dak2006

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Alright, perhaps this program has been discussed to death. However, other than the new hours, I am curious if others had any opinions to share regarding the program. In particular, what type if interaction did people have at the dinner or talking with residents? What do people say of the program who are there currently?

Personally, at the dinner there were a number of small interactions I saw that I felt were indicative of a sometimes less than cordial atmosphere. It is hard to describe, but my "gut" reaction had me wondering about some of the people after I left. Although many people say that the program isn't nearly as malignant as it used to be, I am curious what three years there would be like.

I am not sure where to rank MGH and am surprised to find that I am considering putting less "prestigous" programs above it. Any opinions/advice out there? Thanks and good luck with your ROLs.
 

yomanjr

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I'm glad you got the same vibe. Something about the residents (R1-R3) was amiss. I did not feel I could joke around and socialize with them outside the hospital and not sure if I want that type of reserved, aloof rapport with my co-interns. Just can't get a hold of what my instincts were telling me. Anyways, enough concern to move it out of my top 3 and likely won't match there.
 

Cardsman

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I did kind of get a similar vibe. I'll prolly rank it third, just because of the reputation. But on some level, I kind of would rather go lower down on my list (I just feel bad abour putting it even lower considering the reputation).
 

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Let me chime in here. I am choosing between BWH and MGH. For some reason, at MGH the people seemed very cool and laid back and not too full of themselves. They also seemed to hang out with eachother and have a decent social life. And, it didn't seem like there was any sort of competitive tension between residents whatsoever. Personally, I was shocked. I was expecting "House of God" redux. Howver, since I am not from the Northeast, I am not 100% sure that my one day observations hold true for the two big Boston programs.

One of our esteemed colleaugues sent me PM with a similar question. I have pasted my response, which I think may be somewhat helpful:

...It sounds like we are kind of in the same boat right now. Basically, I made my decision (though it's not 100% final) on my impressions from the interview day. It just felt much less scary than many of the other places I visited. At the dinner, the residents seemed cool, and said that they have a good social scene. Plus, I thought the new hours and Dr. Bazari's attitude were very cool, and suggested that the old malignant reputation didn't hold true anymore. Although the program seems somewhat front-loaded, it is much less so than it was even 1 or 2 years ago, and is certainly much less so than Columbia or Hopkins. I also know a bunch of residents there from my med school and they are all nice people--smart but not gunners.

However, there are two things that really worry me. When I spoke to a buddy of mine there about whether or not there is ever any down time, he said
that all teams always have a high census and that even if your service is slow, no one signs out their patients before 5pm at the earliest. At UCSF, I liked the fact that residents said that if it was a slow day and all of their patients were "tucked in," it was expected that residents would sign out and enjoy that precious gift of down time. I am also a little concerned about all this talk of "teamwork" at MGH. At first, I assumed this just referred to meant everyone helped eachother out (which is cool), but now I wonder if it is just a euphamism for letting everyone know that they need to shoulder their own weight so as not to let down the team.

At least for me, MGH has given me and my school multiple types of feedback which have all indicated that I will be ranked to match there. However, I have no idea about the Brigham. Basically, I want to end up the program which is more "chill." (If such a thing is possible). Unfortunately, I have no idea if I am aming the best or worst decision of my life.
 

Tina Sheen

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Savard said:
Let me chime in here. I am choosing between BWH and MGH. For some reason, at MGH the people seemed very cool and laid back and not too full of themselves. They also seemed to hang out with eachother and have a decent social life. And, it didn't seem like there was any sort of competitive tension between residents whatsoever. Personally, I was shocked. I was expecting "House of God" redux. Howver, since I am not from the Northeast, I am not 100% sure that my one day observations hold true for the two big Boston programs.

One of our esteemed colleaugues sent me PM with a similar question. I have pasted my response, which I think may be somewhat helpful:

...It sounds like we are kind of in the same boat right now. Basically, I made my decision (though it's not 100% final) on my impressions from the interview day. It just felt much less scary than many of the other places I visited. At the dinner, the residents seemed cool, and said that they have a good social scene. Plus, I thought the new hours and Dr. Bazari's attitude were very cool, and suggested that the old malignant reputation didn't hold true anymore. Although the program seems somewhat front-loaded, it is much less so than it was even 1 or 2 years ago, and is certainly much less so than Columbia or Hopkins. I also know a bunch of residents there from my med school and they are all nice people--smart but not gunners.

However, there are two things that really worry me. When I spoke to a buddy of mine there about whether or not there is ever any down time, he said
that all teams always have a high census and that even if your service is slow, no one signs out their patients before 5pm at the earliest. At UCSF, I liked the fact that residents said that if it was a slow day and all of their patients were "tucked in," it was expected that residents would sign out and enjoy that precious gift of down time. I am also a little concerned about all this talk of "teamwork" at MGH. At first, I assumed this just referred to meant everyone helped eachother out (which is cool), but now I wonder if it is just a euphamism for letting everyone know that they need to shoulder their own weight so as not to let down the team.

At least for me, MGH has given me and my school multiple types of feedback which have all indicated that I will be ranked to match there. However, I have no idea about the Brigham. Basically, I want to end up the program which is more "chill." (If such a thing is possible). Unfortunately, I have no idea if I am aming the best or worst decision of my life.

Without giving away too much, what kind of signs does MGH give? Do they send you emails, have attendings call you, call your Dean's office?

It's okay if you're vague. As an M3, I'm just very curious.
 

cubby

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Tina Sheen said:
Without giving away too much, what kind of signs does MGH give? Do they send you emails, have attendings call you, call your Dean's office?

It's okay if you're vague. As an M3, I'm just very curious.

In response to quoted post, I received a call from the chair of the panel with whom I interviewed, and received another follow-up email from the program director that was generic and sent to a list distribution. I think several others received similar pattern of communication, except Savard mentioned a call to a Dean or Chairperson, which to my knowledge has not happened for me.

My thoughts on MGH...have really been doing some soul-searching with this one, I'm glad this thread has received at least a little attention this weekend. It's just so hard to judge things based on one interview day. My impressions of the residents were fairly on par with above posts--that they were enthusiastic and "happy," but that it was a little forced and perhaps superficial. It was as if they wanted to be happy, and appeared on the outside to be, but couldn't convey the feeling with their words. I had this impression from talking with 2-3 residents. Bright and accomplished, no doubt. I didn't pick up much on the socializing outside of the hospital bit, but didn't ask much. There seems to be such a discrepancy between what I hear, all the time, about the place in the form of warnings, criticisms, etc., (probably out of jealousy as much as anything), and what I saw--sharp people, seemingly happy, trying to make it work as much as anything else. I have asked some follow-up questions with a resident since my interview, who seemed genuinely enthused about his/her experience at MGH, but did say that it is very hard, as it will be anywhere else. I just don't know how to interpret my "gut" feeling towards MGH, as I some personal feelings of ambition on the one hand and a little anxiety on the other are clouding my understanding. I guess, for me, the main question about MGH stems from the following quotation:

"Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately .... Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you." -- Don Juan

So the big question...does MGH "have a heart"? I think so, but am not sure, and don't think I'll be able to answer that question within the next two days. It will all work out anyway, but I'll keep ruminating a little...sorry for the long post. :)
 

pretzel

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Very heartening to read the Don Juan quote -- thanks for posting it. :) My rank list keeps changing every day, and I won't figure it out by tomorrow night, and I was very lucky with interviews, so it'll be fine. I decided that I am going to make my decision based on gut rather than brain.

Here's the way I've been trying to determine where I want to go based on gut -- I envision opening the envelope, and seeing a given school's name written there, and I see what my first reaction is -- can't wait to start or oh well it still has a good reputation.

I had first made a list based on brain, based on happiness of residents and city and fellowship placement and reputation. But surprisingly, in ranking schools based on gut, some schools with superb reputations have fallen far down on my list, and I'm keeping them there.

If anyone wants to post how they are ranking, I would appreciate any thoughts. I still have 24 hours. :) Best of luck on the match.
 

cubby

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pretzel said:
Very heartening to read the Don Juan quote -- thanks for posting it. :) My rank list keeps changing every day, and I won't figure it out by tomorrow night, and I was very lucky with interviews, so it'll be fine. I decided that I am going to make my decision based on gut rather than brain.

Here's the way I've been trying to determine where I want to go based on gut -- I envision opening the envelope, and seeing a given school's name written there, and I see what my first reaction is -- can't wait to start or oh well it still has a good reputation.

I had first made a list based on brain, based on happiness of residents and city and fellowship placement and reputation. But surprisingly, in ranking schools based on gut, some schools with superb reputations have fallen far down on my list, and I'm keeping them there.

If anyone wants to post how they are ranking, I would appreciate any thoughts. I still have 24 hours. :) Best of luck on the match.
One of my mentors advised a similar exercise--to write your 3-4 top places on individual note cards, then overturn them each a few times, reading the program on the card and see how you feel...excited?...disappointed?... anxious?...ho-hum? I've done that, and it helps. Re: "gut" vs. "brain"--I think both need to be considered equally. Put in other terms, a program is needing to both "make sense" and "feel right" for me to put it #1. Mind and heart, together. There are several programs that have one of those, but not the other...ie a program that makes perfect sense, perhaps professionally or geographically, but just doesn't feel right. Or I have another couple of programs that feel right when I think about them, but don't make sense based on my desires for a program and future. I think I finally came to my conclusion this AM, after quite a lengthy and soul-searching process. Good luck!!!
 

Savard

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Well, Cubby....

I like the way you put it. Does MGH have a heart? (Or, at least for me, the question is does MGH have as much heart as BWH). I certainly hope the answer is yes. And, based on reading your responses, I think I share some of your prioririties. If there are other people who match at MGH with your attititude, I would feel quite good.

If anyone else who knows about the differences between these porgrams (and I'll throw in UPenn at the same time), speak up now or forever hold your silence. As they say, the clock is ticking.

--S
 

cubby

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Savard said:
Well, Cubby....

I like the way you put it. Does MGH have a heart? (Or, at least for me, the question is does MGH have as much heart as BWH). I certainly hope the answer is yes. And, based on reading your responses, I think I share some of your prioririties. If there are other people who match at MGH with your attititude, I would feel quite good.

If anyone else who knows about the differences between these porgrams (and I'll throw in UPenn at the same time), speak up now or forever hold your silence. As they say, the clock is ticking.

--S
I can't speak to BWH, unfortunately, as I was denied an interview there and was quite bummed about it. But UPenn...that program is presenting me with my one last battle. I have my #1 figured out, and my #2. But #'s 3 and 4, I just don't quite know yet (though I sincerely hope it won't matter!), and Penn is in this mix. My assessment of Penn, continuing the theme of the the above posts, was that it was full of "heart." I was totally impressed with the residents, the conferences, and with Dr. Bellini. Basically, it was one of my favorite programs, geography aside, and even perhaps my favorite, judging by the interview day alone. But...Philly. It could work, and I would rank it were I single, but I have a family, and could I really take a 10-month old to Philly? I don't know yet, I'm weighing Philly against very good, positive, but less-strong programs such as UVa, Mayo, BID. Don't know what to do, and it's the bottom-of-the-ninth!
 

the citizen

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cubby said:
I can't speak to BWH, unfortunately, as I was denied an interview there and was quite bummed about it. But UPenn...that program is presenting me with my one last battle. I have my #1 figured out, and my #2. But #'s 3 and 4, I just don't quite know yet (though I sincerely hope it won't matter!), and Penn is in this mix. My assessment of Penn, continuing the theme of the the above posts, was that it was full of "heart." I was totally impressed with the residents, the conferences, and with Dr. Bellini. Basically, it was one of my favorite programs, geography aside, and even perhaps my favorite, judging by the interview day alone. But...Philly. It could work, and I would rank it were I single, but I have a family, and could I really take a 10-month old to Philly? I don't know yet, I'm weighing Philly against very good, positive, but less-strong programs such as UVa, Mayo, BID. Don't know what to do, and it's the bottom-of-the-ninth!

The nice thing about Philly is it is easily commutable from suburbs in Penn or Jersey. Check out realtor.com and you will see some very affordable neighborhoods. I like Haddonfield and Cherry Hill, NJ.