR while on surgery rotations are nothing short of fantastic (again, this is only based on the experience I've had thus far). They are not only great teachers, but nice people who also happen to remember my name and say hello every time they see me (again, I'm an INTERN in a program that has 80+ people between all four years). That means something to me.

    Our program director is top-notch, and along with the education director (also a top-notch guy) works tirelessly to improve not only the education, but the quality of life for the anesthesia residents. Even down to the always friendly residency coordinator, I have yet to meet a member of the department who is not friendly and happy to be there.

    The department goes to great lengths to find ways to make the residents' lives more comfortable and liveable in an expensive city like SF, which I find to be indicative of how much the department cares about the residents.

    There are a lot of great CA-1s/2s/3s I've met so far this year and for the most part they are people I would not only be happy to work with professionally, but also go out for drinks with and hang out outside of work.

    As far as work hours, I don't have the exact number, and if it's important to applicants you should check with the PD, but I believe the average was about 65 hours per week (with the ICU months making that number higher than it would otherwise be). It's certainly none of the 100+ hours/week stuff that was happening in years past. And again, I will add the caveat that this is my understanding from talking to other residents and paying attention when I get information - if you want "official" specifics you should talk to someone involved in the application process. Regarding days off and such, one of the chief residents was telling me that he works "3-4" weekend days a YEAR. Compare that to your fellow Medicine residents who are essentially Q4 call (or worse) for all three years with no more than 4 days off a month. It kind of makes it difficult to complain too much about the workload. And don't even get me started about the misery our surgical colleagues endure for the duration of their residencies...

    If anyone has any questions about the intern year, feel free to contact me, but for now I will say that it is DEFINITELY much better than it appeared on the sample schedule we got when I interviewed. It is definitely not cush, but I've already had the opportunity to work with some amazing residents in other departments and have learned a ton! I've forged lasting relationships with both attendings and residents in other departments that will no doubt be beneficial in the coming years.

    Good luck to all who are going through this process right now, I remember how stressful it was last year!
     
  6. G0S2

    G0S2 SDN Angel
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    Fantastic post. Thank you very much for your time. Very helpful.
     
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  7. cchoukal

    cchoukal Senior Member
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    This is a really insightful point. This should be in the application material of every big program with a malignant rep. Seriously.
     

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