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Hey -- wondering if other researchers have views on the top programs, and which ones are well-rounded (where i'll get top-notch clinical training), and most friendly to MD-PhDs (especially protected time, opportunities for a wide range of projects).
Here is what I've heard about these programs so far:

- MGH/McLean: unparalleled research opportunities, but clinical training has taken a back seat in recent years. Other people say the clinical training is getting better? Supposed to be a good place to get protected time, but there seems to be a lot of required clinical work in the first couple of years. Work residents extremely hard. I've heard that many are "all-consumed with their work", though it seem like most are happy even if they are overworked, and stay at mgh/mclean as attendings or researchers. Supposed to be the best place for neuroscience research.

- Columbia: very balanced program, but has a reputation for being malignant. Great psychotherapy training, biggest research program in NYC. Residents have been described as intense, "obsessed with publishing" and "cut-throat", though the ones I've met seemed pretty laid back. Also supposed to have an intense medicine block (improving?). Seems like pt population is heavily skewed toward the Dominican population living in that neighborhod. Unclear how much protected time is available until fourth year. Supposed to be one of the best places to study psychotic disorders.

- Cornell: supposed to be the best place for psychodynamics/clinical training, but its research program seems small (but still attracting tons of MD-PhDs?). residents have been called "intellectual ivy leaguers", "snobby" and "freudians". The one resident i know there thinks it's "intense, but friendly". Also heard that residents have a lot of autonomy. Pts supposed to be rich and white. One of my professors told me cornell grads all open up $500-an-hour private practices, but it seems like a lot end up in academics at columbia or stay at cornell.

- UCLA: supposed to be "the best in the west". Unclear how good clinical training is, but this seems to be extremely strong in research. UCSF's clinical training is supposed to be better? Pt population supposed to be extremely diverse. Residents, i've heard, go into high-paying clinical practice rather than academics. Protected time seems to be better than a lot of the east coast programs? Residents supposed to be "chill" and "on a first-name basis with attendings", and not as driven as people back east. Seems to be getting more md-phds than before, but unclear what they do when they graduate.

- Yale: less competitive than Columbia/Cornell/MGH, but a big research program, very strong clinical training, and tons of flexibility for MD-PhDs. Seems to be off a lot of people's lists only because of its location. Supposed to offer tons of protected time. Residents are "the friendliest of any program" and often leave new haven after graduating.
 

billypilgrim37

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This seems to be a very backward way of asking this question. I would think, if you were serious about a research career, it would make much more sense to identify potential research mentors, and then ask if the program trains good clinical psychiatrists. At least that was my approach.

I think you may be vastly overestimating the amount of protected research time you would have at MGH, Columbia, or Cornell. As I recall, UCLA and Yale, along with Penn, Stanford, UCSF, Pitt, Michigan, Duke, Wash U, and UTSW all had the sort of possibilities for protected time far in excess of the first three you mentioned. Each has various ways of funding this time, and you should pay particular attention.

Your characterization of MGH seems completely backward. They aren't quite unparalleled in research opportunities, and I don't think there's any truth that clinical training has taken any sort of back seat. It's an amazing program. But so are ten others, and you owe it to yourself to keep an open mind, and be prepared for others to have vastly different opinions on almost every point you made.
 

strangeglove

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Of these programs, MGH and Columbia are probably the most well-balanced in terms of research/clinical strength. Cornell has very little good research going on, especially now that David Silbersweig has left. They are certainly known for their psychodynamic emphasis, but you will get that at Columbia, too (and be able to charge $500/hour, if that's your thing). Part of being balanced does mean that you will do a lot of clinical work. Don't expect to get into a faculty position straight away from either MGH or Columbia if your interest is research; you will probably have to do a fellowship (unless you can write a K in residency). UCLA, Yale and Stanford offer more in the way of protected research time, with Yale and UCLA offering special 5-year programs in which the 4th and 5th years end up being like fellowships. However, some would argue that they provide less in-depth clinical training for those who chose the research tracks.
 

sluox

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Of these programs, MGH and Columbia are probably the most well-balanced in terms of research/clinical strength. Cornell has very little good research going on, especially now that David Silbersweig has left. They are certainly known for their psychodynamic emphasis, but you will get that at Columbia, too (and be able to charge $500/hour, if that's your thing). Part of being balanced does mean that you will do a lot of clinical work. Don't expect to get into a faculty position straight away from either MGH or Columbia if your interest is research; you will probably have to do a fellowship (unless you can write a K in residency). UCLA, Yale and Stanford offer more in the way of protected research time, with Yale and UCLA offering special 5-year programs in which the 4th and 5th years end up being like fellowships. However, some would argue that they provide less in-depth clinical training for those who chose the research tracks.
So I hear so and so was offered a position at Cornell where 3/4th years are 100% protected time, with possible research with ANYONE in the NYC area, with transportation paid. This guy plans to do research with Mr. big name at Rutgers, and Cornell said they'll give him a car. He matched there.

I'm about 90% confident that he was telling me the truth. But as you can see, unless you negotiate something like this during your interviews, everything is hearsay.
 

atsai3

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UCSF has a NIMH training grant funded research track that gives PGY3s 30% protected time, and PGY4s up to 90% protected time, for research. The grant also pays for some project costs, which can be substantial enough for you to get a pilot project off the ground.

Hey -- wondering if other researchers have views on the top programs, and which ones are well-rounded (where i'll get top-notch clinical training), and most friendly to MD-PhDs (especially protected time, opportunities for a wide range of projects).
Here is what I've heard about these programs so far:

- MGH/McLean: unparalleled research opportunities, but clinical training has taken a back seat in recent years. Other people say the clinical training is getting better? Supposed to be a good place to get protected time, but there seems to be a lot of required clinical work in the first couple of years. Work residents extremely hard. I've heard that many are "all-consumed with their work", though it seem like most are happy even if they are overworked, and stay at mgh/mclean as attendings or researchers. Supposed to be the best place for neuroscience research.

- Columbia: very balanced program, but has a reputation for being malignant. Great psychotherapy training, biggest research program in NYC. Residents have been described as intense, "obsessed with publishing" and "cut-throat", though the ones I've met seemed pretty laid back. Also supposed to have an intense medicine block (improving?). Seems like pt population is heavily skewed toward the Dominican population living in that neighborhod. Unclear how much protected time is available until fourth year. Supposed to be one of the best places to study psychotic disorders.

- Cornell: supposed to be the best place for psychodynamics/clinical training, but its research program seems small (but still attracting tons of MD-PhDs?). residents have been called "intellectual ivy leaguers", "snobby" and "freudians". The one resident i know there thinks it's "intense, but friendly". Also heard that residents have a lot of autonomy. Pts supposed to be rich and white. One of my professors told me cornell grads all open up $500-an-hour private practices, but it seems like a lot end up in academics at columbia or stay at cornell.

- UCLA: supposed to be "the best in the west". Unclear how good clinical training is, but this seems to be extremely strong in research. UCSF's clinical training is supposed to be better? Pt population supposed to be extremely diverse. Residents, i've heard, go into high-paying clinical practice rather than academics. Protected time seems to be better than a lot of the east coast programs? Residents supposed to be "chill" and "on a first-name basis with attendings", and not as driven as people back east. Seems to be getting more md-phds than before, but unclear what they do when they graduate.

- Yale: less competitive than Columbia/Cornell/MGH, but a big research program, very strong clinical training, and tons of flexibility for MD-PhDs. Seems to be off a lot of people's lists only because of its location. Supposed to offer tons of protected time. Residents are "the friendliest of any program" and often leave new haven after graduating.
 
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interesting thread. what about other harvard affliate programs - (Brigham, Brockton VA, Cambridge health)?

and how well is Stanford Psych regarded? their website states that they interview 80ppl out of 450 applicants for 13 spots/yr.. yikes!!!
 

OldPsychDoc

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interesting thread. what about other harvard affliate programs - (Brigham, Brockton VA, Cambridge health)?

and how well is Stanford Psych regarded? their website states that they interview 80ppl out of 450 applicants for 13 spots/yr.. yikes!!!
Actually, those numbers are fairly typical for most programs...e.g. we (a "mid-tier"--but EXCELLENT--community program) interview 60 out of ~300-400 applicants for 6-8 slots a year.
 

atsai3

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Actually, those numbers are fairly typical for most programs...e.g. we (a "mid-tier"--but EXCELLENT--community program) interview 60 out of ~300-400 applicants for 6-8 slots a year.
I agree, cosmos540 those numbers sound fairly typical.
Also keep in mind that applicant pools are self selecting.

-AT.
 

Doc Samson

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interesting thread. what about other harvard affliate programs - (Brigham, Brockton VA, Cambridge health)?

and how well is Stanford Psych regarded? their website states that they interview 80ppl out of 450 applicants for 13 spots/yr.. yikes!!!
Harvard Longwood now has a new research track. Don't know the details, but I expect its genesis has something to do with the arrival of David Silbersweig as chair at Brigham.
 

HMSPSYCH

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interesting thread. what about other harvard affliate programs - (Brigham, Brockton VA, Cambridge health)?

!!!
Based on their website and strong showing at the 2009 harvard/mysell day, South Shore has a research pathway as well. MGH probably has the most resources, at least in neuroscience, out of the four but longwood and south shore are also strong. Not sure about cambridge but this program has a stellar reputation clinically. GL.
 

whiskey

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Columbia has restructured its program to include 20% protected time in the third year, and 100% protected time in the fourth year (if one so chooses).
 

cleareyedguy

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Hey -- wondering if other researchers have views on the top programs, and which ones are well-rounded (where i'll get top-notch clinical training), and most friendly to MD-PhDs (especially protected time, opportunities for a wide range of projects).
Here is what I've heard about these programs so far:

- MGH/McLean: unparalleled research opportunities, but clinical training has taken a back seat in recent years. Other people say the clinical training is getting better? Supposed to be a good place to get protected time, but there seems to be a lot of required clinical work in the first couple of years. Work residents extremely hard. I've heard that many are "all-consumed with their work", though it seem like most are happy even if they are overworked, and stay at mgh/mclean as attendings or researchers. Supposed to be the best place for neuroscience research.

- Columbia: very balanced program, but has a reputation for being malignant. Great psychotherapy training, biggest research program in NYC. Residents have been described as intense, "obsessed with publishing" and "cut-throat", though the ones I've met seemed pretty laid back. Also supposed to have an intense medicine block (improving?). Seems like pt population is heavily skewed toward the Dominican population living in that neighborhod. Unclear how much protected time is available until fourth year. Supposed to be one of the best places to study psychotic disorders.

- Cornell: supposed to be the best place for psychodynamics/clinical training, but its research program seems small (but still attracting tons of MD-PhDs?). residents have been called "intellectual ivy leaguers", "snobby" and "freudians". The one resident i know there thinks it's "intense, but friendly". Also heard that residents have a lot of autonomy. Pts supposed to be rich and white. One of my professors told me cornell grads all open up $500-an-hour private practices, but it seems like a lot end up in academics at columbia or stay at cornell.

- UCLA: supposed to be "the best in the west". Unclear how good clinical training is, but this seems to be extremely strong in research. UCSF's clinical training is supposed to be better? Pt population supposed to be extremely diverse. Residents, i've heard, go into high-paying clinical practice rather than academics. Protected time seems to be better than a lot of the east coast programs? Residents supposed to be "chill" and "on a first-name basis with attendings", and not as driven as people back east. Seems to be getting more md-phds than before, but unclear what they do when they graduate.

- Yale: less competitive than Columbia/Cornell/MGH, but a big research program, very strong clinical training, and tons of flexibility for MD-PhDs. Seems to be off a lot of people's lists only because of its location. Supposed to offer tons of protected time. Residents are "the friendliest of any program" and often leave new haven after graduating.

The average research-oriented applicant probably won't get vast swaths of protected time at a top program. If you have a demonstrated record of serious, focused research, however, things open up quite a bit, especially if you can identify a potential mentor within a particular department. This latter issue is especially important given that no single psych department has world leaders in every facet of psychiatry.

As for which programs are the friendliest, snobbiest, etc., you should use yuor own judgment, both because people have very different experiences at the same places, and much of the outside opinion of a place is heavily swayed by the opinions of outside attendings who haven't been to the place since their own interviews 20 years earlier.

As for specifics, MGH is one of the strongest hospitals, but its offerings aren't really "unparalleled." The clinical training is probably strong, though psychodynamics are probably weak. Columbia isn't malignant, and residents seem pretty happy. They are driven, however, and it's very useful to speak Spanish. Columbia does recruit a lot of MD/PhD's, but protected time is reportedly limited. Post graduation, they have to produce independent grant money fairly quickly, but the junior faculty infrastructure is large at least partly because of the NY State Psychiatric Institute. Cornell's reputation as dynamic is deserved but misleading; there are lots of clinical and basic science researchers at both the Manhattan and Westchester campuses, and there are lots of links with people at Memorial Sloan Kettering (a Cornell hospital) and Columbia (linked through NYPH). Cornell has been offering serious MD/PhD's several months of protected time during their 2nd year as well as some time during internship, but the ones they've been recruiting have been "first author in Science" stars. Oh, and while Silbersweig did leave to chair the dept at Brigham, BJ Casey is probably a bigger star in the imaging world, and she stayed. Overall, it's so individual that you have to make your own choice.
 

sluox

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ugh,

i'm stressed cause it seems like there are a ton of MD/PhDs applying for psych this year. I don't even care about protected time at this point anymore. i hope i get into the place i want to get into, since i'm all geographically limited.

but then again, if i don't, i guess it's fate. maybe i'm just not cut out to be a PI.

ugh...

As for which programs are the friendliest, snobbiest, etc., you should use yuor own judgment, both because people have very different experiences at the same places, and much of the outside opinion of a place is heavily swayed by the opinions of outside attendings who haven't been to the place since their own interviews 20 years earlier.
 

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D&G collects 'em all:
Psychiatry MD/PhD Matches, surveyed 2004-2009
All programs with matches > 2

Harvard programs 11
Cornell 10
Columbia 9
UCLA 9
UCSF 8
Yale 8
Penn 5
Pitt 5
U of Washington 5
UCSD 5
NYU 4
Stanford 4
Wisconsin 4
Duke 3
Emory 3
Michigan 3
Mt. Sinai 3
UTSW 3
Chicago 2
UCDavis 2
WashU 2
 

masterofmonkeys

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not on your list but denver also has a research track with protected time starting in 1st year (not a ton...1 month). Additional year of fully-funded research fellowship is optional.
 

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Many "top" research programs evaluate applicants as not only potential residents, but also as potential fellows and junior faculty down the road. This is why it is often easy to get into a position at the same institution after graduating from their residency, as they have already done a good deal of their selection. For this reason, you might want to think about a program not only in terms of research opportunities during residency, but also in terms of opportunities for fellowship and as a junior faculty. While doing research in residency is an admirable goal and should be pursued, I would not plan on trying to write a K during residency, which you will almost certainly need in order to obtain a faculty position. I think an important statistic to obtain would be the number of MD-PhDs who graduate from different residencies and go straight into faculty positions. My guess would be that most, including those who have published Science papers, do a fellowship first. This is frustrating because it makes them no different from straight MDs who go into research oriented fellowships, but the real difference is felt during the K process, where previous research and funding success is taken into account.
 

masterofmonkeys

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My guess would be that most, including those who have published Science papers, do a fellowship first. This is frustrating because it makes them no different from straight MDs who go into research oriented fellowships, but the real difference is felt during the K process, where previous research and funding success is taken into account.
From what I've been told by multiple researchers at multiple institutions, you do speak the truth. Which is why I made a point of looking at residencies that either had built-in NIH fellowships or had a lot of open spots specifically for their medical residents (some departments advertise a large number of research fellowships, but fail to disclose that the vast majority of those go to the pure phd folks and/or that none are protected for the MDs).
 

cleareyedguy

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D&G collects 'em all:
Psychiatry MD/PhD Matches, surveyed 2004-2009
All programs with matches > 2

Harvard programs 11
Cornell 10
Columbia 9
UCLA 9
UCSF 8
Yale 8
Penn 5
Pitt 5
U of Washington 5
UCSD 5
NYU 4
Stanford 4
Wisconsin 4
Duke 3
Emory 3
Michigan 3
Mt. Sinai 3
UTSW 3
Chicago 2
UCDavis 2
WashU 2
Interesting.

Quick question. When you say "Harvard programs" do you mean MGH/McLean or are you lumping together all of the Harvard affiliated programs? If they're lumped, it's similar to adding together the programs from U of California and totalling 24 or combining Cornell and Columbia and coming up with 19. And it's interesting that Hopkins, which is #2 according to US News for clinical psych but has a reputation for being researchy, has apparently recruited less than 2 MD/PhD's over a 5 year span.

In looking at such data, it is interesting though probably futile to figure out their meaning. Do the better known, more academic programs offer more research opportunities? More mentors? More time and money? Or are they more likely to favor MD/PhD's in the selection process? And what of MD/PhD's who have decided on psych not because they want to be brain researchers but because they've tired of science and want to become therapists--should the PhD add much to their application? And what of brain scientists who seem likely to be below-average clinicians?
 
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OldPsychDoc

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In looking at such data, it is interesting though probably futile to figure out their meaning. Do the better known, more academic programs offer more research opportunities? More mentors? More time and money? Or are they more likely to favor MD/PhD's in the selection process?
A bit of a circular argument, that. It's the research programs, mentoring, and money that makes those the "better known academic programs", which in turn attracts the MD/PhDs and committed researchers, who write more papers, make them better known, get them more grants.... All in all, a very self-selected sub-culture, making it attractive to those who have already self-selected to prolong their agony in exchange for "free" tuition and sub-minimum wage stipend. ;)

And what of MD/PhD's who have decided on psych not because they want to be brain researchers but because they've tired of science and want to become therapists--should the PhD add much to their application? And what of brain scientists who seem likely to be below-average clinicians?
Both classes exist, and the numbers above may well include a couple of each...as well as some who matched into a research heavy program with good intentions, but decided it wasn't for them and became full-time clinicians... :oops:
 

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As far as Hopkins, the psych residency there is actually rather clinically oriented.
 

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Interesting.

Quick question. When you say "Harvard programs" do you mean MGH/McLean or are you lumping together all of the Harvard affiliated programs? If they're lumped, it's similar to adding together the programs from U of California and totalling 24 or combining Cornell and Columbia and coming up with 19. And it's interesting that Hopkins, which is #2 according to US News for clinical psych but has a reputation for being researchy, has apparently recruited less than 2 MD/PhD's over a 5 year span.
Unforunately, when collecting this data, I had no idea that it was important to parse out the Longwood programs vs. MGH etc. I have to go back through the data, though my recollection is that almost all of those matches are MGH matches. On the other hand, I'm not so certain that combining all the UC's for example is legitimate -I could see however an argument for the NY Presbyterian programs when they are at least offered in the same city and hospital system.

In looking at such data, it is interesting though probably futile to figure out their meaning. Do the better known, more academic programs offer more research opportunities? More mentors? More time and money? Or are they more likely to favor MD/PhD's in the selection process? And what of MD/PhD's who have decided on psych not because they want to be brain researchers but because they've tired of science and want to become therapists--should the PhD add much to their application? And what of brain scientists who seem likely to be below-average clinicians?
Point well taken - the object is not to determine attitudes or characteristics of such programs. However, knowing that program "X" in the "market" for research-oriented physicians is highly selected, we may now ask precisely the questions which you ask and compare answers between program "X" and program "Y" which is not highly selected.

Without the hard data to back it up, it's an extremely good bet that programs high on the list both have outstanding training in research AND select for MD/PhDs in the match process, as they would have the most to benefit from research training. Questions about MD/PhDs who abandon a research career and of researchers who are poor clinically question the rationale of either the MD or PhD as a marker of likelihood for entering a physician scientist career, and are beyond the scope. A study in press at Academic Medicine may help answer some questions with regards to likelihood of choosing private practice vs. academics for Psychiatry specifically - preliminary data is shown on Slide 18 of this powerpoint:

http://www.med.upenn.edu/mstp/documents/PlanningfortheFutureslides-Feb.2009.ppt
 
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strangeglove

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The Columbia and Cornell adult psychiatry residency programs are quite separate. The child programs, on the other hand, are combined.