'rules of thumb' for picking a residency

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by icebreakers, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. icebreakers

    icebreakers Member
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    i've heard all the following....

    1. pick a place where you want to 'learn' for residency, and then practice where you want to 'live'

    2. pick a place where you want to live for residency

    3. and recently....pick a residency based on where you want to end up practicing b/c it is harder to setup practice in a city other than where you trained...due to less connections and contacts...

    OR is it a 'no one size fits all' kind of thing.

    i'm strongly leaning towards picking the best place for learning....and letting the future reveal itself to me in time.
     
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  3. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
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    I think it depends a lot on where you are in life. I was 34 when I finished med school, got married, planned on having a family--so proximity to future grandparents (and a network of free babysitters :p ) was a huge concern for us. Now that I'm pregnant, I can't imagine not having family around to help out during this momentous time. So I ranked my residency higher because it was local than others that were stronger in certain areas & offered more clinical opportunities. It's a trade off: if I were younger & single, I would have been more focused on the residency and its advantages. I'm happy with my program, I love my fellow residents, and we match well into fellowships, but I do have pangs about what might have been, somewhere else.

    A sidebar to this is lifestyle--my program has pretty tough call and a rough second year. It's doable, and there are MANY programs that are harder (ours is NOT a malignant environment, which is huge). Some people choose strictly on lifestyle (god knows there are a few programs out there that are literally part-time jobs!), and I personally think that can be a bad compromise for training, but again, it's about what priorities are important to you.

    And no matter how good the training is purported to be, I would avoid like the plague any program that has a (deserved) reputation for malignancy--not worth the tradeoff, IMHO.
     
  4. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    When I interviewed at one program, they told me the #1 factor that residents picked based on their experience was simply location.

    My opinion-
    location matters but also---
    Do you like the atmosphere of the program?

    You will never be able to tell this unless you know people in the program who've been there already and can tell you. That made the biggest factor in my decision, and I'm very happy with it.
     
  5. maranatha

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    And no matter how good the training is purported to be, I would avoid like the plague any program that has a (deserved) reputation for malignancy--not worth the tradeoff, IMHO.[/QUOTE]


    Where are the malignant programs reported to be??????
     
  6. Heathcliff

    Heathcliff Member
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    Where are the "few programs out there that are literally part-time jobs" ?

    I know that question makes me sound lazy, but during my Internal Medicine rotation, I fell asleep while driving home from the hospital and crashed into a tree. Totaled my car, crushed my left wrist. Spent 5 weeks in a cast and 3 months in physical therapy. Now I'm on my Ob/Gyn rotation ...

    So seriously, where are the "few programs out there that are literally part-time jobs" ?
     
  7. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
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    San Mateo in the Bay Area. Their "call" consists of 6 months (during the intern months on inpatient) of evening ER coverage, Monday-Thursday (I believe from 5-10 pm). And that is IT--one weeknight a week for 6 months--no other call required (I don't even think on their medicine or neuro months), though they can moonlight in their own ED and make big fat dollars doing so. No weekends. And their residency pay scale is among the best in the nation (I can't remember dollars, but a LOT more than academic university settings). Truly the Lifestyle King of psych residencies (check out the reviews on Scutwork.com--pretty accurate overall, for this program). But call is a huge part of learning, and as much as call can kick my ass, I wouldn't trade the experience of it. On most nights. ;) Last night being a horrendous exception, but I digress...

    As far as the malignant programs, I'm not comfortable passing on "he said-she said" reports of other programs that I haven't personally experienced (I did a month as an MSIV at San Mateo). Just keep your ear to the ground on the interview trail--word gets out. Are the residents happy? That's your best indicator. Abused residents look it. Ask if they feel supported by the adminstration and faculty.
     
  8. Hurricane

    Hurricane Senior Member
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  9. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    The "Malignant" programs?

    1 program I interviewed at, the interviewer was histrionic and was demanding that I admit that I had a psychiatric disorder. I don't have one, and even if I did, being that we are psychiatrists or aspiring ones, shouldn't we treat those with mental illness with some respect?

    So this guy is pretty much yelling at me to admit I've got an axis I disorder and his entire basis on this is that I took 1 year off from medschool, where he believed I supposedly decompensated.

    The guy was acting in a total Cluster B manner. I thought to myself--if this guy is high enough in the program to interview me, then this program has got to suck.

    The only reason why I didn't walk out on this guy is because the program is in NYC-and psychiatrists are a small community. Had I walked out of there and given him some 1 liner response like "you've just lost a candidate", given his histrionic mannerisms, I figured he might've badmouthed me to the entire NYC psychiatric residency community--so I sat there and endured it.

    I even asked him--"is this some type of test sir to see if I can handle your pressure?"

    One guy in my current program (UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson) is married to someone in the NYC program I'm talking about. According to that resident--this interviewer guy is always like this. He always berates and pimps out the residents and enjoys making them feel worthless.

    I won't name the program because I don't think its fair to badmouth the program without giving them the chance to respond. I'll just say your best bet is to try to get to know people in the program and ask them under the table. Above the table, several residents won't admit to the faults of their program.
     

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