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Discussion in 'Pathology' started by ou812, Mar 16, 2004.
UC San Francisco-CA
Jackson Memorial Hosp-FL
U Florida Prog-Shands Hosp
Loyola Univ Med Ctr-IL
McGaw Med Ctr-NW Univ-IL
Ball Memorial Hosp-IN
LSU SOM-New Orleans-LA
Tulane Univ SOM-LA
Boston U Med Ctr-MA
Brigham & Womens Hosp-MA
Massachusetts Gen Hosp
Univ of MO-KC Programs
New Jersey Code Quota Matched
UMDNJ-R W Johnson-Piscataway
Albany Med Ctr Hosp-NY
Stony Brook Teach Hosps-NY
U Rochester/Strong Mem-NY
Wake Forest Baptist Med Ctr-NC
Univ Hosp Cincinnati-OH
West Res Care/NEOUCOM-OH
U Tennessee COM-Memphis
Vanderbilt Univ Med-TN
U TX SW Med Sch-Dallas
U Wisconsin Hosp/Clinics
Out of curiosity, how is it possible for the Brigham to go unfilled?
The rumors here (BWH) are saying the unfilled spot was CP only.
So there are 26 unfilled programs and 39 unfilled spots. What programs have more than one unfilled spot?
Many of the big name places that do not fill, only do not because they don't rank enough people. Whether this is ego on their part that they will get whoever they want or they just rank only "their idea" of ideal candidates is unclear. A few of these programs are "rumored" to be quite malignant and I am sure this plays a part in their match results. I think many of the new breed of pathologist residents are very interested in having a nice life during residency as well as after.
Congrats to all that matched. Hope you all got your number one choice.
I guess maybe some of these big programs might have to do more in terms of recruitment. Perhaps name and reputation aren't as important as they once were (wouldn't know it from reading these forums though). I find it interesting that, in Boston, BIDMC and NEMC (and UMass if you go out a bit) filled while MGH, Brigham, and BU did not.
Let's talk about lifestyle. I know many are attributing open spots at the MGH to their environment and atmosphere, and that may have some relevance. From what I gathered on interviews, though, time committment and hours worked at MGH and BIDMC were really not that different. Both places had residents routinely staying until 9pm or later. The BI residents perhaps had a bit more free time during the day though. MGH had lots more slide preview time and signout with attendings than BI.
I still find it hard to believe that someone could turn down a program like MGH, where you see some of the most fascinating pathology in the world, because of the prospect of having to work a bit harder. I know it's not that simple, there are other reasons. The atmosphere in an MGH program is not the most touchy-feely. The facilities are a bit older and cramped. Some of the attendings are so busy you don't get to spend much time with them.
So you ask, why didn't I put it #1? I have my reasons, I'll hold off on them for now. But like I said, if that is where I matched, I will be very happy, and make sure to get my rest.
I guess perhaps for some there are other reasons. If your goal is private practice, almost any program will provide you with the tools you need. So why not find the one in the most comfortable area for you, the best atmosphere, etc. I still think that there are about 20-30 programs around the country where the training just reaches another level, and you can't help but succeed beyond what you thought was possible.
I don't know what I'm trying to say, take it for what it's worth.
Good luck thursday to everyone!
I think UCSF, MGH, BWH and perhaps others didn't match candidates in CP only as there are not that many applicants to that field. I know UCSF and MGH were offering two of those.
Yeah, I wonder if that was the case for a lot of the unfilled spots at the big-name programs. I heard through the grapevine that the two spots open at Northwestern were research-track spots. I was really relieved at first to hear that Wash U hadn't filled because I ranked them pretty highly and they had shown a lot of interest in me, but now that I realize it could be a CP-only spot, I'm back to waiting anxiously... Less than 24 hours to go!
Oh, and does anyone know how many spots went unfilled at Wash U? Just curious if it was more than one...
Same here. I ranked ucsf pretty high. I was a little relieved yesterday when i saw ucsf did not fill --- which could mean i probably got one of my top choices. But now i realize that the unfilled spot could be a cp only position --- which is basically irrelevant to me. It was just like looking at the match of a different specialty! I wish that i did not get so obssessed looking at the forum today. Otherwise, my anxiety level would be a lot lower for the next 24 hours.
Good luck to everybody tomorrow!
sorry ludy, i don't have any info on wash u for you.
i was just wondering how am i supposed to study for step 2 when all i can think about is this match? this waiting period builds up way too much tension.
I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!!!!
I had the chance to talk to a chairman of a well respected program (not path) and he said that when slots go unfilled at prestigious programs its a major blow to the PD, chairman, and program in general. He said the whole "we can get a great candidate in the scramble" argument is bogus. While I am sure that these programs will fill eventually with qualified candidates you know these PD's are having a bad day today. ALL programs want to fill initially. I am sure that the "path is getting more competitve" chatter influenced some of these programs to not rank a lot of candidates thinking that their programs would easily fill. I bet next year these programs will interview and rank more people because from what I understand, scramble day sucks just as bad for the programs as it does for the candidates. BTW, did path get more competitive this year? I am an MSIII thinking about going into path and would like to hear your thoughts...
I certainly heard over and over again at interviews that the candidate pool was even stronger than last year, which had been a big jump from the year before (not exactly what you want to hear when you're vying for a spot, but my interviewers seemed to be oblivious to that fact ). I know there were more MD/PhD candidates than in previous years -- despite the fact that several research spots apparently went unfilled!
I think we'll be able to tell you better tomorrow just how competitive it's gotten. I know I got a lot of positive feedback from PDs, as did many people on this forum, so it will be interesting to see how sincere it was. It's still one of the least competitive specialities, which is great for us as candidates. Interviews in general are very laid-back, and I had three programs pay for my flight and hotel when I went on second-looks in January.
It looks like Path isn't that competitive at all. Even I.M., which has 15 times as many spots as path has only slightly more open spots for categorical positions. And surgery, which supposedly has been on the decline only had 2 open slots for categorical in the country!
The true measure to see if more US kids really are more interested will be in the % of AMGs going into it. 5 years ago it was <50% of the spots, last year it was 60%.
It didn't seem to me that there were alot more people interested, just that the quality of the applicant went up quite a bit.
Just happy we filled need those warm bodies to put in the call schedule hehe.
I second what Ludy and others said. I had good responses at most of my interviews. Even at the Brigham, where I felt I didn't fit in at all, one of my interviewers told me that I was a strong candidate. I said, "even for a place like this?" and he said, "well, it's still a buyer's market." So, couple this with also hearing that the applicant pool was very qualified this year, more so than previously. I think, however, the consensus I got was that there were a lot more "solid" candidates than in previous years, and some interviewers who I talked to who were also affiliated with med schools said they were surprised that more of their top students were expressing interests in pathology.
There are, however, still quite a few more actual residency positions than applicants. Many of these, as I have posted before, are not at very presitigious locales. The competition for top residency positions is still pretty tough, likely to get tougher, but it's nothing near like radiology. If you are a solid student, express an interest in the field, you are likely to get quite a lot of interviews. And what you do at those interviews can get you higher on their lists.
Hello! I can certainly clear up the MGH rumors... We matched all of the eleven AP, AP/CP positions we had offered in the match. We took two residents who were transfering from another specialty out of the match (decided much earlier in the year.) We did NOT match either of our 2 CP positions because we thought we had them filled with shoe-in candidates, and actually told other candidates that the positions were more or less filled. This is unfortunate for the reputation of CP training, but the program is actually very strong. Michael Laposata (CP chair) is a renowned expert in the field, second really to known. I know the CP only residents are bummed, but the rest of us are extremely happy at the quality and quantity of the candidates we matched.
MGH is also not a "malignant" environment in any respect. We all work very hard, and there is not much sympathy for those who do not pull their weight. There is also not abundant praise for a job well done. That being said, there is a strong bonding between classmates (we feel like soldiers sometimes!) The folks that I started with are some of the most incredible people I have met in my life, and we have grown in leaps with eachother. I wish I could start a lab with the six of them! Our attendings expect the most from us. That is really the motivation behind how hard we work. It is not good enough that we learn basic pathology as first years. We are expected to recognize international consult cases -- sent to MGH because our attendings have contributed a huge portion of the literature on many pathologic entities. Our attendings, contrary to what was stated in another post, are actually quite accessible. They also make active contributions to resident teaching as a whole. I cannot imagine a pathology program that is more diagnostically awesome than ours. We have the material, we have the time to preview it, we have the time to sign it all out with our attendings, and we have more of it than virtually any other program. No, the program is decidedly not touchy-feely. Yes, you probably need a certain strength of personality to appreciate the county hospital feel of the place. But to me, there is no better hospital!
Good luck and congratulations! Hope I'll be meeting some of you at the General in June!
Thanks Mindy. What you say about the program is good to hear. Similarly, one recent MGH graduate I talked to referred to it as "boot camp." It was very tough for me to not rank MGH 1st. I have seen people who trained there and have been impressed at the breadth of knowledge they have and the way they approach diagnosis. I also had a great interview day and was impressed by the reception I received, both during the interview and in the months after it leading up to the match. As I said, I would have been thrilled with either of my top 2 choices. I think the end decision was made by Ann Arbor over Boston. Being local I have been here long enough to see Boston for most of its faults and strengths, and for the time being at least I wanted to move on.
That being said, the way it is at Harvard hospitals is that there is much more of a hierarchical system than many other areas of the country. The attitude is more of expecting residents to do their job, do it well, and provide the atmosphere of learning. Not much hand holding. One has to be somewhat of an aggressive advocate for your own education. Not saying this is bad, just different. In today's society, MGH is perhaps something of a dinosaur. The trend these days is to shift towards compassion, open and supporting environments, attendings and residents acting like colleagues, etc. Being a traditionalist, I find this current attitude somewhat lacking. I don't want to be berated and smacked around, but I also want to be able to earn respect, and show respect to people who have earned it more than I have. I want to call my attending, Dr so and so. So I am willing to go to a more "supportive" environment, because I believe the education doesn't suffer for it at all, but that was really not a huge factor in my decisionmaking. I based my decision more on how the residents are educated, how well they learn, how the residents interact with each other, and the location the program is in.
My 3 cents.
That is great to hear, but when I interviewed there a resident told me in front of an attending "we like to say that we are a great program as if we are the only great program, but the truth is that there are a lot of great programs out there, and if I had the chance to do this over, I wouldn't come here." That sealed the deal for me to not even rank MGH because I was interviewing at 15 other "great" programs.
But you can see the same pathology at Wash U. Stanford, Univ of Washington, UCSF, UCLA, BWH, Texas SW etc..
I am sure that all the unmatched postions at UCSF, Wash U, BWH, and MGH had to be CP only spots. There just are not that many people who want to go that route.
For anyone who doesn't have access to the list posted today, the unfilled spots at BWH, MGH, UCSF, UTSW and Wash U were indeed all CP spots.
I'm a little nervous because my program took 3 fewer residents this year than it did last year and the year before (it filled, but had 3 fewer spots open)... does that mean we're going to be working 50% harder?
50% harder, 50% better!
I wonder if those "missing spots" were perhaps filled outside the match? I doubt there are fewer residents overall. Maybe just fewer graduates to replace this year.
Or was last year just a year they took more?
I noticed that with a few programs on that list, that I could estimate, anyway.
Maybe it's a conspiracy to gradually eliminate pathology residents in favor of PAs and robots, because robots don't complain about grossing in gall bladders and perforated bowels.
I wouldn't be nervous, we're all gonna have to work hard anyway!
Morning addition: you can check the full list yourself on the NRMP (http://www.nrmp.org) website, it's a PDF file. I don't think this includes pre-match spots.
Jusy copied this tidbit from pathstudent over because we switched pages:
"That is great to hear, but when I interviewed there a resident told me in front of an attending "we like to say that we are a great program as if we are the only great program, but the truth is that there are a lot of great programs out there, and if I had the chance to do this over, I wouldn't come here." That sealed the deal for me to not even rank MGH because I was interviewing at 15 other "great" programs."
Hello again! Just wanted to respond to this also. If the incident you described occurred at your interview lunch, then I was there also. The resident who was saying this had an agenda, i.e. to "un-recruit" applicants because he was unhappy with recent department changes. I am sorry to hear it had such an impact on your rankings, it was just the effect he wanted.
To give you an idea of the changes he was most upset at: last year residents grossed whatever specimens came in for a particular subspecialty service (say GI large) from monday to friday and signed out those cases from wednesday to tuesday. This would mean we would have 2 attendings per service instead of 1 (our attendings change weekly). When this year's PGY-1s started in June and the 2nd year APs returned from their year of CP, the grossing schedule was changed without the 2nd year AP residents prior knowledge. We now grossed from wednesday to wednesday and signed out cases with 1 attending from monday to friday for each service.
The person whom you quoted was outraged by this change (for reasons I still do not fully understand since I liked what became known as "the new system"). He moaned and groaned incessantly -- motivating all of the 3rd year residents (AP-2s) to petition to have the grossing schedule changed back to friday to friday. The schedule was indeed changed in December '03 (I am sure that is AFTER you interviewed!)
For sure, MGH does not lack interesting personalities and this resident is no exception. He is a magnificent pathologist (I mean he gives some of our attendings a run for their money), has already accepted a fellowship position at (you guessed it) MGH, and would NEVER train anywhere else despite what he told you (and a handful of other would-be residents.)
Well hope this sheds some light, or if nothing else makes people acutely aware that those "honest" residents who are going to "tell you how it really is" may not necessarily have YOUR best interests in mind. Be wary of hidden agendas! Sorry we missed out on a applicant of your caliber PathStudent because of the words of my colleague. (He denies any of this ever happened now, by the way!)
Thanks again Mindy.
It didn't happen at lunch. It happened in the afternoon while waiting for an interview. It was in a room near the residents rooms/sign out rooms, and the attending was an Irish accented man. We were all looking at frozen sections (i think). I have no idea if it was the same resident you are referring to. There was also a female resident there.
I hope you are not being sarcastic about calling me a "applicant of my caliber". There is nothing special about me. I just interview well.
I think it was November when I interviewed. The middle of November.
I interviewed with Dr Young, I thought he was great. He's a legend. He had all of these really old pathology texts (like, first editions from a LONG time ago) in his office. Attendings like Dr Young are the reasons the MGH program maintains its great reputation. As I said, it was tough to put mgh #2.
Pathstudent I hope you did well in the match.
I agree with Mindy that you have to be careful about what one resident says during your interview day, be it glowing praise or trenchant criticism. Sometimes the subtleties can be revealing, like the resident who hesitates when you ask them what the best parts of the program are, or the way the residents and attendings interact when they see each other in the hallways.
No path, I was not being sarcastic. In fact I have always regarded the members of this forum as a sorta family...my colleagues and future colleagues. I have a very high regard for you and all the other pathologists here.
I still would not be surprised if it was the same resident. I am more surprised by the fact he would say it in front of an attending with an Irish accent. The only attending I know of with an Irish accent is the aforementioned Dr. Young. In any case, he did not lie, I mean even *I* know that there are many other great path programs out there. I just happen to really dig the mass general... It really is not a good fit for everyone, but what is?
I did, however, pause when I reread my post, because I think caliber may be spelled wrong?! Gosh, too much something or other...