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Low-tier academic vs. mid-tier community

rhmtascp

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Dec 13, 2007
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    Basically my question is whether it is better to do residency at a mid-tier community program or a low-tier urban academic center in terms of future fellowship opportunities. Also in terms of specimen / case exposure. I know there are a LOT of variables, but hypothetically and plainly speaking, which is better?
     
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    pathstudent

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    Mar 17, 2003
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      Basically my question is whether it is better to do residency at a mid-tier community program or a low-tier urban academic center in terms of future fellowship opportunities. Also in terms of specimen / case exposure. I know there are a LOT of variables, but hypothetically and plainly speaking, which is better?

      Low tier academic (if there is such a thing) is more well regarded that the highest tier private( if there is such a thing), so that answers your question.
       

      path19

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        I think it is program specific and you cannot generalize. I don't have any personal experience, but IMO Penrose in Colorado is one of the better known private programs and it seems like their graduates don't do too badly. Same thing with the program in Orlando.

        http://www.penrosestfrancis.org/ind...cal-Pathology-Residency-Program?parent_id=438

        In fact, I would wager that they end up in better positions than those in some of the MANY poor academic training programs which certainly do exist. It should be easy enough to obtain information from specific programs about where their graduates have ended up and base your decision on that.
         

        Ziehl-Neelsen

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        Feb 17, 2005
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          Low tier academic (if there is such a thing) is more well regarded that the highest tier private( if there is such a thing), so that answers your question.

          Categorical statements such as the above are generally false, and this is no exception.

          By this standard, it would be better to do a pathology residency at Howard University in D.C. than at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. All jokes about Detroit aside, Henry Ford, while a private hospital, has a phenomenal program with extremely high volume, multiple fellowships, and impressive research output.

          I would rather train at Kaiser than Howard (and I hate Kaiser). Hell, I would rather apprentice myself to the local pathology guild for 7 years than train at Howard, and there are many other "academic" programs that are of commensurate caliber.

          Evaluate programs individually. The only way to truly do this is to interview at each program in which you have a serious interest. If you select a less regarded program that you are uncomfortable with merely because it is a university program, I guarantee you will be unhappy throughout residency, your training will suffer, and your job prospects will not improve.
           
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          rhmtascp

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            That's what I thought. But what about ACGME standards. I might be wrong, but there's not one Path residency program not accredited by ACGME. I know there are differences in scope between programs (especially those between academic and community), but shouldn't all path programs should be "good enough" for one to be successful in Pathology? I mean, what are the differences, other than name or prestige. Is it true that big-name attendings from top programs are too busy to teach? So why even go to these programs just because someone famous works there?
             

            Gene_

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            Sep 26, 2005
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              That's what I thought. But what about ACGME standards. I might be wrong, but there's not one Path residency program not accredited by ACGME. I know there are differences in scope between programs (especially those between academic and community), but shouldn't all path programs should be "good enough" for one to be successful in Pathology? I mean, what are the differences, other than name or prestige. Is it true that big-name attendings from top programs are too busy to teach? So why even go to these programs just because someone famous works there?

              I think pathstudent is somewhere laughing at all the serious responses to what I thought was a facetious remark. To answer your question, you should strive to go to a residency program with a strong reputation for turning out good fellows/attendings. Famous people often happen to be in those places. You won't necessarily be any better than someone who did residency at BFE Medical University, but you'll appreciate that reputation when applying for fellowships/jobs. And letters of rec from said famous people can help too.
               

              jackypath

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              Jan 30, 2010
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                I think pathstudent is somewhere laughing at all the serious responses to what I thought was a facetious remark. To answer your question, you should strive to go to a residency program with a strong reputation for turning out good fellows/attendings. Famous people often happen to be in those places. You won't necessarily be any better than someone who did residency at BFE Medical University, but you'll appreciate that reputation when applying for fellowships/jobs. And letters of rec from said famous people can help too.

                There are certainly "academic" programs that have deteriorated so much that they are lower than many community programs. So this question is really irrelevant.
                 

                lipomas

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                Aug 4, 2009
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                  Basically my question is whether it is better to do residency at a mid-tier community program or a low-tier urban academic center in terms of future fellowship opportunities. Also in terms of specimen / case exposure. I know there are a LOT of variables, but hypothetically and plainly speaking, which is better?

                  There are too many variables to provide any sort of reasonable and accurate answer to your question. People could give you an answer, but any such answer would be an invalid and meaningless response. It's like asking which is a better pet, a dog or a cat. Anyone can give a response but none of those responses are going to have any validity for anyone else.
                   

                  PresterJohn

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                    There are too many variables to provide any sort of reasonable and accurate answer to your question. People could give you an answer, but any such answer would be an invalid and meaningless response. It's like asking which is a better pet, a dog or a cat. Anyone can give a response but none of those responses are going to have any validity for anyone else.

                    I completely agree. You need to figure out what type of program is the best fit for you. If you're worried about fellowships, I would ask if the program allows you to do away rotations. Rotating at institutions where you want to go for fellowship can help level the playing field if you come from a non-"top tier" program.
                     

                    pathstudent

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                      Well I don't know about Howard. To me low tier academic would be a unviersity program that isn't on the map and not well regarded like Oklahoma or Colorado or Mississippi. I would assume those have more cred than most all community based programs. But that is probably not 100% true. Non university bard programs like cedars Sinai and memorial Sloan Kettering provide far superior training teaching and material than say university of Mississippi or Colorado.

                      Categorical statements such as the above are generally false, and this is no exception.

                      By this standard, it would be better to do a pathology residency at Howard University in D.C. than at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. All jokes about Detroit aside, Henry Ford, while a private hospital, has a phenomenal program with extremely high volume, multiple fellowships, and impressive research output.

                      I would rather train at Kaiser than Howard (and I hate Kaiser). Hell, I would rather apprentice myself to the local pathology guild for 7 years than train at Howard, and there are many other "academic" programs that are of commensurate caliber.

                      Evaluate programs individually. The only way to truly do this is to interview at each program in which you have a serious interest. If you select a less regarded program that you are uncomfortable with merely because it is a university program, I guarantee you will be unhappy throughout residency, your training will suffer, and your job prospects will not improve.
                       
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