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Official 2011-2012 Rank Order List Thread

Discussion in 'PM&R' started by DocTalk12, Jan 29, 2012.

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  1. DocTalk12

    DocTalk12 Trying to follow the blueprint... 5+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Just thought I would start this year's discussion - I realize its a bit early and people may be shy - but its good to get everyone's perspective. I have been asking more senior members to chime in on my proposed ROL, and appreciate all of the feedback I have received so far!

    To keep things more interesting, I am going to go alphabetical in three tiers: Like it, Love it, Gotta have it.

    Gotta have it
    Baylor/UT-H - Great inpatient exposure, pgy2 very busy at TIRR but hopefully that will be a great learning experience as well. Obviously, very strong reputation and arguably best TBI in the nation. Houston is warm, which is a welcome change for me! Texas Medical Center is huge, with lots of resources that I am sure one could take advantage of. Residents were very upfront and honest about the program - which was a nice touch. The program director was a straight shooter as well.

    Columbia/Cornell - A very well thought out and intense interview experience, liked the program director and chair. Seems like a nice and friendly environment to be in. Get to rotate through Hospital for Special Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Burke/Blythedale - residents really loved their experience and being in Manhattan would be great!

    Ohio State - Great overall program, a very traditional feel with new research opportunities thrown in the mix. Awesome PD, who actually read my entire application and highlighted points with interesting and thoughtful questions. Great EMG exposure. Residents loved program - many of them were native to Ohio - Columbus seems to be a nice place to live, low-hassle and young feel (a la college students).

    Thomas Jefferson - Very strong SCI exposure, great interview experience. The attendings were a nice mix of young and more experienced clinicians. Very strong, historic reputation. Good amount of elective time in last year, may even go international for electives. Nice location in Philly, seems like a great city that is close to many other metropolitan areas on east coast.

    University of Pittsburgh - Very strong overall program, seems to be getting better and better. Huge push for research, very dynamic chair with clear vision. Nice facilities, very cool residents who were all open about the strengths/weaknesses of the program. Many people at other institutions seem very impressed with the direction of the program - I also share that view. Pittsburgh is cold, but I am used to that - my friends from Pittsburgh are very loyal and outspoken about how much they love the city. No intracity competition among rehab facilities like the other major city in PA (Philly).

    Love it
    Case Western - Well rounded program with awesome PD/Chair. Residents really enjoyed program, go into a variety of fellowships/careers. Cleveland seems cool, need to research it more.

    National Rehab Hospital - Awesome PD, very into education and all of the residents were very excited about the trajectory of the program. Like living in DC, cool place, lots of old friends there.

    Schwab Rehab Hospital - The coolest PD that I met all interview season, is very active in AAP and the residents benefit from that. Good exposure, may have homogenous patient population?? South side of chicago seems ehhh, but would not have to live there anyway. Family feel to program, very tight knit group of residents.

    University of Pennsylvania - Huge name in all aspects of medicine, gaining recognition in rehab as well. New chair, wants to grow even more, but perhaps the presence of two other elite PM&R programs in Philly may make that difficult. Residents were nice, cool interview with night of bowling before interview day.

    University of Rochester - Really nice PD, who is motivated to make each residents experience unique and tailors rotations to individual interests. Rochester is nice place to live, at least the suburbs are! Very family-like feel to the program.

    Like it
    Albert Einstein - Nice PD, very kind hearted and genuine. Residents happy with exposure and there share of the NYC rehab population (biggest and only? program in the bronx).

    Rehab Institute of Michigan - Interesting, cool PD/Chair, very strong exposure as the medical center (DMC) sees lots of trauma and other interesting cases that feed into RIM. Residents were nice, did not seem to form cohesive group though. Wonderful option if someone is inclined to be in SE Michigan. Detroit has lots of opportunity for growth.

    Stony Brook - Interesting PD, great place to go if you are into Interventional/ Pain. On long island, like the very east side of long island.

    SUNY Upstate - Interesting PD/Chair - married couple who did the interview as a duo. Really cool young attendings. Great research opportunities at institute of human performance that is right next door.

    Wayne State University (Oakwood) - Young program, very resident driven. Facility where most of training goes on is all Rehab/Ortho. Outside of city, so do not have to deal with Detroit traffic and stuff. Would go there if I was interested in shaping my own experience and future training of residents.

    Please feel free to chime in, share your own rank order list or comments on any of the programs!! :D
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
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  3. fozzy40

    fozzy40 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Great job posting your ROL! I know there are a lot of lurkers but please try to contribute as you finalize your list. After going through this process, SDN is a great resource to help others in the same boat.

    Good luck everybody!
  4. fyfanatic

    fyfanatic 7+ Year Member

    Nov 7, 2007
    new york
    Programs I will put in my top 5:

    Columbia/Cornell- well-rounded program with great faculty, residents rotate through some of the best hospitals in NYC, great location.

    Spaulding- great reputation, really liked the PD, schedule seems pretty flexible, residents were happy, Boston seems like a great city.

    Thomas Jefferson- happiest residents I've seen on the trail, get to work with very well-known physiatrists, lots of elective time, good exposure to ultrasound-guided techniques, located in nicest part of Philly

    Trying to decide between Albert Einstein Montefiore vs Mount Sinai for 4th and 5th place. Both PDs seem great and dedicated to the program. Mount Sinai has a better location in the city but it seems that Albert Einstein has a broader outpatient/MSK exposure whereas Mount Sinai seems to have more inpatient experience. Any thoughts on these two programs would be great.
  5. QueenMystifa


    Nov 7, 2010
    Has anyone heard from Stanford yet? I've talked to a few people who are hoping to go there too and nobody has heard any definitive feedback from the PD...
  6. thewza

    thewza 10+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Sinai would be my vote, fyfanatic.
  7. tmvguy03

    tmvguy03 5+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2011
  8. Splice33


    Feb 19, 2012
    1. University of Pittsburgh- Love this program and hoping to match here. Currently probably the fastest growing/evolving program. Ample research opportunities. Dr. Boninger is one of the best chairs around and has done a lot for this program. I have done a rotation here and really enjoyed it, I really like the "in house" rehab aspect vs standalone.

    2. RIC- Strong program with a great reputation in an awesome city. Slightly underwhelmed with the interview day (maybe glorified RIC too much). I would be happy to go here if I do not end up with UPMC.

    3. Harvard- Again, strong program with a good reputation. Ample research opportunities, brand new rehab hospital will be completed around the time we would be starting.
  9. PriMR


    Jun 21, 2011
    1. UW
    2. RIC
    3. Harvard
    4. Stanford
    5. U Colorado
    6. UMDNJ

    I don't know if my rank list will really help since so much of it is based off of geography and personal circumstances rather than what I really thought of the program. Either way, I would be happy at any of these programs. Good luck to you all.
  10. BooBoo41


    Feb 21, 2012
    Top 3 in alphabetical order

    Kessler - very deep program in all aspects, lots of driving

    Pittsburgh - great program that is only continuing to get better, well-rounded, chair is awesome

    Temple - big program, very balanced, dynamic faculty, lots of driving
  11. uvm2008

    uvm2008 5+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2011
    I figured it was about time I finally posted on this forum. Here is to many future posts and to a good match day. Good luck everyone!

    My top 5 in alphabetical order:
    All great programs and most importantly good fits for me personally. Each program has unique aspects that I was drawn to.
    U. of Colorado
    San Antonio
    U. of Virginia
  12. DocTalk12

    DocTalk12 Trying to follow the blueprint... 5+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Now that the lists have been certified and the deadline has past - the long wait until March 12/16 begins! Thanks to fyfantic, Splice33, PriMR, BooBoo41, uvm2008 for sharing their lists, an extra wish of good luck to you all!! I hope that we get some more discussion - so we can help those who will be in our shoes next year :)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  13. tmvguy03

    tmvguy03 5+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Heres my ROL (in order of course)

    1. Mayo- No question, head and shoulders above every program I interviewed at. Great OP, MSK u/s, tracking into pain fellowship if thats the route you want to go. Pretty much everything I was looking for in a program and more. The facilities are incredible, the doctors are amazing...Also, a month long EMG lecture style to better acquaint you with the physiology. The didactics are really good too, and the faculty are very willing to teach. Plus Rochester is a great place for families (and we love the cold anyways)

    2. Indiana University- Also great program in the midwest. Has a freestanding Rehab hospital (which some people wouldn't like). The hospital, RHI, is 91 beds, and when you are on call (~9 days, in house) you are the go-to-doc since there are no other M.D's in house. What better way to prepare for the real world after residency? Also, great faculty, MSK u/s is up and coming, and hands on procedures (joint injections/fluoroscopy, etc.) are there if you want them.

    3. University of Michigan- Again, great program all around. Pretty much anyone who wants fellowships gets them. Great town, great faculty. Good mix of IP/OP. Downsides(?)

    4. Carolinas- Only reason it's ranked 4th is a geography thing. It is an especially good program if you like outdoor activities/nightlife. Charlotte is sweet

    Theres more but I'll stop there...anyways, most programs are AT LEAST "pretty good"...come on, this is the US!
  14. doccle

    doccle 5+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2011
    top 4 in no order

    Case Western
    Ohio State
    University of Michigan
  15. theanswer03

    theanswer03 7+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2009
    My top 5 were:

    1. Carolinas

    2. U of Louisville

    3. LSU New Orleans

    4. UAB

    5. Emory

    I'd be happy at any of these programs - I thought they were all strong for different reasons. I ranked these programs based strongly on my gut feelings about how happy I thought I'd be at that particular program and city. I am from the SE, so I have strong geographic ties to keep me down south. GL to everyone!
  16. doccle

    doccle 5+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2011
    My top choices (in no order) Keep in mind I drastically restricted my programs geographically.

    Case Western
    Ohio State
    University of Michigan
  17. windjammr


    Oct 21, 2011
    In no particular order my top 4 were:

    RIC, Hopkins, Case and Emory

    Geography and research opporunities were both priorities for me. RIC seemed to have the best overall package from what I could tell. It was a toss up between the other 3. Unfortunately I didn't get to interview at a few other places I had interest in, but like everyone says there are plenty of strong programs out there.

    Good luck!
  18. axm397

    axm397 SDN Moderator SDN Advisor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Aug 25, 2003
    here's someone preferring to stay anonymous:

    WashU- PD was kind of rude. Asked her about research opportunities at hospital and said PMR is “clinician” field and “not research.” 1 elective available. Didn’t meet any residents at interview except chief. No presentation given about program so I still don’t even know much about it.
    Suny Upstate- good outpt exposure. Faculty were nice (maybe except 1 dude that made somebody cry a year ago on this forum). I didn’t cry. That previous poster was sensitive.
    East Carolina- Nice PD/faculty. Friendly ppl. Best benefits. Good inpt/outpt exposure. If it wasn't in Greenville, NC, it'd be pretty high on my rank list.

    Top 10

    10. Mt Sinai- Nice program but it’s in NYC and I hate NY just as much as Homer Simpson does. Great inpatient exposure. Do rotations at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens where they do a lot of EMGs. Faculty at Elmhurst are awesome.
    9. Case Western- good research oriented program. Some rotations done at Cleveland Clinic. Getting new hospital.
    8. Wayne State- DMC- Faculty were nice. Have hired younger faculty recently. PD didn’t ask me any questions during interview. I thought residents got along pretty well and I liked them. 4 electives available for whatever you are interested in. Transitional year is offered as well if granted an interview. Nice rehab hospital.
    7. Temple- Nice rehab hospital. Cool residents. Good mix of outpt/inpt. No call as a pgy4. good amt of commuting.
    6. LSU- Excellent EMG/injection opportunities. Categorical with pm&r exposure as a PGY-1. PD was kind of strange but nice guy. Program coordinator very nice. The chair was awesome. Cool residents. Weak for peds rehab. One resident (PGYII) made me sing during interview which was kind of lame. New Orleans is a fun city.
    5. NRH-Georgetown- PD- very pro education and improving program. Nice facilities. Hiring new young faculty. Getting fellowships. Good electives. D.C. is nice.
    4. UPenn- very impressed by this program. New chair that used to be at MCW. Nice PD. Nice bowling/dinner experience the night before. Nice residents. Philly is nice.
    3. Schwab- look at previous posts in regards to PD, Chicago
    2. Rush- great elective opportunities, new hospital, good outpt exposure, Chicago, great benefits, categorical, nice program coordinator
    1. RIC- no need for explanation "
  19. MedBronc23

    MedBronc23 7+ Year Member

    May 1, 2009
    What's scaring all the people away from the WFMC (mayo). It's not that cold. In fact we had only 3 snows so far this year. 2nd hottest in winter in Minnesota history. Still if you don't like winter avoid Med City( Rochester)

    I see many of the places I ranked high or would have ranked high on here still.

    Lots of great programs. Also disagree with the comment that PM&R not a research field, but would say most research is clinical. I know we have mandatory research requirement at Mayo. Most is clinical but still important to exposing our young field to the world and our colleagues in other fields.

    Anyone feel free to pm me about rank list questions . Although I'm assuming the lists are in.

    Anyone matching to Mayo also feel free to pm me.

  20. Taus

    Taus . SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    I think everyone knows that the training at Mayo is phenomenal. It is purely the location that stops a fair percentage from putting Mayo at the top of their list (myself included).
  21. tmvguy03

    tmvguy03 5+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    I agree, there was literally no comparison with other programs. I was lucky enough to bring my wife and kids on the interview trail so we could make our decision together. We loved Rochester, and WFMC. I told Dr. Wisniewski during my interview that the program was an combination of the best parts of other programs...and then improved upon. I left feeling like there were multiple individual features of the program which, by themselves, would have legitimized ranking Mayo #1. From a historical perspective, it would be a very cool place to be as well. I'm hoping for some good news on match day!
  22. shantster

    shantster Eye protection! 10+ Year Member

    Very much so. The location was completely why I didn't even apply there. After growing up in the Midwest I'm used to the cold and the snow and would love to move back to a place where snow is common and the city does something about it (instead of ignore it for a few days like my current location). But being over an hour away from a city? Not for me. Plus it is not a good place for my boyfriend, who will be moving with me, to find a job. If it was in Minneapolis, I definitely would have applied. That's one of my favorite cities in the Midwest.
  23. lobelsteve

    lobelsteve SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    May 30, 2005
    Canton GA
    What about Utah?

    I wish I could have trained with Elovic, Willick, Beresford, et al.

    I think they are building a kickass program. Elie is the man.
  24. PMR 4 MSK

    PMR 4 MSK Large Member SDN Advisor 5+ Year Member

    Oct 1, 2007
    Just my 2 cents as an old fart.

    If you make a decision about where you are going to spend 3-4 training years of your life based on climate, you need to be systematically smacked a few hundred times until you see the light. You only get one shot at a residency, and you want it to be the best you can get. I don't care if it's at the North Pole, or in the middle of Death Valley, it's only for 3-4 years, to prepare you to be a phsycian anyhwere else in the country you want to practice for the next 30+ years. Who cares what it's like outside? You are going to be inside for 99% of it.

    So you then argue "But I want my family to be happy too!" Your family would also want you to spend your time wisely, become the best doctor you can be, and if they are so selfish as to sway you from a place based purely on climate, they need to join you in the systematic smacking program.

    Millions of people spend their whole lives enduring freezing cold weather or extremely hot weather. You can do it for a few years in heated and air-conditioned buildings.
  25. webtek

    webtek Fellow 2+ Year Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    New York
    As a PGY-4, with four months left to go, and a resident who was in two different programs, due to the 1st one being closed, I cannot agree more with the above post.

    The next few years is where you will develop your fundamentals which you will need for the rest of your life. You could enjoy the nice weather when you graduate and can afford to travel.
  26. RUOkie

    RUOkie 7+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2009
  27. fyfanatic

    fyfanatic 7+ Year Member

    Nov 7, 2007
    new york

    My dean adviser who wrote my MSPE told me to rank programs based on locations that I would want to work in after residency is done because according to his research, something like 90% of people end up getting jobs in the city where they train for residency just due to the connections they make while in training. So when I showed him my top 3 which were all in different locations (NY, Boston, Philly), he suggested that I change it and place more emphasis on location.
    I decided not to listen to his advice and stuck with my rank list. Especially in a small field like PM&R, I'm pretty sure that many people end up moving away from their place of residency but I don't have any evidence to support that.
  28. specepic

    specepic 7+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2008
    New England
    the outpatient training there I think is quite good. Unless a lot has changed in terms of the inpatient training, there are probably better places in that regard, although it is still solid. without a doubt, the elite programs are also helpful when it comes time to look for fellowships and jobs.

    I would also agree with the posts above regarding climate. picking based on location/climate is what you do after residency/fellowship.
  29. RUOkie

    RUOkie 7+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2009
    good job in not listening. Of my residency class of 13 people (Baylor Houston), not a single person stayed in the Houston Metro area. After 15 yrs, now there is ONE in Texas! The rest of us are spread throughout the country. PM&R is one of those fields that those rules do not apply.
  30. shantster

    shantster Eye protection! 10+ Year Member

    This whole discussion of not choosing location in part based on family or significant other's preference assumes your significant other has a job that can be easily moved. But if your significant other is also in a similar place in his career, I don't see why you shouldn't be willing to limit yourself geographically. Mine is a few years out of getting his PhD so I focused on places that have good PM&R programs and good research in his field and/or people his group collaborates with. I'm not going to screw his career over just so that I could go to a slightly better program based on whatever standards that is not in a location that would be good for him if I've found places that fit my needs and goals as well as his. At the same time he hasn't been able to go after good jobs in his field because the location did not have a residency program or did not have a program that I found suitable for my career goals.

    Everyone's situation is different.
  31. PMR 4 MSK

    PMR 4 MSK Large Member SDN Advisor 5+ Year Member

    Oct 1, 2007
    Marriage = compromise.

    That's why I advise avoiding it all costs. :D

    Statistically, it's the worst investment you can make. What other investment gives you a 50% chance to lose 50% or more of everything you've made over the past decade?
  32. FunctL Analysis

    FunctL Analysis

    Oct 4, 2009
    And things definitely do take a different perspective when you have kids. Your investment in parenting sometimes feel like it has gone -100%, but most days, looking at my kids growing up, I feel like its 1000% - I feel like I can't really put a price tag on it, unless you want to argue about the lifetime cost of raising one child kind of thing, but I'm a sentimental guy who find parenting is actually pretty dang fun :)
  33. shantster

    shantster Eye protection! 10+ Year Member

    There's a reason why we love the living together without marriage situation forever. Even if that somehow changes, there's no way that I would without an iron-clad pre-nup. And it would be a go to city hall type thing. I can't justify blowing a nice downpayment on a house for a singular event.

    I was just surprised at the feeling from people to just make the family move wherever assuming that their opinions don't matter. Unfortunately that's not always feasible depending on what the other one does. And if he/she is also career-driven, with good potential for advancing, what is wrong with compromising to meet both people's career goals? I'd rather have that than have to financially support someone else. I won't have to work as much to have the same lifestyle.
  34. DOctorJay

    DOctorJay 10+ Year Member

    May 8, 2004
    Please continue to post your review of programs. It is incredibly helpful for next year's group of med students and helps programs that review this site update their interview days.
  35. DocTalk12

    DocTalk12 Trying to follow the blueprint... 5+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2011
    Houston, TX
    If I could make one recommendation to programs regarding the interview process, it would be to make sure to have a pre-interview dinner. I think that the information that I gained on those events was very important and gave all the applicants and residents an opportunity to speak candidly. The environment is much less stressful and you get a feel of the resident's experience without the pressure of being in the interview setting.

    Beyond that, when I arrived the night before an interview - it gave me an activity, so I just didn't wander around the city or watch TV in the hotel room. Overall, it makes the entire interview trip more fun.
  36. TeaKae

    TeaKae 10+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Zombie capitol of the USA

    Yes, this is incredibly helpful to us JMS's. Thank you! I want to do sports medicine for my big girl job and have been waffling between going PM&R vs family med. I'm doing my PM&R elective this month and I love it, so I think I'll be going this route even if it means an extra year of residency. And now I know to apply at UPenn if there's bowling the night before :D
  37. 1209


    Mar 15, 2012
    Did you send any e-mails out to your top choices telling them that you were still thinking about them?
    Also, does anyone know if PDs compare rank lists with each other? ... seeing as how PM&R is such a small field and all.
  38. anonapp2011


    Oct 7, 2011
    On the eve of Match Day and thinking about which program I might end up naturally led me to write this review with some notes of the interview day. The programs are not in any particular rank order.

    I interviewed in Cali, Texas, and in the Northeast. Here are my overall impressions; others may have had different experiences. At the end of my interview trail, the east coast programs generally tended to be more inpatient heavy while those in Texas were more balanced between inpatient/outpatient, and those in Cali to be more outpatient oriented. For those planning to apply into PM&R and more procedure oriented, you definitely should ask the residents if they’re able to drive the needle or do EMG’s start to finish vs. observe. For the most part, programs were comprehensive - they each have about 3 months of EMG, meet the 200 EMG requirement, cover TBI/SCI/CVA inpatient and have outpatient experiences with procedures so the points below are aspects that stuck out to me. I only touched on highlights/things I remember.

    VAGLA/UCLA - Great program with an emphasis on MSK/pain. New program director is Dr. Aragaki who went to UCLA, trained in the residency program, and stayed on as faculty. I interviewed with her and Dr. Pham who was the previous PD. Both were laid back and generally interested in what kind of resident I would be. They actually seemed to read my MSPE thoroughly and get a good grasp of who I was. + = early outpatient exposure starting in PGY 2 and affiliation with an ACGME pain fellowship. All home call. - = lots of driving in So Cal without reimbursement for travel. A neutral point = inpatient spread over all 3 years and rotations are 3 months long. Otherwise minimal changes and a comprehensive review was done last year by Prof Moriarty.

    UC Irvine – Medium sized program, 5 residents. More heavily outpatient; PGY3 year is all outpatient. Dr. Hata is the new PD who is modeling didactics after JFK Johnson – repeating annual curriculum with quarterly assessments and another change is that he is gearing to make research mandatory. I believe both of the chief residents took the ABEM boards and had top scores. + = sites not as from each other, can have experience in performance rehab, and there is a robotics lab. - = changes seem to be in the positive direction but I’m still uneasy because who knows how they’ll pan out. $700 educational fund for all 3 years. Conference attendance taken out of vacation time.

    Loma Linda – Small CATEGORICAL program, 4 residents. New PD is Dr. Nicole Irwin but Dr. Brandstater still has a heavy presence. No big changes planned. Although 7th day Adventist, practices aren’t imposed; coffee and meat dishes can be found across the street. A brand new ward that looks like a resort was just built (each room has their own patio and are like mini suites. + = categorical so don’t have to find a prelim. - = a little over an hour outside of LA without much to do in the area. Neutral = 6 months of EMG which will have you perfect your technique but may be a little overload.

    UT San Antonio – CATEGORICAL program, 8 residents. There was a dinner the evening before and a hotel room is subsidized by the program. + = There are a lot of perks in the program – over 15 textbooks given to each resident, fleece jackets, and attendance to AAP in PGY3 and AAPMR in PGY4 year. Sports med elective with San Antonio Spurs team physicians. New spinal cord unit built. - = residents mentioned that didactics could be improved and have to give lectures (not sure how many per year tho). Salary ranges in mid $40K.

    Baylor Alliance (UT Houston/Baylor Houston) – will be taking 8 residents this year vs. 10-12 in prior years. Interview day started off with best breakfast; lots of walking so be prepared. + = all facilities centrally located, reputation of a strong program. - = Not sure how the workload distribution will be after the program downsizes. No longer offering rotation at MD Andersen but this may change.

    UT Southwestern Dallas – 10 residents. + = Burn experience at Parkland, new Parkland hospital to open 2014 and UT Med center 2015, seems to be most “hands-on” program. No call PGY4 year. Books also provided in addition to $700 education fund for PGY3 and 4. - = heavy call in PGY2 and PGY3, no electives. Neutral = all calls are in house and NF system. Getting new attendings for SCI, sports, and consult service.

    JFK Johnson – 4 residents. Felt like this was one of those programs that deserves more attention. Definitely had the strongest “family”feeling to it. + = hands on with procedures and strong didactics. Revolving schedule every 12 months with quarterly assessments. Reimbursement for travel($0.55/mile, hotel, and $6/meal when away). Injections competency workshop where 15 injections are taught & assessed. Can be acupuncture certified. – = call from home if live within 30minutes. Neutral= in process of getting accreditation for TBI fellowship.

    Kessler – + = New spinal cord unit built and many Elkins winners from the program. Emergency workshop for PGY2’s ran by PGY4’s. Research course given. - = heard that outpatient clinics can run as late as 9pm; not sure if it is a resident efficiency factor or clinic logistics. In process of setting up a rotation at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

    RIC – Option to do categorical track. Well known so not much to add. - = didactics are everyday at noon so can’t really enjoy your lunch

    NYU/Rusk – Lots of walking on interview day and it was chilly so be prepared. + = all the sites are within walking distance of each other. There is some subsidized housing but not much. - = They are in the process of changing hospitals so the census will change. I’m not sure how logistically smooth everything will be after the move.

    Jefferson – + = MSK U/S with Dr. Nazarian, 2 mo elective time in PGY4 with opportunities to go abroad, PGY4’s have advisory rotation with half days so can set up afternoon opportunities or read, nice rooftop greenhouse. – = Magee 96 pt census with no back up in house, sites can be as far as 45 minutes away. Neutral = all calls are in house.

    Temple – 10 residents. Big program so networking easy. + = moonlighting opportunities ($800-1000/Sat), vacation time carries over if unused. – = Need a car, each resident gives grand rounds, anatomy course is taught Thursday evenings.

    *Philadelphia programs have 3 annual multi-day courses – EMG at Jeff, Gait at Moss, P&O at Penn. I believe Kessler also attends some of these courses.

    Others, please feel free to add/correct to anything!

    GOOD LUCK tomorrow everybody! :luck:
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  39. jp104

    jp104 Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2004
    ^^^^^^ Likes this post. :thumbup:
  40. Lanvin

    Lanvin 7+ Year Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    My top 5 (of 12) in alphabetical order:

    RIC :thumbup: ***Matched here***
    Univ. of Utah
    Univ. of Washington

    I agree with lobelsteve that Utah is building an amazing program. On interview day I got the feeling that they will be a strong contender against the other big names in PM&R. There is a lot of interest in advancing their research and they already have a strong clinical education. I only mention this because there has not been a lot of word about Utah's program on SDN (at least that I was able to find prior to interview season).
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  41. Phillyborn

    Phillyborn illadelphia 7+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    Sorry these have been so long coming guys. I interviewed at a lot of programs and can honestly say I think I would have been happy at any of them. All of them seemed like they provided solid core training in PM&R. Since each person's criteria are a bit different, take these with a bit of perspective. I am from the Midwest, and looking to go into academic medicine (SCI or sports).

    Colorado- This seemed like a very well balanced program. They have an SCI/TBI model system and are very strong in Peds. Dr. Mathews, the chair, is extremely caring and organizes skiing trips for disabled children most weekends. They also have a women's sports clinic in Boulder and the residents are very close knit (only 4-5 a year). Dr. Akuthota is well known in the pain/sports fields as is Dr. Laker (who I believe recently came from UW). Despite having Craig rehab hospital being one of the sites that they rotate through, you don't get to go there until your PGY4, which is unfortunate in my eyes. Craig also still uses paper charts (another minor negative). Didactics are apparently of good quality, but are held on Wednesday nights from 3-7PM. The different sites you rotate through are largely compressed down to one large medical complex, so driving is minimal (which in the past was an issue). There is also a new push towards getting residents involved in research (Dr. Jha the PD was in RMSTP). Overall I liked this program a lot and it seems to be one of the more well-rounded programs I visited.

    Kessler- To me, there are a lot of question marks about this program (DeLisa leaving in June, UMDNJ funding problems, working at a for profit hospital, living in Jersey :eyebrow:), but there were too many great aspects/people in this program to not rank it highly. I rotated here and had an amazing experience. Dr. Kirshblum is one of my favorite people that I have ever interacted with and Dr. Garstang, the PD, is a fantastic asset to the program. While I was on a prelim interview, one of the PDs noted that one criteria he would use to select a program was how long the PD was in place. Lots of times, people use this as a stepping stone for launching them further into the administrative world, staying 2-5 years. This PD noted that these could be great programs, but you had to factor in the uncertainty that the PD you interviewed with might not be there when you arrive (or for your full residency). Dr. Garstang is someone who you can rely on. Even with the new chairman search and a possible new direction, she noted that she was on the selection committee (so they better like her and support most of her vision for the residency program :)). At Kessler, you definitely work harder/long here than other programs, but you graduate with a great skill set. Traditionally this program has been stronger on inpatient than outpatient. The didactics here are wonderful, 4 hours on Wednesday mornings. Dr. Yonclas at UMDNJ is pioneering early intervention with TBI and carving out a niche as trauma PM&R. Add in Dr. Foye, Dr. Stitik, Dr. Malanga and some of the younger faculty and you have an amazing future potential. At UMDNJ, the PM&R department is so entrenched that for all MSK problems, if it is not a fracture, the EMR templates directs you to the referral form for PM&R (bypassing ortho completely). Other pearls that I liked about the program: There anatomy is with prosected cadavers, they have an SCI model system, vent coverage with a pulmonologist on staff, possibility to do cancer rehab at Memorial Sloan Kettering, emphasis on research (protected one afternoon a week for 6 months). Downside is that they have paper charts at Kessler and the expensive COL in New Jersey. Overall, I loved this program. The residents are all bright, caring and close knit. A fantastic institution.

    Mayo- Amazing program. I rotated here as well and somehow, the didactics seemed even stronger than Kessler's. I think a lot of this had to do with the time you get while inpatient (lower census than busy Kessler program) and the great attendings who make it a point to teach at the bedside. There are also specialized outpatient clinics which address very focused problems (sports, hand, etc.) After you see four cases of DeQuervain's in an afternoon, complete with ultrasound guided injections and a quick anatomy lesson, it sinks in pretty well. One downside is you only learn the Mayo system, with no VA exposure. The counter point (which others have noted in the past as things "being done the Mayo way") is that the pace which tests are done and the interdepartment collegial atmosphere in the clinics and on consults is unprecedented compared to all of the hospitals I rotated through. In more cases than I could count, we would see a patient in the morning, schedule them advanced imaging like an MRI and then they would come in later that afternoon to review it. Many other times, we would get outpatient referrals in the afternoon from patients who were seen earlier that morning by another specialty and mentioned a problem that we could address. It was inspiring. As is well known, the MSK training here is fantastic (both through the specialty clinics, the MSK U/S, and cadaveric anatomy courses). When I was there, we did an anatomic UE review and then went did UE U/S where we had multiple machines to practice on in groups of 3 or 4. The fact that 4 different attendings showed up to help out during the practice session I think shows how committed everyone is here to the residency program. They also have EMG training through PM&R and Neuro faculty (though after showing proficiency, I believe a tech does all of the nerve conduction studies) and there is the opportunity to do 4-6 weeks of devoted research. They have their own EMR, which was quite intuitive and integrated across all hospital sites. With all of these positives, there were several negatives with the program. Namely, the departure of Dr. Finnoff to private practice this past year, lack of trauma exposure (though, in my eyes, this is partially made up for by the adventurous neurosurgerons/orthopods there), and the micromanaged subservices (specialized consult team to manage diabetes, which I fear would erode some of my general medical knowledge if I resorted to calling). Finally, one of the great aspects of this program is that by PGY4, you are basically serving as a junior attending (overseeing junior residents, wrapping up loose ends, etc.). This seems like a great way to help transition to the next phase of your career. Your final two years, you also have a continuity clinic, which I see as a huge advantage.

    MetroHealth- This program has a lot of positives and some great possibilities. They are moving to a new freestanding rehab hospital down the street and everyone is excited about the prominence that this will bring the department. The faculty here are also amazing (Dr. Clark, Dr. Chae, Dr. Nemunaitis) and their research with functional electrical stimulation is really interesting. They also have a continuity clinic for their seniors and integrated inpatient/outpatient EPIC. The VA in Cleveland just had a major update and PM&R got a new rehab wing (complete with lots of rehab toys like a Lokomat, vestibular balance training box and Alter-G treadmill). Unfortunately, this program no longer offers a categorical program (just advanced).

    Minnesota- There haven't been many reviews of this program, but I thought it was solid. They have a new PD (Dr. Krach, who started in October). She is from Gillette Children's Hospital, which has traditionally been one of the stronger areas of this program. Besides peds (which has a fellowship), there are also SCI/TBI fellowships in the works based out of the VA. The VA is a polytrauma center and has a new SCI center. Residents have a continuity clinic during their senior years. They also have the opportunity to integrate a rehab science degree (MS or PhD) and have inpatient EPIC at all sites but Gillette (paper). Dr. Dykstra (chair) is well known for his work on botox research, as is Dr. Agre in sports/MSK. Overall, I liked this program and think it has a lot of potential to get even better in the near future.

    Pitt- I had heard that this program was on the rise and that Dr. Boninger gave a great sales pitch, but even with that expectation I was impressed. UPMC is a not for profit hospital, and as a healthcare center which has significantly been in the black for several years, this translates into a large amount of reinvestment in the hospital, residents, and greater community. In addition to being an SCI model system, there is a strong research emphasis with good mentoring (along with Dr. Boninger being the RMSTP head). They have EMG and MSK U/S workshops prior to clinic exposure, which gives everyone a head start for day one. For EMGs, they have a junior and senior on each case, with the senior taking on a more precepting role. Seniors also have their own continuity clinic and there is an 8 week cadaveric anatomy course. Pittsburgh as a city was not was I was expecting, and far more vibrant than other rust belt cities with a well revitalized downtown. I think the most telling indication of this program's strength was a fellow applicant, who I overheard several times asking residents "Is it really as good as they made it out to be?" The answer was a resounding yes each time.

    RIC- RIC is definitely an establishment which churns out high quality residents and research; you don't repeatedly be voted the number one ranked rehab hospital in US News without this focus. I came in probably idealizing the program in my mind, and sadly was a bit disappointed. For me personally, it felt large, cold and mechanical. They have a lot of interview dates (as compared to others like Colorado or Stanford- so the interviewers didn't seem as excited- though maybe they just weren't as excited about me). Many positives for this program including: top notch residents, research emphasis (with assigned research mentors), $50 downtown parking!, tons of research opportunities (bionics), and four fellowships in SCI, Pain, TBI, Sports/spine. They run a Citrix based EMR and have continuity clinics 1/2 day per week for 6 months with one attending. They also have a dissection based anatomy curriculum and there are typically 2 residents at a time on floors (but still 1:1 with attending- so you have someone to commiserate with but still that private attention). They also have an MSK U/S workshop and a dedicated resident U/S machine, as well as an EMG bootcamp. The research opportunities here are amazing and cutting edge, especially Dr. Kuiken's work with targeted muscle reinervation for amputees. Downsides of the program would be the expensive housing in downtown Chicago and that fellows do most of the injections. Overall I liked the program on paper a lot, but the interview day just seemed off a little for me. I know several of the residents here (both from SDN and from the real world), and they are all wonderful people and fantastic caring physicians, but RIC didn't seem like the right fit for me.

    Stanford- The interview day for this program was the largest of any program I interviewed at (20+ applicants) as they only interview 2 days, which I thought made the interview day a bit misrepresentative. I had rotated through this site in the outpatient clinics and found the preceptors there (Dr. Fredericson, Dr. Smuck) to be great teachers. They also have a model SCI/TBI system, with acute SCI management with neurosurgery at the valley (no neurosurgical residents there so you experience a lot of the early management). The Palo Alto VA is the west coast polytrauma center and honestly one of the nicest VA's I have seen (they have a serenity garden). Palo Alto has a unique microenvironment caused by the warm, dry air coming up from San Jose and the cool, wet air cresting over the mountains and coming down from San Francisco. This equates to 60-70 degrees and clear skies for more days than I care to jealously think about. Downsides of this program would be the expensive COL in the bay area and the large amount of driving between clinical sites. One point I worried about prior to the interview was how the PM&R department is a division of the Orthopaedics department at Stanford. However, one of my interviewers explained that this was actually ideal, as the Orthopaedics department pulls considerable weight and the portions of the residency that are at Stanford directly are the MSK, sports, and pain clinics (all things ortho cares about). The neurorehab (which ortho doesn't care as much about) is scattered at the VA and Valley, so the needs of these areas are addressed by these institutions.

    Temple- As has been said before, the interview here really stressed the strong alumni network you have due to the class size and history of the program. Unlike some other programs, even though the class size is large, I still thought the residents were tightly knit and very relaxed. The atmosphere between the attendings and residents was also very laid back (one of the attendings came in to tease the PD right before his presentation). There are a lot of opportunities for research here (though no requirement). MSK U/S is done with Dr. Lento, who teaches several national courses. The residents were diverse, but largely focused on going into pain management. Due to Jefferson, Moss rarely takes any cervical spinal cord injuries, which was a little disappointing for someone looking to go into SCI.

    UVA- I liked this program a lot, and found it similar to Utah with its emphasis on MSK/sports (running specifically with the relatively new chair, Dr. Wilder). It is a smaller residency program and the residents are all very close. They added a new SCI doc this year (Dr. Smith), who everyone is excited to have on board and really seems ambitious in growing the scope of the services there (as a Mayo grad, he is also doing MSK U/S, which had previously been missing). They have a very nice gait lab, but outside of that, there seemed to be few established channels for research. I had never been to Charlottesville before, and found it quite charming (though a bit small). There were great running/mountain biking trails and a vibrant foodie/music scene that I was not expecting.

    UW- This program seems to have it all; great location, established PD, good academic credentials, plenty of diverse patient experiences, strong SCI/TBI/Burn/MS model systems, top quality residents. Additionally, EMG is also taught by neuro and PM&R, they have a dissection driven anatomy course and they have PGY specific didactics (including practice management courses for PGY4s, so you're not stepping out into the real world completely cold). Outpatient, they have Epic for EMR and inpatient Orca (powerchart variant which is supposedly really smooth). MSK was a relative weakness a few years back, but it has become one of the programs strengths with Dr. Harrast, Dr. Weinstein, and Dr. Herring. Anyone who saw the keynote speech Dr. Herring did at AAPM&R in Seattle two years ago about concussion advocacy knows how passionate he is about it. There are 4-6 months of consult during PGY3, which some noted was excessive, but the residents I spoke with said it helped tie together their inpatient experiences from PGY2 well. The residents were all really laid back and seemed bright/well rounded. The SCI exposure here was probably the strongest of all of the programs I visited. You have 2 months of devoted SCI as a PGY2 and then work on mixed wards (where SCI is present for the next year). Outpatient clinics also have significant SCI follow up and there is a well developed transitions program to help with community reintegration in the two years after injury. Downsides of this program were the expensive parking, COL and … that's really it. I loved this program.

    Utah- I was pleasantly surprised by this program. I knew going in that they had great MSK/sports and a ski clinic, but the addition of Dr. Elovic and the research emphasis he is creating should really make this program stand out (though it is currently in a "growth phase"). Dr. Willick is another huge asset to the program and is a fantastic teacher. The residents were all top quality and appeared to be very close. Their appeared to be more of an outpatient focus here, but that being said, the inpatient seemed like a very high quality experience (though you are on each service alone due to the size of the program). The area around Salt Lake has some fantastic trails that are readily available (during the interview lunch, we could see employees from the hospital who had gone for a trail run up the mountains). One downside of the location, however, is that the air quality can get bad. While I was there, they had an "inversion" where all of the pollution from the city sunk due to pressure systems and sat in the valley.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012

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