Nov 22, 2010
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I'm an MSIII at a medical school in California. I'm considering anesthesia, along with two other specialties. My profile: Step 1: 242, no research (and I don't plan on it), no honors so far in 3rd year rotations, and may not honor any rotations (my evaluations are mediocre/average. My school does F/P/Honor for 3rd year, and so far I've passed). I don't have any anesthesia connections yet, but met one attending who was very encouraging and supportive, potentially a mentor or someone who I can contact who'll give good advice.

I'm definitely not shooting for UCSF/Stanford/UCSD, since I know those are very competitive and I don't have much of a chance. Last year some students at my school matched at UCLA. I think I would also be happy at UCLA/UCI/USC/Harbor/Cedars because they are located in SoCal, which I would like to experience living in. I would like to avoid UCD due to its location. I've heard not-so-good things about the USC, Harbor, and maybe Cedars on SDN, but I wonder how much of a difference it makes? I mean, does a mediocre/not-so-good program imply it's VERY BAD? Currently, I'm not very familiar with what makes a program good/bad.

Please let me know what you think my chances matching to CA anesthesia programs are, based on my profile so far. Thanks!
 

Tuohy

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You'll be fine-I had similar credentials and had interviews at UCSF/Stanford (which I cancelled because it was late in the season anyway). Go to the best program possible-you want to get the most out of it.
 

cchoukal

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If we all said you had no chance, would you not apply to those programs, just to save a few hundred dollars in application fees? Would you believe the assessment of a bunch of random internet posters, none of whom are likely to be program directors at CA programs and, as such, have virtually zero insight into what the selection criteria are for various programs?

In the grand scheme of things, it costs nothing to apply to a virtually unlimited number of programs. Cast a wide net and you never know what will shake out.

In the meantime, I would spend less time worrying about what your chances are and more time figuring out why you're getting mediocre evaluations, why you're not honoring on your rotations, and how you're going to explain in an interview why someone with mediocre evaluations, mediocre grades, and no interest in research should be selected for their program.

That may sound harsh, which isn't my intent.
 

fakin' the funk

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In the meantime, I would spend less time worrying about what your chances are and more time figuring out why you're getting mediocre evaluations, why you're not honoring on your rotations, and how you're going to explain in an interview why someone with mediocre evaluations, mediocre grades, and no interest in research should be selected for their program.

That may sound harsh, which isn't my intent.
You nailed it :thumbup:
 

scotchnwater

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If we all said you had no chance, would you not apply to those programs, just to save a few hundred dollars in application fees? Would you believe the assessment of a bunch of random internet posters, none of whom are likely to be program directors at CA programs and, as such, have virtually zero insight into what the selection criteria are for various programs?

In the grand scheme of things, it costs nothing to apply to a virtually unlimited number of programs. Cast a wide net and you never know what will shake out.

In the meantime, I would spend less time worrying about what your chances are and more time figuring out why you're getting mediocre evaluations, why you're not honoring on your rotations, and how you're going to explain in an interview why someone with mediocre evaluations, mediocre grades, and no interest in research should be selected for their program.

That may sound harsh, which isn't my intent.
Oh, how I have missed your candor, Dr. C. Seriously, this is great advice to anyone who is reading it...
 
Feb 22, 2011
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I posted this on a different forum but thought it might be good here too: Its only for socal though. My stats: Step 1: 213, Step 2: 230, good grades, great LORs. I matched at USC

UCLA -- Probably the "biggest name" anesthesia program in socal. Lots of good research opportunities and great location (very close to santa monica). Great facilities. It’s a huge program which might be a plus or minus for you. My only issue with the program is that some of the residents I spoke to thought of themselves as 'slave labor' for the hospital. I didn't get that feeling (but I was only there for an interview day so who knows how it really is). The only other negative is that the bulk of their CV surgery department left the hospital and moved to Cedars Sinai.

UCSD -- Very laid back medium sized program with some outstanding faculty. Residents were all really nice people and very social. The residents wished that they didn't have to travel around to different locations for their training (currently splitting time between the VA in La Jolla, main medical center in Hillcrest, and Thorton Hospital in UTC)…. Only about 15-20 min drive from each other. UTC and La Jolla are right next door. Weak ICU and peds experience. Main Medical center is getting old and needs some renovation. Fantastic regional program. I would have ranked this higher, but the residents weren't able to find jobs in SD because it’s a small city.

Cedars -- What I would consider the hidden gem of socal anesthesia programs. Great location in Los Angeles with the best balance of clinical/didactic work. Cedars has a private practice anesthesia model in the department (about 150 anesthesiologists in the group, 40 of which teach). They teach because they love it. Program is like a family. They just increased in size from 4 to 8 residents per year so obviously this is a program on the rise (still a smaller sized program though). The faculty are insanely well connected and current residents landed some of the top fellowships for CV and Regional in the country (Cleveland Clinic, Cornell, and Northwestern I believe). Very strong OB anesthesia (I will actually be doing my OB rotation at Cedars because USC doesn't have enough). The UCLA CV group transferred to Cedars so now there are more hearts than you can shake a stick at. Downsides: No computer-based EMR in the ORs, doesn't carry the same name recognition as UCLA, newer program.

USC -- my future home so I might be a bit biased but I'll tell you how it really is. Great facilities with a brand new hospital. Location is close to downtown on the east side (not greatest area). Residents are all really laid back and like spending time with each other. The only big con is the SRNA training program and how pro-CRNA the chair of the department is (he is the chair of the SRNA training program too). The program is very well connected to different private practice groups in the area.

UCI -- brand new hospital with some very nice faculty. I wasn't crazy about the location since its right off the freeway in Orange, CA….. yeah, its not in Irvine. Had some issues within the department a few years ago so it has been "reborn" recently after the scandel. The chair/PD are both huge advocates for the residents. Have good relations with CRNAs on staff. Hospital is amazing and everything is state of the art. Residents seem like a family and like spending time with each other. Downsides: location isn't great, have to go do CV at an offsite location.
 

TrojanGopher

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Thought I'd give my two cents about the two programs I interviewed at in SoCal.

Jazzman9 said:
UCLA -- Probably the "biggest name" anesthesia program in socal. Lots of good research opportunities and great location (very close to santa monica). Great facilities. It’s a huge program which might be a plus or minus for you. My only issue with the program is that some of the residents I spoke to thought of themselves as 'slave labor' for the hospital. I didn't get that feeling (but I was only there for an interview day so who knows how it really is). The only other negative is that the bulk of their CV surgery department left the hospital and moved to Cedars Sinai.
Full disclosure, I ranked it #5. I agree with this assessment for the most part. Great name, fantastic hospital, would get good training there. Every resident at dinner complained about how much they worked. Critical care is not strong right now but they are in the process of bringing people in from the East Coast to remedying that. My highest ranked program of the SoCal residencies.

Jazzman9 said:
USC -- my future home so I might be a bit biased but I'll tell you how it really is. Great facilities with a brand new hospital. Location is close to downtown on the east side (not greatest area). Residents are all really laid back and like spending time with each other. The only big con is the SRNA training program and how pro-CRNA the chair of the department is (he is the chair of the SRNA training program too). The program is very well connected to different private practice groups in the area.
Ranked 9th, really liked the residents, but the SRNA issue was a huge red flag. It is bad enough that residents complained of losing educational cases to the SRNAs. Beautiful hospital, tons of trauma. Critical care here is terrible and PD sees no reason to improve it. The "Trojan Network" is ever-present in private practice of the LA/SoCal area. So if you are looking to go into PP in SoCal, this is the place to go. But if you want to end up anywhere else or want to do fellowship (I believe 2 of 16 are doing fellowships from this year's class), I might look elsewhere.