Please help me with general psych rank list (child psych focused)

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Dec 7, 2023
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Hello SDN,

I'm really struggling with this decision. This is my general psychiatry rank list below in no particular order. Which of these programs would hit what I'm looking for in terms of decent name, well-rounded clinical experiences as well as strong psychotherapy training, solid child psychiatry fellowship and without heavy call?

Arizona (Tucson)
Cleveland clinic
Mayo clinic
UTMB galveston

I'm currently in SC but I have strong family ties in both Texas and South Carolina. To elaborate a bit, what I'm looking for in a program is a strong, well-rounded program that is not call heavy and ideally is equally strong in psychotherapy as well as biologic. In terms of location.. would love to be near the mountains or ocean where there are fun things to do when I'm not working. I plan to potentially settle down in the area in which I train which is why geography is important to me, but I'm also amenable to moving after training. Don't mind snow, but don't want to be in bone chilling weather. I'm female and don't want to live in a dangerous city, which none of these seem to be so that's a non issue.

I'm really interested in child at the moment so having a program that also has a strong child psych program would be ideal so that I wouldn't have to move. I like reading research and being up to date on new developments in the field but I don't have plans to be a research heavy psychiatrist. I want to be strong clinically.

1. Yale has a great reputation on here, but there's currently no permanent PD that I can tell and I hear that it's strong if you want to be academic, which I'm not sure if I would. They have the child study center but the actual inpatient facilities are small and only take kids age 4-13. Yale seems to be hailed as one of the strongest programs but I'm not sure how it gained that reputation outside of being known for its medical school?

2. UTSW is close to family, very solid and well-rounded. Dr. Brenner is a psychoanalyst so it seems there is a good therapy component. Geographical location doesn't seem the best and super hot summers. Building a new child inpatient hospital and the fellowship is diverse. Not sure how much call this program takes.

3. MUSC also close to family, very well rounded just like UTSW. Call was about the heaviest I've seen with 4 months of night float between PGY1/2 plus like 20, 24 hour shifts of call in PGY-3..but the residents seem so happy!

4. OHSU is in portland and close to the mountains. Haven't heard that this program is particularly strong though and is call heavy and VA heavy

5. Cincinatti has the 2nd largest children's hospital in the country which sounds awesome for training.

6. Tucson surprisingly was well rounded, residents seemed very happy but they have NO child psych fellowship :(

7. VCU - really liked this program. Doesn't seem like it's well known but richmond I've heard is cool and ideal geographically. They have a bad rep online because of the residents that quit in the last few years, although I had heard via the grapevine that this was more so related to personal factors rather than a malignant environment. PD and residents seemed really nice. The child program just built a new $65milliion dollar facility and it looks beautiful

8/9. Cleveland/Mayo ... crazy cold is the biggest negative

10. JPS - close to family, mostly county. Not sure how diverse the experience would be here plus they take a fairly large amount of inpatients (max of 14 per resident?)

11. UTMB - no inpatient child unit, fairly far apart rotations, low call, chill. By the ocean but I hear galveston isn't the nicest of beaches

I'm sure any of these places could make me into a great psychiatrist. I don't know why this decision is so challenging for me.

Sorry that this post is a small novel and maybe I'm asking for too much from any one program but would love your opinion! Thank you.

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Of the programs I know about:
Cincinnati - heard nothing but good things
UTSW - Also nothing but good things. Perhaps one of the best mixes of name recognition without being a workhorse program (I'm looking at you Baylor)
JPS - Workhorse program, but, there is something to be said about the cost of living vs quality in Fort Worth and the volume you will see as a resident has the potential to make you a better psychiatrist
UTMB - Chill is the right word here. This could be the most laid-back psych residency in the country. It comes at the price of low, low, low volume. You certainly could supplement that with significant moonlighting hours, but without them, I'm not sure you would see enough pts to be on par with your peers if you go elsewhere for fellowship.
Chiming in re: MUSC. Granted I'm several years out so things may be slightly different in terms of call. If that is what is deterring you, see below.

My experience was 2 months of night float in PGY-1 and 2 months of night float in PGY-2. Because program is large, you split the night float months with many other residents. This ends up being 17-21ish nights per month in PGY-1 and 15-17ish nights per month in PGY-2. It's actually more days off than you would get for other rotations. It would be rare to be on more than 4 nights in a row, and you could always swap with someone else if that were the case. That being said, it is unlikely to actually get sleep during these night, but I liked night float because I didn't have to bring work home with me and didn't have psych call otherwise for PGY-1 and PGY-2.

Call for PGY-3 is basically ~q14d (# of people in your class) and you supervise the night float residents from 5p-8a after you work a normal outpatient day. You get the post-call day off.

Overall I wouldn't call it light, but I think it was manageable. Residents are happy because they are.