futureopht

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2008
9
0
Status
Medical Student
Would appreciate any advice out there regarding my decision about the ranking position of two programs.

I am considering putting Vanderbilt ahead of Casey, although I liked Casey's program a bit better. The main problem is that my significant other would have a fairly hard time finding a job in Portland, Oregon compared to an easier time in Nashville. Portland and Nashville were both cities we feel we could live in, except for the job situation. I thought Vanderbilt's program was decent, had good surgical numbers (130-150 cats, all other surgeries above average) and a super strong retina faculty, but I'm not 100% sure yet what I want to do or if I want to subspecialize or not. Vandy seems to be a little more "hardcore" in terms of the faculty being very formal and "putting you in your place" from what some of the residents told me. They also only have 1 main cornea faculty who residents get to rotate with. Casey was chill all-around and very academic, and there wasn't any weakness in the program, in my opinion. It seems that the retina fellowship match for Vandy has been great (Iowa this yr, Wills, Bascom in recent years), but for the other subspecialties not as stellar. Casey's seems great too, with some choosing to do comprehensive.

Would I sacrifice much academically or career-wise by going to Vandy instead of Casey for my residency? I eventually want to do research/academics. They would be in the #3-#4 positions. Thanks for your help and advice!
 

MacularStar

10+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2008
56
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Vandy and Casey are both strong programs ie. it is not you are comparing a top tier program and a no-namer :). I had the same issue with ranking... I also had to factor in my significant other's employment prospects and location biases in my list. I think it comes down to this... the minimal difference in the academic profile of those two programs will make a minimal difference in your life/career compared having an unhappy, unemployed S.O. It helped me to make a chart with the various factors I value and how I rated each program (1-5). Then I multiplied each factor by how much I valued it/accuracy of measurement ie. "resident friendliness" is important, but given a low value since it is hard to measure accurately. I do think this anal-retentive exercise helped a bit :). Hope this helps.

After all that, I have to make a small disclaimer... I did rank Casey highly and did not interview at Vandy so I may be biased. However, I think many would agree that program rankings have a large degree of bias/error and S.O. happiness can have a big impact on your residency experience.

Hope everything works out!:luck:
 

futureopht

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2008
9
0
Status
Medical Student
Vandy and Casey are both strong programs ie. it is not you are comparing a top tier program and a no-namer :). I had the same issue with ranking... I also had to factor in my significant other's employment prospects and location biases in my list. I think it comes down to this... the minimal difference in the academic profile of those two programs will make a minimal difference in your life/career compared having an unhappy, unemployed S.O. It helped me to make a chart with the various factors I value and how I rated each program (1-5). Then I multiplied each factor by how much I valued it/accuracy of measurement ie. "resident friendliness" is important, but given a low value since it is hard to measure accurately. I do think this anal-retentive exercise helped a bit :). Hope this helps.

After all that, I have to make a small disclaimer... I did rank Casey highly and did not interview at Vandy so I may be biased. However, I think many would agree that program rankings have a large degree of bias/error and S.O. happiness can have a big impact on your residency experience.

Hope everything works out!:luck:
Thanks Macularstar for the input.. if anyone else out there knows how these programs compare or if there's one thing about each program that stands out, would appreciate any more feedback.
 

FlyingDoc

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2005
45
0
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I would go for casey over vanderbilt.
 
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