- Jun 11, 2011
- Reaction score
Would anyone be willing to give some input on Loma Linda's residency program? Looking for info on quality of training, quantity of cases to get numbers, and overall feel of the program.
Hey, I just finished residency there.
I'm a natural pessimist so I'm never 100% happy with anything, please keep that in mind.
LLU is kind of a mixed bag and definitely needs to be the "right" fit.
LLU is very light on didactic lecture, maybe 1 a week plus grand rounds (either good or bad, depends on what you want).
LLU offers a lot of autonomy, you will rarely be 1:1 with an attending unless it is peds (and occasionally cards). (either good or bad, depends on what you want)
LLU CA1 residents (I think currently) do not take 24 hour call unless at ARMC which is the local county hospital, I think CA1s probably average 40-50 hours,
CA2s and 3s work a little bit harder (because they do the more advanced cases and peds/cards) and they probably work 55-60 hours a week. A couple of times during residency, I think I topped >70 hours, but it was usually a scheduling quirk or something I did so that the next week I didn't have to take call or something like that.
I think there is still some moonlighting opportunities.
Pros: The best things about LLU is that people and culture there is very supportive. The surgeons and staff are usually polite and professional and your attendings are helpful and nice. The chair is intelligent, thoughtful, and will call people to get you an academic job. The department is respected by the hospital. The EMR is electronic, which is so nice. The acuity of the cases is top notch, you will see almost everything at LLU. The only thing(s) they don't do there is lung transplants and multi-visceral transplants (even though I did at least one and maybe even a second kidney-pancreas transplant). Because you work a lot and have alot of autonomy, you will very comfortable in private practice. LLU residents go everywhere for jobs (I've heard of people working in NYC, Portland, Denver, New Mexico, Vegas, Indiana, Kentucky, etc...) The peds at LLU is ridiculously good too.
Cons: While the culture is supportive, its not super informal (at other programs its common to grab a drink or go to happy hour with the younger attendings, that is not the case at LLU. Having said that, I have hung out with some of the younger attendings when I was a resident and it was fun). It's a religious institution so again there is a bit more professionalism and formality. LLU's name does not have too much weight in the southern California area, so its not a slam dunk to get a job in Southern California based on name alone, but residents regularly do find jobs in Southern California as well. It isn't an academic or research powerhouse, meaning if you want to be the next head of anesthesiology at prestigious university X or head of the ASA, you're probably better off going to Stanford or Harvard.
Overall, for me, it was an "heh" fit BUT I did not have a stellar application (terrible #s, mediocre everything lol) so I was actually super happy that I got in to begin with. The experience was good and I'm happy I went there. I still text/keep up with some of the attendings. Everyone who finished my year and the years above me is happy with their jobs too.
When I interviewed at Loma Linda, I felt like it was the best program in SoCal but suffers heavily from it's location. To the point of being bottom half of my rank list.
LLU's name does not have too much weight in the southern California area, so its not a slam dunk to get a job in Southern California based on name alone, but residents regularly do find jobs in Southern California as well. It isn't an academic or research powerhouse, meaning if you want to be the next head of anesthesiology at prestigious university X or head of the ASA, you're probably better off going to Stanford or Harvard.
Not sure if any of this dribble will be useful to you, but I am burned out of doing practice Q's for basic boards, so here is my two cents:
I interviewed everywhere in So Cal, currently a resident at UCLA, so that is my filter, but from my limited experience, I agree with all the stuff said earlier here. Seemed like a decent program when I was there, location is a downer for many (but as said above, it doesn't have to be. You could live in a house instead of a cardboard box). They are very proud of their role in proton therapy, showed it off during the tour, which was interesting because I didn't know that much about it. This was really a curiosity because as an anesthesiology resident, I doubt you would have any involvement with proton therapy, so whatever. Peds seemed particularly strong, one of my interviews was with the peds fellowship directior.
I was very interested in whether graduates were getting solid jobs in So Cal after graduation and multiple programs, including Loma Linda, dodged my questions for the most part. That was a big factor in why I ranked UCLA #1. I'll let you know how it turns out once I graduate in 2 more years, for all I know they sold me a song and a dance and I will be scrapping with some CRNA for cases to do in North Dakota (no offense to any North Dakotans stalking the board). We have a few people who trained and/or worked at Loma Linda at UCLA, including the infamous current ASA president, and overall they are as skilled and competent as the other attendings from what I have seen. Randomly, my cousin is married to a guy who did his dental anesthesia residency there and it set him up nicely, he has a lucrative private practice that he set up in Alaska and after a year up there, he his looking to hire more people. I have run into a few other people affiliated with Loma Linda and I mostly hear very good things. But I digress.
Bottom line, if you have interest, you should definitely check it out because although it wasn't my cup of tea, people seemed very happy there and different people will fit in different places for residency. You won't be able to make up your mind one way or another unless you go check it out for yourself.
@4th year student considering UCI vs. Loma Linda: I felt like both programs had a lot of good things to offer. The PD at UCI seemed very checked out when I interviewed, but there is someone new in that position now. And my interview with Dr. Kain was amazing. My wife is from Orange County, so there was a lot of pressure to rank UCI over Loma Linda. By the way, don't let ANYONE have too much influence in your rank list. Ultimately, it is your soul that is being sold and your family and other important people should be able to support your decision. My argument for Loma Linda is that since they are more isolated, you don't have to share good cases with the other hospitals around because your cachement area extends far into the interior of the state, versus being in the greater LA area where you have multiple competing health systems operating. Housing really is much cheaper, too. But the beach is a little far for my tastes. Loma Linda felt more established to me as a department, UCI felt like they were still kind of figuring out who they are as a department, could just totally be my personal impression. I think you could go to either one and come out well-trained, or at least so it seemed.
My point in sharing a lot of this is that beyond what you can look up about each of these places using websites and databases, you will go and interview and/or do rotations and decide for yourself. My impressions and judgments may be totally different than yours, but that is part of the fun of applying for residency. Take everything everyone says with a big grain of salt, whether it is me or some program director on the interview trail. Everyone has their own bias and agenda. Good luck!
I'll agree that LL is a solid program, but I wouldn't call it the best in SoCal, although I may be a little biased . I certainly don't think it's the worst in SoCal, just a little underrated perhaps? What hurts it the most (big picture here) is not so much it's location, but rather that it doesn't seem to carry the clout that a couple other programs do in terms of reputation/connections with the premier PP's in the area. Not sure why, and not saying whether or not that's deserved, just the way it is. With regards to location, yes it's a little dumpy, but on the plus side it's considerably more affordable than most everywhere else in SoCal (a plus if you have a family), and you're very close to some great outdoor opportunities i.e. Big Bear, Arrowhead, desert, etc.