Pathologic T

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A long time snoop finally getting the courage to post.
I'm struggling to rank my top 5. I spent a lot of time reviewing my notes etc. from interviews and want some input. I could be happy at any of these 5 places. Here is some bio: ohio native ; married w/o kids (mobile) ; not particularly research-focused ; hard-working but having a life is important to me too. Here they are in no particular order:

Ohio State
Wash U
Indiana
Cleveland Clinic
UPMC


How would you rank these? Any specific thoughts on any individual program (trending up/down)?
 
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BU Pathology

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Dan Remick,
Chair of Pathology, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center
 

yaah

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How would you rank these? Any specific thoughts on any individual program (trending up/down)?
UPMC (Trending hugely up in the past 5-10 years)
Wash U (steady program, but make sure you like it)
Cleveland Clinic (Like UPMC, hugely increasing in quality in past 5 years. When I applied, didn't even consider it. Would never have put it ahead of Indiana, but do now because they are increasing fellowships and quality attendings. Still has some weaknesses though)
Indiana (Very good training program, also improving)
OSU (DEFINITELY trending up, possibly more than any other place in the past 2-3 years, although it had a huge way to go)


That being said, it's obviously subjective. Different things are important to different people.
 

TypicalTuesday

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At the top.

Are you being serious? If so, do you mind if I ask why you would put Iowa ahead of the more well-known programs listed above?

Also, why do you say OSU had "a huge way to go" in improving?

Your wisdom and advice is always appreciated Yaah.
 

gbwillner

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A long time snoop finally getting the courage to post.
I'm struggling to rank my top 5. I spent a lot of time reviewing my notes etc. from interviews and want some input. I could be happy at any of these 5 places. Here is some bio: ohio native ; married w/o kids (mobile) ; not particularly research-focused ; hard-working but having a life is important to me too. Here they are in no particular order:

Ohio State
Wash U
Indiana
Cleveland Clinic
UPMC


How would you rank these? Any specific thoughts on any individual program (trending up/down)?
Any particular interests?

I only looked at two of these... and of those I would put WashU way ahead of UPMC.
 

yaah

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Are you being serious? If so, do you mind if I ask why you would put Iowa ahead of the more well-known programs listed above?

Also, why do you say OSU had "a huge way to go" in improving?
Because in the past 5 years the department at OSU has basically turned over. They also are expanding a ton. I know someone who interviewed there for a cytopath fellowship about 3 years ago and they had one attending who could do FNAs. But now they are doing a great job in recruiting residents and have a new chairman and an expanded program. It's hard to say what it will look like in 4-5 years though, simply because of all of this.

Iowa is a better program because they treat resident education very seriously and they have a number of quality attendings who are happy there and not all about seeking fame and fortune. I have also met many Iowa residents who were excellent. With the exception of Wash U and maybe Indiana, the programs you listed are all virtually unrecognizable from what they were 5-10 years ago. When I applied, an attending told me to avoid UPMC because all they did was transplant pathology and basic stuff. Not anymore. And I was told to avoid CCF because residents were glorified observers who maybe would get to preview a couple of cases a day. They had a nice lifestyle but I wasn't really interested in sacrificing education for lifestyle. They are reportedly improving all of that though.

Wash U is a good program. They just have a bit of a reputation for being aggressive and old fashioned. Some people like that though, and anyone who is interested would have to see for themselves if it fits them. It has a great history and many great faculty, so you are unlikely to go wrong by training there if you are willing to work hard (that is a big IF for many people, unfortunately).

That's all my opinion though.
 

big_worm

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it's a bit presumptuous for anyone to rank these 1-5 without having rotated/interviewed at all of them. If I had to try, it would be something like:

Cleveland Clinic/Wash U/ Pitt similar
Indiana
OSU

what are your interests? for example, if you were thinking GI or soft tissue- Clev Clinic hands down, same for ENT at Pitt or nuts at Indiana. In terms of cities to live in, i would put STL at the top and Cleveland at the bottom.

As far as CCF residents being glorified observers, that's a load of crap, unless having cases dictated with IHC ordered before signout equals being a "glorified observer". same with the "previewing a couple of cases" thing- also false. I was never lacking for things to preview. One of the knocks was that there was too little time to preview (I disagree, and think that a 2-day cut-sign cycle forces you to be more efficient)- they have since switched to a more typical three day cycle.

pm me if you need more info on ccf. It's a very underrated program that tends to get poo-pooed on sdn, but seems to have a decent rep among the PP folks and referring pathologists I speak to.
 

yaah

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I don't think it gets poo pooed on SDN at all. All I was saying is that the program has vastly improved in the past 5-10 years. That is a good thing, not a bad thing. I specifically stated that these were issues years ago, not currently.

I agree though that rankings are subjective and should not be relied on, because my interests are not the same as someone else's. No one should ever accept an observer's opinion that much, especially because you don't know how much bias this is or where their opinions are coming from. It's like movies - people said that "The Last King of Scotland" was a great movie and I should see it. It was garbage. They created their own version of reality and history and it wasn't even compelling. And "Syriana" was a load of crap. Worst movie I have seen in the past 5 years. But lots of people loved both.

Point: Trust your own rankings more than those of others, unless there is something in there that relates to you specifically.
 
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Pathologic T

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WOW! Thanks everyone for the input.
I understand that opinions are by definition: "A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof." But as I mentioned, I think I would be happy at any of these places and when splitting hairs opinions have some value. I also plan to run these by a trusted attending and a couple friendly fellow path applicants. Oh yeah, and my wife too (might be a good idea).
I have a hematopathology interest....I feel as if my anonymity slipping away.
Thanks again everyone.

Random note: Columbus had more homicides in 2008 than Cleveland....Wha?
 

big_worm

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given the heme interest, I'm thinking pitt 1 and clev clinic 2.
 

docmike1983

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Is Cleveland (the city) as bad as people say it is? From my experience going there for an interview , it seemed relatively safe and cost of living seemed cheap. Is this true?
 

LADoc00

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WashU is the best national level program of that list, no question. Pitt is fairly under the radar here in the Western US. The rest are fairly run of the mill, not bad but probably wont land you a sweet private gig based on resume alone.
 

Amylacea

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WashU is the best national level program of that list, no question. Pitt is fairly under the radar here in the Western US. The rest are fairly run of the mill, not bad but probably wont land you a sweet private gig based on resume alone.
Sorry to change the subject a little- but, as far as "recognition" on the west coast is concerned, are east coast programs like Beth Israel Deaconess and Brigham well regarded out west? Would somewhere like OHSU in Portland Oregon be more familiar than east coast programs? After residency I would like to end up out west- where is the best place to position yourself if that is the final goal (given that traditional west coast programs-LA, SF etc- are not an option)? I'm curious about all opinions so lets have 'em!
 

LADoc00

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Sorry to change the subject a little- but, as far as "recognition" on the west coast is concerned, are east coast programs like Beth Israel Deaconess and Brigham well regarded out west? Would somewhere like OHSU in Portland Oregon be more familiar than east coast programs? After residency I would like to end up out west- where is the best place to position yourself if that is the final goal (given that traditional west coast programs-LA, SF etc- are not an option)? I'm curious about all opinions so lets have 'em!
Groups in California are FLOODED with applicants, every group, even really crappy ones...sadly for you.

In terms of pure name recognition, very very few places can potentially land you an interview purely having it on your resume.

Of that list and on the East Coast, Brigham and Hopkins would surely be included, others like MGH or UPenn etc perhaps, depending on group.
Important thing to note is that even if you dont neccessarily train at BWH or JHU, a fellowship there will essentially baptize you a Hopkins trained pathologist, even if you were only physically there for a year's term. In the job world, it's a kinda of "top ended weight" thats given, meaning for example lets say you trained at BWH but then did a fellowship at someplace obscure in Dermpath, you still tout yourself as "Harvard trained pathologist with boards in dermpath".

Now this is obviously crap I realize, but this is essentially how the system operates.

The second part is having some legitmate reasoning for actually wanting to go to California and be in a specific group. Reasons like mad $$, nice weather and hot chicks are unlikely to fit the bill.

Attempting to camo your reasoning with phrases like "My personal philosophy is really Californian at heart even though I grew up in Brooklyn" or "I always considered California home" is unlikely to succeed.

Reasons like "My spouse is a thoracic surgeon at this hospital" is almost definitely going to work but I dont expect young pathologists to shop single surgeons at California hospitals to get a job...

The overall biggest route to a job is simply having the buddy connection. You could be the biggest douche womanizer, graduate from a no name program and land the best job on the beach in San Diego if you happen to be buddies with someone who has the power to make that happen. This isnt a meritocracy system, it is a real world system, one where connections>>all.

SO, at the end of the day things like rank lists and prestige of training programs is purely mental masturbation. It isnt the prime determiner of anything great for you in the future. The prime determiner is already in you. Dig deep within, young Padawan learner, dig deep.
 

Nilf

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Groups in California are FLOODED with applicants, every group, even really crappy ones...sadly for you.

The second part is having some legitmate reasoning for actually wanting to go to California and be in a specific group. Reasons like mad $$, nice weather and hot chicks are unlikely to fit the bill.

The overall biggest route to a job is simply having the buddy connection. You could be the biggest douche womanizer, graduate from a no name program and land the best job on the beach in San Diego if you happen to be buddies with someone who has the power to make that happen.
Very disheartening for two reasons:

1. Mad $$, nice weather and hot chicks are high on every single male's priority list. Not necessarily in this order.

2. Reading between the lines, I sense that pathology community in California is swarming with playa haters.
 

yaah

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The overall biggest route to a job is simply having the buddy connection. You could be the biggest douche womanizer, graduate from a no name program and land the best job on the beach in San Diego if you happen to be buddies with someone who has the power to make that happen. This isnt a meritocracy system, it is a real world system, one where connections>>all.

SO, at the end of the day things like rank lists and prestige of training programs is purely mental masturbation. It isnt the prime determiner of anything great for you in the future. The prime determiner is already in you. Dig deep within, young Padawan learner, dig deep.
True dat. Although sometimes training at the right program can give you those connections. But like you said, certain people are just better at making connections with the right people. Having the right person make a well placed phone call (or answer a query from a group) will give your application a lot more weight, and will distinguish you from lots of others with similar CVs.

Being a douche can only go so far though - if you're too much of a douche (or the wrong kind of douche) no one will want to work with you or hire you, even if they do know you. You have to be the kind of douche who people want on their side, not the kind that people want as far away from them as possible except in certain social situations.

As far as making connections, you can also get some of this from simply doing away electives - if you spend a week with the right person, lots of stuff may potentially open up for you. Lots of path organizations and programs have grant money to pay for stuff like this.
 

asrt101

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Going back to Amylacea's question, it seems that if one wants to end up in the west coast in the long run it would be better to do residency in the west coast and that a less well known west coast program would still be better than JHU or BWH due to the connections that one might make? Am I understanding this correctly?
 

raspberry009

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If your looking at Cleveland clinic why not look at Mayo?? I thought they were pretty similar....and you get to live in the wonderful wonderful town of Rochester....
 
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LADoc00

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Going back to Amylacea's question, it seems that if one wants to end up in the west coast in the long run it would be better to do residency in the west coast and that a less well known west coast program would still be better than JHU or BWH due to the connections that one might make? Am I understanding this correctly?
that is *likely* correct secondary to the buddy factor, but Im not neccessarily advocating turning down BWH/JHU for UC San Diego unless you are absolutely dead set on practicing here.(here being Cali)
 

docmike1983

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Just out of curiousity, but how would Cornell place on the original five listed. Oh and another poster mention Mayo, I'm also curious in seeing how that would place?
 

yaah

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Depends on who you ask. They are also good programs. They both have major issues that residents need to consider if they are going to train there - for Cornell it is that it is in NYC. For Mayo it is the way they do frozens. But if you interview there you will learn about it and see if you like it.
 

Thaitanium

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Depends on who you ask. They are also good programs. They both have major issues that residents need to consider if they are going to train there - for Cornell it is that it is in NYC. For Mayo it is the way they do frozens. But if you interview there you will learn about it and see if you like it.
what do you mean?
 

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Hi Thaitanium,

Mayo doesn't do H and E staining on Frozen sections. So the majority of the time you will have to see blue slides which will somewhat impact your ability to read normal slides in the future, someone made this conclusion.
Also winter Rochester MN is a freezing place, if you don't mind.
It is a small city, Seems only IBM and Mayo are in the city, nothing else, if you have a spouse who needs to find a job, think about it.
They are changing their program director, not sure what the new PD will bring to the residents:sleep:
 

docmike1983

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Just curious, but for hemepath (forget about location) which place is better CCF or cornell?
 

yaah

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what is so great about Wash U? (asking out of ignorance)
It has a very strong history (many well known pathologists both in the past and currently) and a strong reputation for research and diagnostic excellence. It is also one of the major medical centers in a several state area. It is a rigorous program and most trainees have come out well trained and confident.
 
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LADoc00

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what is so great about Wash U? (asking out of ignorance)
WashU invented both the modern concept of Surgical Pathology training (although modern Surg Path itself was pioneered at JHU, this was soon moved to St Louis) AND the concept of a CP training program.

Their training program (which I did not attend) was/is akin to a bootcamp experience, very high volume, responsibility and regular beat downs. Akin to old school MGH (where you were fired, yep fired if it was discovered you were married and not devoting 100% of your time to the training), it is basically a gold star just having survived it.

I talked to an old timer from there and back in day (exact era unknown..maybe 70s), WashU residents were often referred to by potential employers as "Ironmen". True story.
 

exPCM

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A long time snoop finally getting the courage to post.
I'm struggling to rank my top 5. I spent a lot of time reviewing my notes etc. from interviews and want some input. I could be happy at any of these 5 places. Here is some bio: ohio native ; married w/o kids (mobile) ; not particularly research-focused ; hard-working but having a life is important to me too. Here they are in no particular order:

Ohio State
Wash U
Indiana
Cleveland Clinic
UPMC


How would you rank these? Any specific thoughts on any individual program (trending up/down)?
Wash U
Indiana
Ohio State
UPMC
Cleveland Clinic
 

docmike1983

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Can somebody please address my question. For an applicant interested in hematopathology and does not care about location, given a choice between Cornell and Cleveland Clinic, which one would it be in his/her interest to rank higher?
 

LADoc00

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Can somebody please address my question. For an applicant interested in hematopathology and does not care about location, given a choice between Cornell and Cleveland Clinic, which one would it be in his/her interest to rank higher?
Cornell is well known for Hemepath. I dont know if I would really care that much at the residency stage anyway. But if you are at Cornell you could then theoretically do a hemepath fellowship at MSKCC.
 

superkeith

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Just curious, but for hemepath (forget about location) which place is better CCF or cornell?
my impression is that hemepath at cornell may have the stronger tradition and name recognition of the two. dan knowles is a huge name in the field, although i am unsure if he is still directly involved in resident education or if he signs out anymore.

the cleveland clinic has well known individuals in hemepath including eric hsi and raymond tubbs. the residency program at the clinic strongly emphasizes hemepath, with a curriculum that includes 6 months (wet) heme, 3 months lymphoma and 2 months coagulation.

in short, i favor cornell having the better name brand/stronger tradition in hemepath. as far as actual training, it's probably comparable (i am unfamiliar with how the program is run at cornell, so feel free to post that information). ultimately, you'll come out of either program decently trained and competitive for the best hemepath fellowships.
 

deschutes

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WashU
CC/Indiana/UPMC/Iowa (I know, I know, this is a cop-out)
Ohio State

Three of these I have actually interviewed at (OSU/Iowa as a residency applicant, WashU as a surg path fellowship applicant).

From a fellowship applicant's perspective, WashU's faculty and rotation organization blew me away. They offered pretty early, and had more limited options for subspec i.e. 2nd fellowship compared to a couple of other places I was looking at, which eventually led to me opting to go somewhere else. But it was a pretty tough decision!

OSU was a little messy when I interviewed, and it's hard getting over that personal bias. They're definitely on the upswing though. They also have a GI fellowship.

The Foundations series of books has at its heart the Cleveland Clinic, and Dr. Goldblum seems like he'd be an awesome chair to have. Late in my residency I'm starting to see that the type of books that come out of an academic institution probably send a message about how in tune the faculty are with residency education.

Iowa is a solid program, apart from location (one man's meat...) and the lack of a dermpath fellowship.

UPMC has a sh*tload of fellowships, 'nuff said.

And I'm basing my ranking of Indiana on really nothing but hearsay ;) Oh and Essentials of AP of course!
 

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Hi Thaitanium,

Mayo doesn't do H and E staining on Frozen sections. So the majority of the time you will have to see blue slides which will somewhat impact your ability to read normal slides in the future, someone made this conclusion.
Also winter Rochester MN is a freezing place, if you don't mind.
It is a small city, Seems only IBM and Mayo are in the city, nothing else, if you have a spouse who needs to find a job, think about it.
They are changing their program director, not sure what the new PD will bring to the residents:sleep:
I just want to mention that this completely false. We do H and E on everything the following day. I sure that you didn't interview here because these are very misleading statements. Because of these incorrect rumors, we have to explain this to everyone that comes through here for interviews. EVERY OTHER DAY WE SPEND THE ENTIRE DAY LOOKING AT H&Es THAT WAS STAINED FROM THE DAY BEFORE.

I'm sure that Dr. Aubry will do a fine job, although we will all miss Dr. Miller.
 
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yaah

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Yeah but you look at the H&Es after you have already made the diagnosis (just to confirm it). The comment was not that H&E is never done, it's that it's not done on frozen sections (which is true). It is definitely something you have to get used to, but everyone does. Like I have said though, I have never met anyone who trained at Mayo who had any trouble with diagnosing things in the standard way. Plus, non OR biopsies are done the say way as anywhere else. It's really not THAT different in terms of diagnostics, it's just a different system of doing things which IS different from the resident perspective from most other programs. It's not just about the stain of the tissue, it's about how the day is organized and what the residents' responsibilities are. There are many strong things about the system, but there are also things about it that some applicants do not like. But that's basically true of every program in some way or another.

I did not know Dr Aubry was the new PD - she is a great teacher and will likely do a great job in that role.
 

Pathologic T

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Thanks to everyone for their input. I have finalized my list and will post the results after Match Day.
 

Pathologic T

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Just for you podtsan...

CCF:xf:
Ohio State
UPMC
Indiana
Wash U.
 
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