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Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by drsmith2002, Feb 11, 2002.
Can anyone out there give me an impression of the UNC surgery program?
By reputation its probably only the 3rd or 4th best program in the state after DUKE, Wake Forest, & +/- Carolina's Med. Center. It always seems to be a popular residency destination among applicants, a lot of which has to do with the location.
I've always thought of UNC as a solid program. It certainly suffers reputationally compared to its more famous Duke counterpart down the road, although, in my mind, nationally I would have put it better than Wake Forest (probably a stronger regional name) or Carolinas (which is probably one of the best _community based_ programs in the country, but suffers unjustly in reputation from this non-University base)
UNC had been even more prominent with George Sheldon as its chair, however, he then retired (about 2 years ago), and surprisingly, they had had a difficult time picking someone to fill his chair. I think this led to its falling off the map in some ways. That being said, the General Surgery program director continues to be Anthony Meyer and from what I understand he is very well liked, someone that many had tabbed initially to be the next chair. (I'm unsure of the current situation, if any UNC student knows, I am happy to be corrected).
All said, I remember enjoying my visit there (years ago). I would have considered ranking it higher if I hadn't known that Dr. Sheldon was planning on retiring before I would have finished.
I am not a resident or student at UNC, but I interviewed there a couple weeks ago. Dr Meyer is now the chair. He is also serving as PD. I do not know whether he will continue this dual role or if UNC will look to name a new PD.
Being familiar with the programs in North Carolina, I would have to agree that it is in the top two programs in the state. Prior to my interview visit, I had anticipated that UNC would be a mediocre program compared to programs around the country. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the residency and am considering ranking them quite highly. To provide context for those who may be attempting to evaluate from afar, from an interviewee's perspective I found UNC to compare very favorably to either of the major Kentucky programs.
The residents that we met at UNC were amongst the most satisfied that I've seen anywhere. We were exposed to nearly all the residents at various levels in their training, and not a handpicked subset as happens at many programs.
I am still uncertain on how strong UNC is reputed nationally. Surg, to provide a frame of reference, would you name a few programs that you consider to be in the same class as UNC?
I would say that UNC is one of those programs that doesn't get mentioned a lot, but when someone mentions it, everyone else says, "Oh yeah, they're good too" Reasonable national name recognition (again, Dr. Sheldon and Dr. Meyer certain help in this regard, as well as the basketball team discounting this year )
Off the top of my head, other programs I put in that category of, often forgotten, but generally recognized as good programs that could make a case for being as good as anyone (obviously I probably am going to generate some controversy here both with the ones I list and the ones I forgot): Obviously any of the regional powerhouses I listed in the top 10 General Surgery thread, plus UC Davis, UVa, U-Fl-Gainesville, Yale, UAB, U-Chicago, U-Wisconsin and U-Maryland come to mind, but the list goes on and on.
You'll notice that many of these are State University affiliated, probably because they thus have better name recognition, but don't pop up as "elite."
Again, I will give 3 disclaimers:
1) virtually any program that is certified by the RRC will give you adequate training, find the program that you fit in well. Thriving at a "second tier" program is far better than being miserable at a "first tier" program.
2) I don't list community programs because my experience with them is extremely limited, however, prestige rankings in general follow Universities. Is this fair? No. Is it a reflection on the quality of education at commnuity programs? No. But that's the way of the world, university based programs are more famous and get more mentions.
3) I don't have first hand knowledge of many of these programs, only the impressions that I get secondhand from the students, residents, and attendings I interact with.
I hope this helps.
I'll agree with Surg's assessment. I think UNC is another solid University program without the star power of a # of other programs in the Southeast. I would however, still assert that Wake Forest probably outclasses it reputation wise & that CMC is a much tougher match for a # of reasons (CMC and Baylor-Dallas are usually cited as the two best community programs in the country)
Thank you all for your help.
i am trying to decide between a couple on these second teir regional programs a a few "national powerhouses". The problem is I was much more comfortable at UNC and Ohio State, than Duke or Pitt. Needless to say, I cannot discount either of those programs...don't you just love difficult decisions!
where all did you like when you interviewed this year? A number of our students seem to be into UAB, Vanderbilt, & Baylor-Dallas this year
My current top 5 programs that I interviewed at are Pitt, Ohio State, North Carolina, Cincinnati, and Duke--no particular order. I liked Vandy, Wisconsin and U Chicago as well, but not as much as the others mentioned above. I didn't apply to UAB, Baylor or Louisville (sorry droliver ). Problem is as I stated, I 've had some interviews at real nationally known programs, but didn't like them as much as those two--UNC and OSU--which are probably not even regional big names. I really think I want to do academic surgery as a career so I kind of need the big name at least at the start of my carreer. I' m not complaining though because I would probably be very happy at any of those programs. However, who you rank one and two are VERY important, this year especially.
Your top list sounds very impressive. Cinncinnatti is VERY well thought of here even with Dr. Fischer leaving last year (great laparoscopy setup there). Pitt is another great one, one of our staff took over the chief of surgery @ the VAMC there this spring. Ohio state is not a program I'm real familiar with but it has very uneven word of mouth reputation among students (the fellowships there are pretty good though). Duke is well.... Duke. And we've already talked about UNC.
With this list of programs, I take it you plan on subspecializing? You will be real competative for most things if you ended up at any of those
Once again thank you all for your help
I was just curious as to what your studnets are saying about ohio state. I don't think it will change my mind much, just curious.
As far as CMC vs UNC--I actually liked both a lot. I know CMC would be a much harder match for various reasons, and I just didn't get the feel for that program. Still it seems to be on everyones lips.
OSU never gets good "vibes" on the interview trail (whether deserved or not). One of my classmates & good friend in med school did a rotation in surgery there & was so turned off that he didn't even interview there. This is 4 1/2 years ago now so it may be different now, but again it does not seem to be a place with much buzz
Just finalized my rank list and I thought since you all helped me with advice and the like, I would let you know...
1) PITT--couldn't not rank it one
2) Ohio St
God willing I won't have to go any lower than that. Again, thank you all for your advice and time.