Does anyone have any info about the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital general surgery residency? How about Swedish in Seattle? I have heard that these are two highly regarded community programs. Are there any others?
That's Baylor University MC in Houston. The Dallas facility is where the medical school used to be some time in the past, but is now just a huge private medical center. It's a beautiful facility with a large,very well respected residency program for surgery. It used to be very competative when I was a student (you had to be AOA to realistically match there), but I don't know how things are these days. One of my all time favorite students matched there last year who was #2 in his class with a 265 step 1 USMLE. There are 3 faculty there I know who did some time as residents or fellows here who are all first class. It wasn't for me because I wanted a University-based program, but it was far and away the classiest private program I saw
I also had another student who matched @ Carolina Med. Center who was a good guy as well. The chief of minimally invasive surgery there (Dr. Heneford) finished here 2 years before I started - he's one of the rising stars in academic laparoscopic surgery (you seem him published everywhere). My research mentor here is also in the transplant group there now.This is another beautiful,modern hospital in a great city
Swedish is a decent program, but definitely oriented toward producing private, community surgeons. They are probably the #3 program in Seattle, after UW (despite its malignancy, you will be well trained and able to get just about any fellowship you want out of there), and Virginia Mason--which is another very good private program, just about comparable, I think, to Carolinas, and maybe just a step down from Baylor Dallas.
I did research for a few years right next to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. I've met the director of the surg. residency (he had an office with us and did some surg. research in our building). He was very mellow, and was always cool to everyone in our staff meetings. He had some interesting research ideas too, and was frequently sneaking pigs downstairs into our institute super early in the morning to avoid the animal rights activists (he did everything by the book, and was fully qualified by all the regulatory boards etc, but there were still protests).
I can't comment much on the residency itself, bec. I never met any residents. My impression is that SB is such a lifestyle town that the residencies (surg, IM, rad) are a little more competitive than they would be in a similar sized town elsewhere in the US. It's a good community program, but SB is not very large and is pretty sleepy. The ER can be fairly quiet (not always!).
They advertise that there is a wide range of pathology for the surgery residents, but I wonder about that bec. SB has alot of very rich retirees. When I volunteered in the ER, it was ALOT of chest pain/MI stuff. I know there is a good college crowd from UCSB, and a sizable group of Hispanic people as well, but I'd bet the median demographic is 60 yrs, white...so I've wondered if the path was all that varied. A resident there could give a more informed respnse.
The hospital itself is older and mazelike because they keep adding a new block on to the old building whenever they need one. Cafeteria's pretty good, and the medical library is dinky, but pretty nice to hang out in.
Finally, SB really is expensive. The median house price (a fairly ugly 2 bd) is around $750,000. There are some ok apartments near the hosp, but nothing great, and you'll pay at least $1400 per month for them unless you get a deal somewhere. Add to that the fact that the resident pay isn't very competitive, and you're looking at a pretty expensive 5 years, all told.
I love to surf, so living there was pretty cool, but after awhile it even got overpriced for me. By the time I left, I had concluded that SB is a place where you end up if you were successful in life. It is very rarely a place where you can start out in life. If you try it, you'll own very little of what you have.
Maybe that was too much about the place, and not much about the residency, but thought I'd send that out to you anyway.