MGH vs BIDMC (for a prelim)

Discussion in 'Internal Medicine and IM Subspecialties' started by Member0, Dec 24, 2011.

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  1. Member0


    Dec 4, 2011
    Hello all,

    The consensus I get on the interview trail is that while MGH > BIDMC for categorical, BIDMC > MGH for prelim. However the justification is always the same: "it's easier". That being said, I'm not looking for an easy blow off "TY like" program as I want a strong foundation in internal medicine (not that BIDMC is an easy blow off year). My questions are:

    1) Will one program make me a better PGY2 or do the programs produce equivalent residents (assume best effort on my part to take advantage of educational opportunities)?
    2) Does the increased autonomy at MGH actually increase knowledge base or is it more of an experience builder?
    3) Is MGH really "harder"? It seems as though the schedule is more demanding of interns (the Big teams). While I don't mind working the full 80 hr week and making personal sacrifices, I'm no masochist and don't need to subject myself to a poorer quality of life if there are no or only marginal benefits to MGH.

    Perhaps an HMS student could answer this best? Any input would be appreciated.
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  3. omegaxx

    omegaxx New Member 5+ Year Member

    May 20, 2006
    Boston, MA
    MGH categorical intern speaking here: I only know categoricals and ED residents at BIDMC. So take what I say with a little grain of salt.

    It sounds like nursing at BIDMC has a pretty low threshold for transferring patients to the units, so the wards are a little chiller. MGH has a pretty sick inpatient ward service (both the Ellison and the Bigelow). You can count on doing some early goal-directed therapy for sepsis and using BiPAP prn on the floor at some point during your internship year if you come here.

    You do see fewer patients at BIDMC. They have a q4 nightfloat call system so the number of patients you'd carry in a month is probably 35-42. My last Bigelow month I tallied 90 patients that I knew very well (this is excluding the ones that I also took care of but didn't know as well). This does translate into tougher hours. Hard to know what it'll be like next year. There are two Bigelow models being tested this year. In the night model (what I did) I worked like a surgery intern. In the call model (I haven't had it yet) it sounds like most times people do manage to make the 80-hour work requirement. Rumor has it that the call model will be chosen next year, in which case you can count on slightly easier hours than the current system. Still not a walk in the part by any means.

    So in a nutshell: MGH=probably sicker patients and higher volume at the expense of a tougher year. I'm much more of a learning-by-doing type person so I'm very happy with my choice (and it's not THAT bad given that I'm doodling on SDN on a weekday). Whether that translates into better education depends on your learning style. Both are great programs though--can't really go wrong with either :thumbup:
  4. mb11040

    mb11040 5+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Thanks for the insight. do you know anything about the Brigham intern year as compared to the other 2. thanks
  5. molmol

    molmol 5+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    having interviewed at all three places, i'd say: bwh > bidmc > mgh.
    mgh seems like a lot of work for a prelim year.

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