More opinions on programs

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PremedBear

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Can anyone compare or contrast these few programs for me? They sort of fall in the middle or high middle of my list so I'm having trouble picking one over the other.

Penn
- pros: i like that the PD was completely dedicated to teaching, it was clear from noon conference/morning report that he points out educational learning points to the residents. Philly was a surprisingly cool and young city, less crowded than NYC which I like, but also safer than baltimore. Seem to be pretty well balanced in many subspecialties.

Hopkins
- jived really well with the residents and some of the faculty, fantastic hospital with great reputation, strong stroke and critical care and neurohospitalists, endless research opportunities. cons are basically baltimore (I think this will be lowest just given my family's wishes for me to be basically anywhere else). A little put off by the poor reviews I read on doximity (although I know it shouldn't matter as much), but I admire how hard they work and the fact that they want to train leaders in neurology.

Columbia
-didn't jive as well with the residents, but i agree with what other users have said about the culture of each class being unpredictable until you meet your co-residents. It's got a great reputation for academic neurologists, nice to be in NYC but I don't want to be there long-term. It's also great that they serve a more underprivileged area. Very strong NCC. Not sure I'd want to do the categorical program here though, will prob rank the advanced first (although for almost every other program I'm ranking categorical first).

Stanford
-loved the residents and faculty I met. Love california, although palo alto seems more like the suburbs and not exactly exciting city life. Crazy expensive but so are most major cities I'm considering. Very strong research, but they have a reputation for lacking clinical training. It's great they have a VA, county, and tertiary center though, and by the time I start PGY2 they will open their brand new hospital which could mean greater volume of patients. With Penn, Hopkins, Columbia I don't feel like I'd worry about not seeing enough patients.
 

typhoonegator

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You'd be well trained and well positioned coming out of any of them. They each have little plusses and minuses, particularly if you know what you want to do for fellowship, but you don't close any doors by going to any of them. The workload does vary among those four, at the resident level.

Knowing what I know now, I'd pick based on location. I have colleagues at each and they're all good people.
 

RedheadTX

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You have some really great choices!

The overall feeling I've gotten from reading these highly-subjective forums is that generally people seem to think Columbia = Hopkins > UPenn > Stanford from an academic perspective. That said, that are all four generally considered to be in the top 10-15 programs (again, this is highly subjective), with Columbia and Hopkins generally considered in the top 5.

The question is, what is really going to be the difference for you long term in going to program #3 vs program #9 on these highly subjective rank lists? Likely nothing. You can go extremely far in pretty much whatever you want to do from any of these programs.

I would honestly rank these on location and 'gut' feeling of 'fitting in.' While you can go far from any of these places, you will be building a network throughout residency in that hospital / city, so do you see yourself living long term in any of these cities? You say that the culture of each class is unpredictable, but overall the programs do seem to have a certain type of resident culture that they cultivate and attract, so don't hedge your bets that your class will be magically different than the other resident classes. Also, ultimately you will have to interact with and learn from the classes above you, so you need to feel like these are people who you can deal with on a regular basis.

Lastly, is there any particular area(s) you are leaning towards for fellowship? That may help you put one program over another as well if there are particular faculty members that you feel like you could learn more from. That said, you might change your mind during residency, so a well-rounded place might be better.
 

Ramified

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OP, agree with your ordering (maybe switch Columbia and Hopkins). But yes, you'll do well coming out of each so pick based on personal factors/location.
 

PremedBear

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You have some really great choices!

Lastly, is there any particular area(s) you are leaning towards for fellowship? That may help you put one program over another as well if there are particular faculty members that you feel like you could learn more from. That said, you might change your mind during residency, so a well-rounded place might be better.

I'm thinking about stroke, neurocritical care, neurohospitalist, neuro-oncology or even interventional...even neuro-optho is fascinating to me. Of course, this is mostly what I've been exposed to, and I won't say I'll never do something like epilepsy or neuromuscular...I think all of of these have something I can be excited about.

Thanks to everyone for their input. I know they're all great choices so I'm not feeling too stressed, I'd be happy at any one of them :)
 
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