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Residency program recommendations?

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by bunionberry, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. bunionberry

    bunionberry 5+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Going to be applying to path this upcoming match cycle as a 4th year USMG. Feel like I am pretty average (slightly above step 1 average, half passes and high passes throughout 3rd year) in terms of stats. By the time I interview I'll have done 4 pathology electives. Just wanted to get list of programs you guys think highly of (aside from the obvious Ivy league schools). Location isn't particularly important, I'm pretty open to anything, except maybe the deep south (Mississipi, Alabama, Georgia).

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  3. BU Pathology

    BU Pathology 10+ Year Member

    Sep 10, 2006
    I would encourage you to work with a field specific adviser for pathology at your medical school. She/he will review your academic record in detail, discuss your career goals and work with you to tailor your choices. Typically this requires about 2 to 3 hours over the next year on the part of the adviser. You will not receive that in depth, tailored analysis from an internet forum.
    pianoguy05 and mikesheree like this.
  4. octopusprime

    octopusprime Physician

    May 6, 2016
    Not every medical school has a "field specific adviser" for pathology (many small MD schools and most all DO schools), and even then they might be so far removed from the practice of pathology their advice would be completely worthless.
    I recommend considering your priorities and weighing at least SOME preference for location, and at a minimum rule out programs that only have 1 or 1-2 residents/year. Look at volume, variety of cases, volume, number/variety of fellowships and volume. More volume is unequivocally necessary for a good path program, but you don't want to be relegated to being a gross monkey.

    In terms of employability, I'll say that many smaller surviving PP groups are less inclined to hire someone from a completely different part of the country, particularly if they have a good applicant pool or reference list from a close/nearby institution. Not saying it's a hard-fast rule, but many grads end up practicing within a relatively short distance of where they train, either by word-of-mouth or contacts they make in school or simply not wanting to move. Certainly having fellowship training that would lend to more portability (derm, GI, heme) would increase your odds nationally, but do consider where you think you might want to practice either based on lifestyle, climate, reimbursements, medicolegal climate, proximity to family...simply going to WashU or MGH or Stanford or MI doesn't necessarily impart any advantage when looking for jobs unless you're planning on going academic, and you won't necessarily be better trained there compared to a less "recognizable" program. Path is a very personally/self driven residency.
    Just my humble opinion.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
    dermmom17 likes this.
  5. Euchromatin

    Euchromatin 7+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2009
    The path adviser at my medical school was completely useless in this regard. He was unwilling to offer any opinion about the other programs that were in the same state/region and knew literally zero about programs elsewhere. And I went to one of the biggest medical schools in the country (at that time).

    Generally agree with most of what octopusprime said. Volume and breadth of cases is very important, as is the way the surg path rotations are organized; a high volume of cases doesn't help the residents if they spend all their time grossing biopsies, aren't actually assigned many cases and/or don't have time any time to preview and read. Another factor that I think is valuable to consider if you have any interest in private practice in the future (or you think it might suit your personal learning style better) would be whether programs are entirely subspecialized (most large academic centers) vs. those that have a generalized sign out system for surg path. I favor the latter, as it is closer to how all but the largest private practice groups still function (as far as I know), I think it makes for a more varied/interesting day's work and gives you a better opportunity to see how a larger variety of attending staff sign out different types of cases. It is definitely a sharper learning curve at the beginning though. Subspecialty signout is, of course, highly compartmentalized and you would typically be working with attendings with more expertise in a specific area.
  6. Sarahkeet

    Sarahkeet Minion 2+ Year Member

    Sep 24, 2014
    As a resident, I only know about my own program, which I love, but here is a list of programs I interviewed at and also really liked. Obviously I wanted to stay regional from this list. Also, I recommend that wherever you go to make sure it is well known enough that the attendings and chair there will be able to help you when you are applying for fellowships or job hunting and also that there is funding to attend conferences as networking and presenting research are both very important.
    In Boston, I liked: Boston University, Brigham & Women's
    In the NY area, I liked: Columbia, Einstein, NYU, LIJ
    BU Pathology likes this.
  7. bauber

    bauber Pathology yo 5+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West coast - Stanford, UW for big academic programs, OHSU for medium sized academic program
    East coast - Emory for big academic program, UNC for medium sized academic program

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