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Question for Brougham

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by Hrothgar, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. Hrothgar

    Hrothgar Junior Member

    Sep 19, 2002
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    Hey Brougham,

    You should be starting your 2nd week at Stanford. Hope you're not working too hard. Can you tell us what you've found out so far, i.e., quality of program, resident work hours and typical day, resident satisfaction, etc. This would be extremely helpful b/c I've really not been able to find out anything about the program except that is is supposed to be very good with a strong emphasis on research. Can you comment on how competitive their program is, i.e., board scores, AOA, research, etc.

    Also has anyone heard from or received an invitation from Stanford. I submitted in mid-Sep and have not heard a word.

    Again, good luck to all those applying to path. Pathology really does rule.
  2. in a container

    in a container Junior Member

    Oct 11, 2002
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    While I am obviously not the intended recipient of this question, I do have a few insights into Stanford's program.

    Yes, they have been e-mailing invitations to interview. (Both of the path applicants from my school, one being me, have been invited. However, neither one of us can interview until January.)

    In speaking with an attending at Stanford, the points he emphasized were:

    1. Very strong AP (not so strong CP, but improving)
    2. Great comraderie between all members of the department - residents and attendings
    3. Worst hospital archtecture - ever
    4. Good conferences
    5. Great autopsy turn around time (signed out in less than 3 days)
    6. Expensive to live in Palo Alto

    Hope this helps.

    - To path or not to path, never a question.
  3. mrpeters714

    mrpeters714 Member
    7+ Year Member

    Sep 6, 2002
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    I am also interested in Stanford path. I've heard rumors that they work their residents extremely hard. To be more specific, I've heard that residents stay until 10-11 pm more nights than not while on surg path. Any truth to this rumor? Or is the rumor mill exagerating things?

    BTW, I also have been invited to interview--it was actually my first invite.

  4. Brougham

    Brougham Member
    10+ Year Member

    Oct 4, 2002
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    Let me start by apologizing for taking so long to answer your questions Hrothgar. I was on vacation and then had a few interviews. However, the advantage to taking so long to answer your post is that I have had time to mull-over my experience at Stanford and see a few other programs.

    Most of what in a container wrote, I can say with confidence, is dead on....especially the bad hospital architecture bit (yuck!). The Residents I worked with (I did a surg path rotation) were all real cool and willing to help me out/ teach. The attendings I signed out with were also great teachers and great all-around people. There is a real sense of "were-all-in-this-together" within the surg path department. The ancillary staff (PA's, tech's, etc.) are also all good folk. One of the PA's in particular really took the time to teach me everything I could ever hope to learn in a single month about grossing. I had done very little grossing prior to this rotation and I now feel really confident with my grossing skills.

    As for the work hours while on surg path: they are long. However, I did not see people staying to 10 or 11 every night. Most of the time it was like 7-8, maybe 9 (the day usually starts around 7am). I know that's not much of a differance but those few hours do become precious when your busy. I was working about 12 hour days during the week with an 6-8 hour session of previewing on Sundays. So, yeah it's a busy service at the Med Center and I hear that the VA is about the same for surg path. However, in my opinion long hours on surg path are not a bad thing. I personally think that any of the really top-notch programs in the country are going to be really busy during surg path months. I would say Stanford is one of the buiser programs but certainly much less busy then MGH for what that's worth.

    The things I really like about the program at Stanford are...
    1. You gross-in and sign-out cases everyday vs. gross-in one day, sign-out the next two. At my school they use the later method and I just found that I like the former better. This is just a style issue.
    2. Pretty much all general sign out...another style issue.
    3. The AP at Stanford cannot be beat. I know many will take issue with this but I have to say that the variety of cases, the AP faculty, and the conferences are absolute top-notch.
    4. The people....I alreay talked about that I guess.
    5. The super-laid back attitude. It's busy but somehow everybody seems to be able to take it in stride.
    6. The research opportunities. I will say that the faculty at Stanford is research orriented but they are not heavy handed in forcing research on their residents. Nor does every residnet at their program conduct research or even have research experience. But, it's vvery accesible if your into it.
    7. The weather/location (it is very, very, very, very expensive though).

    I could go on and on (I really like Stanford, if you couldn't tell) but I won't. To answer your interview/what-they-look-for/ AOA and numbers question...yes they are already interviewing people. They interviewed quite a few people while I was there. I interviewed while I was there as well. In terms of hard numbers it's hard to say. I wasn't able to squeeze that info out of anyone. I also heard no mention of AOA. They do take a few MD/ PhD's per year but the residents are primarily MD only. It did seem that most of the residents had ties to California (i.e. went to undergrad there, went to med-school there, were originally from there, etc) but I think most programs in the country are kind of like that. In other words, people tend to stick with what they know (midwest to midwest, east to east, west to west, etc). Now, whether that's the product of bias within programs or bias among applicants is unclear to me. I wish I could give more specifics about exactly what they want but to be honest, I don't know. The most direct answer I got to this type of question was "we want the best applicants possible"....not very helpful.

    Boy this is a long post...I'll try to finish up here. In terms of program weaknesses...well, CP comes to mind. But, it is improving and it is fairly new at Stanford (they were AP only until 1994). I think the CP program is adequate if your planning to do AP/CP. If your CP only, well then you probably know more about CP then I do (which is not very much) and can judge for yourself. Cost of living is also an issue but most of the residents say that they do just fine with the extra money the Path department gives 'em (the $8,400 housing stipend). Without that extra $ I think it would be nearly impossible to live anywhere near Stanford. Those are probably the two biggest drawbacks to the program.

    I hope this helps. I realize I didn't give a ton of specifics but if you come up with more specific questions I'll answer 'em if I can. Best of luck with interviews. I'll see you on the road.
  5. Ludy

    Ludy Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2001
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    I'll just add a dissenting opinion... I know that of Stanford's intern class in 2001, two of the 6 or 7 interns left at the end of the year because they were so unhappy there. These are obviously bright, hard-working people who could have gone anywhere (b/c from what I've heard, Stanford's one of the toughest places in the country to get into) and they both transferred to less prestigious (but still good) residencies after a year due to the workload and environment there. When any program has a 33% dropout rate after a year, that's a pretty clear warning sign. Something to think about because transferring during residency (at least to another equally good program) is no easy task!

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