posternutbag

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Hi everyone,
Anyone have any info/thoughts/opinions regarding the UPenn Psychiatry program? I was really impressed by how they really custom-designed my interview day, and the program seemed first-rate. However, I was a bit more unsure if the residents were happy/unhappy/overworked etc. I would appreciate any thoughts. thanks!
 

Boofus4L

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I really liked Penn. Several residents showed up to dinner the night before the interview, and they all seemed very happy with the program. I thought the PD was great - nice, smart, accomplished, and with a clear vision of what he wants the program to be. Seems like you get good therapy training, and there are also very good research opportunities. Philadelphia gets mixed reviews - some people seemed to love it, while others weren't too crazy about it. But I suppose you could say the same about most places. The one issue for me was the lack of exposure to child psychiatry during the residency - the one month you spend is in an outpatient setting, and it got basically bad reviews from the residents. The child psych department on the whole has had a lot of trouble in recent years, and is just now starting to rebuild... Since I may be interested in a child psych career, I thought I should stay away...
 

PsychMD2B

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posternutbag said:
Hi everyone,
Anyone have any info/thoughts/opinions regarding the UPenn Psychiatry program? I was really impressed by how they really custom-designed my interview day, and the program seemed first-rate. However, I was a bit more unsure if the residents were happy/unhappy/overworked etc. I would appreciate any thoughts. thanks!
I am a bit biased because I go to Penn, but I think it is the best and most balanced clinical training program I've seen (in relation to MGH, UCSF, Stanford, Pitt and Hopkins). The program director is fantastic, and the residents are extremely non-toxic. I would be ranking it first if it weren't for specific researchers outside of medicine I want to work with in the next couple of years. That said I wouldn't be at all disappointed if I ended up in Philly. The one weakness I would say is that the residents aren't as academic as I would like based on my MD/PhD training and interests.

Also, Philly is by far the best city on the east coast to live in (esp for couples). It has some of the best restauarants and arts per capita in the US and is 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of NYC, Boston, and SF. You can BUY A HOUSE here and head to NYC or DC within 2 hours (and for $10 on the Chinatown bus) when you need your fix. The one caveat though is if you are single, the singles scene is pretty much restricted to Penn and certain parts of downtown (and J-date ....).
 
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posternutbag

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PsychMD2B said:
I am a bit biased because I go to Penn, but I think it is the best and most balanced clinical training program I've seen (in relation to MGH, UCSF, Stanford, Pitt and Hopkins). The program director is fantastic, and the residents are extremely non-toxic. I would be ranking it first if it weren't for specific researchers outside of medicine I want to work with in the next couple of years. That said I wouldn't be at all disappointed if I ended up in Philly. The one weakness I would say is that the residents aren't as academic as I would like based on my MD/PhD training and interests.

Also, Philly is by far the best city on the east coast to live in (esp for couples). It has some of the best restauarants and arts per capita in the US and is 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of NYC, Boston, and SF. You can BUY A HOUSE here and head to NYC or DC within 2 hours (and for $10 on the Chinatown bus) when you need your fix. The one caveat though is if you are single, the singles scene is pretty much restricted to Penn and certain parts of downtown (and J-date ....).
thank you for that psychmd! Yeah I am currently thinking aout ranking Penn first, especially given their really strong addictions department, which is what I want to be doing. The only other program i may rank 1st is Duke. I was going to make it to Philly this saturday and just explore the city to see how I like it. Any suggestions on what areas of the city I should search for apartments? Thanks:)
 

tomato

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I don't presently live there, but I personally consider Philadelphia a terrific place to live. Good neighborhoods for the hospital include Fitler Square (just over the bridge towards Center City) and near-West Philadelphia. There are many Manhattan-style lofts (Left Bank, Locust on the Park, Locust [something], River Lofts and St James). Those are probably too pricey for a one-resident income, and certainly not to everyone's tastes. Anyway most people don't move to Philly only to recapitulate dorm life by renting small apartments; the best housing available in Philly is in townhomes which are reasonably affordable, depending on what you're used to. A good guide to Philly housing is available below (it's a Wharton site). You can download a spreadsheet of housing options.

http://dolphin.upenn.edu/~partners/newtophilly_housing.htm

If you like coffee, be sure to go La Colombe on 18th/Rittenhouse Square or Old City Coffee -- I think they are the best tasting coffees on the east coast.
 

psychnot

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Hi,

I was wondering if anyone that interviewed at Penn had heard from the program after their interview, and if so what form did the communication take?

I was also questioning some of the things that other folks were about the program, namely the happiness of the residents and the quality of life in Philly. But overall it does seem like an awesome program.

thanks!
 

Boofus4L

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psychnot said:
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone that interviewed at Penn had heard from the program after their interview, and if so what form did the communication take?

I was also questioning some of the things that other folks were about the program, namely the happiness of the residents and the quality of life in Philly. But overall it does seem like an awesome program.

thanks!
for what it's worth, a number of my classmates also interviewed at penn and experienced the residents to be very different than i did. whereas i found them to be friendly and more or less happy, my colleagues unanimously found them to be "clique-y" and completely uninterested in speaking to the applicants, particularly at lunch. though i realize it's completely hearsay, i thought i'd pass it on...
 
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posternutbag

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psychnot said:
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone that interviewed at Penn had heard from the program after their interview, and if so what form did the communication take?

I was also questioning some of the things that other folks were about the program, namely the happiness of the residents and the quality of life in Philly. But overall it does seem like an awesome program.

thanks!

As far as communication from program goes, I received a letter from Dr. Rostain saying how the selection committee liked me, and that they would like to have me there...but I have become jaded and take all such letters with many grains of salt...but i guess it does mean that they will rank me somewhere!

As far as the residents go, I thought they were pretty friendly..i know a couple of residents who went to my med school and they are quite friendly and they like it there. However, they do experience a great deal of stress when they are doing medicine and, to a lesser degree, neuro..which may make them temporarily not-so-friendly....

Sorry for the babbling tone of the post...:)
 

tomato

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posternutbag said:
As far as communication from program goes, I received a letter from Dr. Rostain saying how the selection committee liked me, and that they would like to have me there...but I have become jaded and take all such letters with many grains of salt...but i guess it does mean that they will rank me somewhere!

As far as the residents go, I thought they were pretty friendly..i know a couple of residents who went to my med school and they are quite friendly and they like it there. However, they do experience a great deal of stress when they are doing medicine and, to a lesser degree, neuro..which may make them temporarily not-so-friendly....

Sorry for the babbling tone of the post...:)
I too received a letter from the PD with some scribbled comments on the bottom. I don't have any reservations about the residents at Penn, I thought they were great!
 

PsychMD2B

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posternutbag said:
thank you for that psychmd! Yeah I am currently thinking aout ranking Penn first, especially given their really strong addictions department, which is what I want to be doing. The only other program i may rank 1st is Duke. I was going to make it to Philly this saturday and just explore the city to see how I like it. Any suggestions on what areas of the city I should search for apartments? Thanks:)
I agree with the above about Philly housing. I think you get much more bang for the buck by coming to the city yourself and look around. Generally people live in Center City around Rittenhouse Square, but West philly is pretty viable and much cheaper.
 

delusion88

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I have a friend there and the impression I get is that the residents get along extraordinarily well, particularly the 2nd years. I never thought of that as 'cliquey', but now I could see how they might be perceived that way.

I guess an onsite sub-I is the way to really find out these things, but there are only so many months in the year and so many dollars in my bank account.