programs that rubbed you the wrong way

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ASA HOUSE MD

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Anybody interview at programs that you thought were "prestigious, good, or had a desirable location" but rubbed you the wrong way during the interview?

U of Chicago, Rush, Boston U., and Miami, for me, left a lot to be desired.

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ASA HOUSE said:
Anybody interview at programs that you thought were "prestigious, good, or had a desirable location" but rubbed you the wrong way during the interview?

U of Chicago, Rush, Boston U., and Miami, for me, left a lot to be desired.


Rush for me too. Interviewer told me the program stank and they did not know how to fix it.

Miami was a good interview for me I was rather inpressed with the changes. Let me know why you did not like or how they rubbed to wrong.
 
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I disagree about U of Chicago. I liked the program alot. I thought all the interviewers were really nice. It might not have been 100% in all areas, but which program is. The one aspect of the interview that I didn't like was that they interviewed around 15-20 applicants at one time.
 
apellous said:
Rush for me too. Interviewer told me the program stank and they did not know how to fix it.

Miami was a good interview for me I was rather inpressed with the changes. Let me know why you did not like or how they rubbed to wrong.


hmmm, maybe because I told them the real reasons, I was defecting from IM to anesthesiology, were lifestyle, 300k salary as an attending, and prospect of making partner in 2-3 years. Is that bad???

That is how they "rubbed to wrong."

Maybe next time I should be a little more tactful and a little less forthcoming.
 
i've posted on this subject before, and not gottena good answer.

i did a rotation at miami gas, and i interviewed. i was impressed by the how the chairman articulated his vision. but what are the *concrete* changes? what has been done, what will be done, and if they see the need for it to be done, why hasn't it been done yet?

here's what i know has been done about 3 years ago:

-less trauma call (still q3 or q4, but you come in late)
-booting out the IMGs whose poor english prevented them from scoring adequately on inservice exams
-less baby-sitting post-op pts *in the OR* b/c the pacu's full
-one can argue that with no img's having been taken in the past couple years the program's image has improved
-3 years ago one of the biggest names in ob gas joined the program

this will always be a work program, with q4 general OR call and maybe q3 in the unit. which is fine if you know what you are getting into. their quasi-mandatory pgy1 program is quite rough- again ok as long as you know what you are getting into. the residents feel they work less but still work harder than they need to. but i don't see anything having been changed recently, and if there are to be changes, why there haven't been already (ie, "more and better didactics")

there is another thread on this, with the final poster having held back some cliff-hanger addressing my query. my question is why is there so much rhetoric about this program and still no excitement about it among folks who can get into the "prestigious ivy-type" programs? i don't know, maybe i'm just buying into the sdn rumour mill. (ie, maybe this is all smoke, people are just perpetuating a bad image so that it's less competitive)

i personally would like to go to this program for the trauma exposure...generally not a popular subspecialty b/c it pays poorly and has a harder lifestyle, but i dig it. the residency prepares you so well you don't need a trauma fellowship, i hear.

anyone know what the graduating residents' proportions of entry into private practice/fellowships/academics are?


ASA HOUSE said:
hmmm, maybe because I told them the real reasons, I was defecting from IM to anesthesiology, were lifestyle, 300k salary as an attending, and prospect of making partner in 2-3 years. Is that bad???

That is how they "rubbed to wrong."

Maybe next time I should be a little more tactful and a little less forthcoming.
 
Besides Apfelbaum at U of Chicago, there was not one thing that I liked about the program. In fact, two of the interviewers were down-right rude when it came to talking about other programs I'm interviewing at or have decided not to attend. They were extremely defensive about their case load and perception of being academic based. The facilities weren't very solid, the residents did not seem happy. After being at the night before social for 10 minutes, I was already looking forward to leaving.

I don't know how this program ever got a reputation as one of the "elite" programs.
 
undecided05 said:
Besides Apfelbaum at U of Chicago, there was not one thing that I liked about the program. In fact, two of the interviewers were down-right rude when it came to talking about other programs I'm interviewing at or have decided not to attend. They were extremely defensive about their case load and perception of being academic based. The facilities weren't very solid, the residents did not seem happy. After being at the night before social for 10 minutes, I was already looking forward to leaving.

I don't know how this program ever got a reputation as one of the "elite" programs.


Eh?

Not really my business since I've been done with the application process for a while (these forums were very useful back then so I occasionally check back to see what folks are saying) but either you were having a bad day or everyone else on the day you were interviewing were.

I absolutely love it here and the vast majority of my co-residents do as well for a multitude of different reasons (cases, attendings, didactics, rotations, etc.)

Sorry to intrude but I'd hate for everyone to think that U of C is such an awful place with unhappy residents when that is definitely not the case.
 
To head back to the original thread...

What do you all make of situations where a fraction of the interviewers rub you the wrong way? Do you write this off as idiosyncracies, or is this symbolic of a major flaw in a program if these are the best people they can put forth on an interview day?
 
Wake Forest. Went there expecting a lot, left hating it. I don't know exactly why, just not a good gut reaction. It has a good reputation, but I won't rank it.
 
This was my first anesthesiology interview so it took me a few more to realize that they didn't treat me well.
I felt discriminated against in this program as an IMG,one of the interviewer was really critical of the stuff I had done as an anesthesiologist in my country.
He was making sure that all that I had mentioned in my CV,I had done.
This left a bad taste in my mouth.
Then he said (without me asking anything),that had it been 1994 you would have got in very easily,so we will rank you but cannot guarantee you a position.
To the places I went after this like UNM,UAMS everyone was so appreciative of my previous experince.
Also one of the residents told me that the PD was discussing with him the other day ,how he could make U of Miami more attractive to AMGs
I could feel they were selling their program to AMGs.
Besides this, I liked the program,technology wise it is the best I have seen,though one can get lost within the program as it is huge.
 
ncstudentdoc said:
Wake Forest. Went there expecting a lot, left hating it. I don't know exactly why, just not a good gut reaction. It has a good reputation, but I won't rank it.

I totally agree with your post. I was actually very sad when I left because I was hoping for so much. Thought this would be #1 or #2 on my ROL for sure. Don't get me wrong, this is a very solid program and would not be unhappy about matching here. BUT....It's already moved to 4th or 5th on my ROL, and have a few more solid interviews to go.
 
Loyola (Chicago).

Two of my four interviewers told me that the biggest downfall of the program is that you work so hard that you will have very little free time. :eek: Well, at least they were honest. :laugh: Another interviewer said that there were NO weaknesses ( :rolleyes: Come on. ALL programs have some weakness) and the other told me that they had problems with passing the boards in the recent past(b/c of the work hours-he was a recent graduate of the program so my ears definitely perked up), although, to be fair, they had a 100% pass rate the year before last.

One of the interviewers grilled me about things that he THOUGHT was in my file, but when he looked again (after I gave him the stink eye) he realized they were wrong and just acted as if nothing happened. :eek:

Needless to say, they are WAAAY down my ranklist.
 
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Swaydaa,
What was it about Wake that you didn't like compared to other programs? Just wondering.
 
Just wondering what other people are experiencing out there. My experience at University of Maryland was good .... until you met the unhappy residents. Yikes. I don't know if they were just having a bad day or were just miserable all the time. Those two ladies were not pumped to be there. With that is mind I wish that I could have met more residents during the day. I missed the dinner so perhaps the "happier" residents would have showed up there.

I did really like the Program Director and the Chair was really friendly and courteous. The other attending was a very friendly, comfortable person as well. So I wonder if the two lady residents were just having a rough day; although even if you had a rough day wouldn't you be able to put on a happy face for someone visiting your program if things were okay??? :confused:
 
What didn't you like about Wake? I know that they are a great program!
 
For some reason, U Penn rubbed me the wrong way, too many applicants interviewed there at one time, Chair was sorta in-your-face as posted in someone's review. I had expected more from the program, but nothing really stood out, besides fact that PD outright told our group they don't have a simulator and if that's important to you, don't come here... also remembered senior resident saying what makes a good resident is the person, and he was surprised how many residents don't read on their own... Thought I wouldn't mind matching there, but it has dropped out of the top 5 on my list to bottom 5.

Also as someone mentioned, Medical College of Virginia gave me a bad gut feeling that never went way, whole day was weird and I was a fish on dry land looking for some open waters ....
 
one may consider that the fact so many residents don't read on their own at such a repoutable program is a strength of the program...if they *needed* to read a lot they probably would...maybe the didactics/experience is so good that's not as important as elsewhere

it's also the chief saying that, who may be more motivated than average
*****************************************************

googled said:
For some reason, U Penn rubbed me the wrong way, too many applicants interviewed there at one time, Chair was sorta in-your-face as posted in someone's review. I had expected more from the program, but nothing really stood out, besides fact that PD outright told our group they don't have a simulator and if that's important to you, don't come here... also remembered senior resident saying what makes a good resident is the person, and he was surprised how many residents don't read on their own... Thought I wouldn't mind matching there, but it has dropped out of the top 5 on my list to bottom 5.

Also as someone mentioned, Medical College of Virginia gave me a bad gut feeling that never went way, whole day was weird and I was a fish on dry land looking for some open waters ....
 
Joshmir, you're right; if the didactics program is as good as they all should be, residents shouldn't have to do much reading.

Didactics seemed terrible at UPenn.

I also noted they said 2-3 nights of call per month per some chiefs....but when you talked with residents during lunch, it was most definately 4. Were they trying to slide something by here?

Had anyone had a good experience there? It had a few great elements, such as CHOP, Gaiser, and original, exciting research projects. I think they may be hurting come match day. Not good for a "top 5" program.
 
I also had a negative experience while at UC. Two of my interviewers went through a list of all the programs in chicago - pointing out how all of them fall short of UC. Then when describing the high points of UC's program, the majority of their arguments for why they were the best seemed to rest on the mystique of UC. The residents seemed very happy, however I couldn't shake the arrogant vibe I got from the faculty. By the end of the day, I couldn't wait to get out of there.
 
The three programs that rubbed me completely the wrong way:

SLR
BU
NYMC-Westchester

All three were... well, just a waste of time to go to.

SLR was, I dunno, just couldn't figure this one out. The coordinator was completely non-helpful in even setting up the interview. There were only two interviewers, Chair and PD, and very few residents showed up for lunch. I spent all of about 2 minutes with Dr. Thys, and I know I haven't met another chair who was less interested in interviewing candidates. On the other hand, Wasnick hardly let me get a word in edgewise and spent most of the time telling me that I really didn't have a shot at this program and that I should take whatever crumbs may be offered to me, if I was lucky enough to even GET a spot in anesthesia this year. Okay, they do a lot of regionals. But, I'm not going to pick a program based on that. And, the only really positive thing I can say about this program is they offer pretty-cheap and awesome housing close to the hospital in Manhattan. Again, not a reason to pick a program in my book.

BU and Westchester were a cattle call. There must have been 50 of us at each. I honestly don't know how anyone could possibly remember me (or anyone else they interviewed) after the BU interview, which consisted of a lot of group interviews. Likewise, did not gel with anyone I met, residents included. Even the residents were trying to B.S. us - and, when it started to get a little too thick, one of the interviewees in my group called one of them on it (it was quite funny, actually). At least they paid for the hotel room.

And, Westchester... they spent a good portion of the presentation discussing how bad the financial problems at the hospital were (not to mention that they didn't even pay for our parking... and don't get me started on the crazy resident contract scheme they've got going there). I got the vibe that everyone there was heavily over-dosing on SSRI's just in order to have the emotional strength to get up in the morning. It felt like the "Stepford Wives", with a kind of forced positivity which, as much smoke and mirrors as they tried to apply, couldn't take away from the fact that the program sucks.

If I choose to rank any of these, they will be WAY at the bottom. I'm just trying to decide now if it would be worse to scramble versus ending up at one of these programs instead.

-Skip
 
Had a very similar impression on Westchester...
 
BU: Horribly overworked residents stand out the most. Both of the people who showed us around said they were working harder than anyone else in Boston, and seemed a bit worn out overall. There is a weird feeling of being under the scope, per se, that I did not get at any of my other interviews. Case-wise you're fine unless you want a lot of transplants. The name is well-known and will carry you far no matter where you go. Overall, though, I'd stay away from the place or rank it near the bottom as it just didn't give me a great feeling. Your views may vary, of course.

Westchester's interview I cancelled based on multiple bad reviews from the Net as well as friends from NYC.
 
sean wilson said:
Westchester's interview I cancelled based on multiple bad reviews from the Net as well as friends from NYC.

I wish I had. At one point, I was literally a millisecond from standing up and walking out. But, I stayed. In retrospect, the latter was a bad choice. And, you know, it's too bad because I really liked Dr. McGoldrick. I think she's trying her damnedest to get that program straightened-out, but she's just drawn into a 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 in the poker game of Anesthesia programs.

-Skip
 
I must say it really is too bad that WMC did not do a very good job at selling their program. They did spend way too much time talking about their crazy contract scheme and other things that really weren't necessary (they spent at least 20 minutes talking about how you must pass Step 3, yadda, yadda, I'm not worried about that I would rather learn more about the program or listen to Dr. McGoldrick).

Also, you did pick up on the fact that Dr. McGoldrick is working hard at bringing the program up. She is incredible. Did you see how she went around the room and really knew every resident and faculty member on a very personal level. So not only is she a wonderful, kind-hearted person but then you flip through their packet that they give you and you see the pages and pages and pages of her publications. It is extremely impressive. She was extremely impressive.

BUT unfortunately the rest of the day was a little off. I am from the area so I had high hopes for this program because location wise it would work out great for family reasons. Hence, that's why I've looked into it more in-depthly than some other programs. A few other tidbits about WMC that they should of spent their time hyping instead of other aforementioned topics:

- excellent choice of cases and good to experience the variety of settings at different hospitals from WMC to Sound Shore to Metropolitan to Our Lady of Mercy possibly Danbury Hospital; Not many programs will give you such a buffet of experiences in different hospitals

- transplants = livers, kidneys, few hearts; plenty o' trauma;

yadda, yadda, yadda

Anyway, I just think that there is more too it than they demonstrated on interview day. Too bad they have bad mojo in marketing cuz I think they are going to miss out on a few people that may be a good fit there but were turned off. Fix the contract business, hype the strong points (McGoldrick, et al, varied hospital experiences), and perhaps spread out the interview day numbers so that everyone doesn't feel like cattle.
 
sandman76 said:
I also had a negative experience while at UC. Two of my interviewers went through a list of all the programs in chicago - pointing out how all of them fall short of UC. Then when describing the high points of UC's program, the majority of their arguments for why they were the best seemed to rest on the mystique of UC. The residents seemed very happy, however I couldn't shake the arrogant vibe I got from the faculty. By the end of the day, I couldn't wait to get out of there.

just curious. what were there the short-comings of the various chicago programs?
 
palabra said:
Fix the contract business, hype the strong points (McGoldrick, et al, varied hospital experiences), and perhaps spread out the interview day numbers so that everyone doesn't feel like cattle.

I did pick-up on those positive things you pointed out and their case-mix is impressive, but unfortunately the negative just far outweighed the positive. The contract scheme is just... bizarre. I mean, to me it really underscored the financial dire straits the hospital is (and their affiliates are) in. You can't live in Westchester county and be expected to commute around as much as they ask in that program as a PGY-2 if you are one of the unlucky ones awarded one of the non-WCMC contracts (and then make about $7,000 less per year than your colleague who was lucky enough to have his/her name pulled out of a hat and be awarded the Westchester contract). I just don't know how this doesn't breed bad blood between residents.

I stayed around for the entirety of the interview BECAUSE of Dr. McGoldrick's introduction. Otherwise, I would've definitely walked out. It was clear that, without her, that program would completely fall apart. Among other things, they are currently on a two-year review cycle from the RRC, and one of their higher-ups wasn't straightforward with me about this when I asked... what's worse, he was noticeably offended that I even dared to bring up the subject.

-Skip
 
Skip Intro said:
The three programs that rubbed me completely the wrong way:



SLR
BU
NYMC-Westchester

Ditto on Westchester and SLR
I'll add Drexel, SUNY- Downstate, and USF to the list. They were a total waste of time.
All three were... well, just a waste of time to go to.
 
gasgodess.... what was it about downstate that struck you wrong? i didnt apply there, but i've seen several applicants from that school during the trail and know that they historically have many applicants to anesthesia each year. just seems like a place w.so many applicants would have a favorable/good mentoring/teaching system? no?

in regards to penn/fleischer/gaiser comments made on the previous page.. i have to disagree with that. caseload wise you are gonna get just bout everything you want at penn. department wise, the attendings i interviewed with all seem approachable and personable. yes they try to sell you alot on the research, but if you look at their faculty list... there are several (more than 5 that i know of) who are serious big dogs in the field. in comparison to other progs, that is pretty much challenged, if at all, by only MGH and UCSF (not including JHU cuz a good number of their faculty have left in the last few yrs to be leadership elsewhere). whether you are gonna work with them individually in the OR is a different question. however, being in the department, if you make the effort to introduce yourself or that sort of thing, i'm pretty sure they can open several doors whether academic or private for you. resident-atmosphere wise, i did not get the impression that they were maligant at all. even if your interview (as mine) with fleischer wasnt the friendlist, i wouldnt discount it. its going to be in my top 5.
 
"what's worse, he was noticeably offended that I even dared to bring up the subject."

However, had you a poor academic record you would have no doubt been grilled about it, without any opportunity to look even minimally pissed. Not cool at all.

Downstate is a program that will ultimately put you out as a very competent anesthesiologist, but it's not a fun place at all to train. Everyone I met from there told me they applied simply because they were afraid of being blackballed if they offended the place for not having the courtesy to apply there. That may be an exaggeration, but there lack of enthusiasm for the place could not have been any clearer.
 
sean wilson said:
However, had you a poor academic record you would have no doubt been grilled about it, without any opportunity to look even minimally pissed. Not cool at all.

Well, the thing is if you had a poor academic record you wouldn't even have been there in the first place (i.e., no invitation). The kicker was, he (whether unwittingly or not) lied to me too. He said that they were on a 3-year review cycle and that they had "inconsequential" citations that they had since rectified. While this may be true, when I looked it up I found that they were actually on a 2-year review cycle, which at least points to some fairly major deficiencies by the RRC with the only possible worse scenario being that the program is on a 1-year cycle (i.e, probation). Who knows what's going to happen to that program when the RRC's next report comes out. They were just there some time in November.

Too volatile for me.

-Skip
 
rhinosp_33 said:
gasgodess.... what was it about downstate that struck you wrong? i didnt apply there, but i've seen several applicants from that school during the trail and know that they historically have many applicants to anesthesia each year. just seems like a place w.so many applicants would have a favorable/good mentoring/teaching system? no?

.

Well I agree with sean wilson. You will probably be a very competent anesthesiologist, but they only exposed us to ONE RESIDENT, who talked and talked and talked............ I felt held captive in their conference room. The residents that we passed on our tour seemed so unhappy and were very unwilling to stop and say anything to us re: the program (and they weren't busy- one was in pre-admission testing and one was finished for the day) plus the place is depressing. All of this left me with a very bad feeling about the program.
 
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