woeisme

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Hey all,

I am having last-minute doubts about Columbia....

Originally I was going to rank it #1 because my impression (from the one day I was there) was that it was the perfect combination of academics, reputation (I want to go into GI so I believe this is important), an underserved patient population, and living in NYC!

However, as I am a West Coaster, having grown-up and trained in California, I am now questioning if it is a good fit for me. I spoke to a Columbia MS grad who gave me impression that Columbia is much more malignant, formal uptight, etc than anything I am used to.

Due to a crisis in my personal life, I was unable to go for a second-look. Are there any residents, med students or interviewers who have experience/ opinions about Columbia's program--the environment, residency happiness/camaraderie??? With ranklist due so soon, I would GREATLY appreciate it any input!!! Thanks
 

yomanjr

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Please give us the other leading residency contenders to get a sense of what we're working with here. Residents do work hard but seem content and are supported by leadership. They favor the two attending system which can soften the blow if one attending does not fit your style. What west coast style are you referring to. There are differences in the "culture" of medicine but it depends on the institution.
 
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woeisme

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I am a UCLA medical student, but will not be ranking UCLA very highly (though probably top 5). Of the West Coast programs, am most seriously contemplating UCLA-Harbor, which many non-Californians are not too familiar with. It is a county hospital program affiliated with UCLA, so quite academic, but is also quite hands-on, with lots of resident autonomy (as well as seemingly endless scut)--probably most equivalent to NYU, but with perhaps a slightly better reputation, at least within California. Pretty impressive fellowship placement actually, though I don't think quite on par with Columbia.
 

Pili

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woeisme said:
Hey all,

I am having last-minute doubts about Columbia....

Originally I was going to rank it #1 because my impression (from the one day I was there) was that it was the perfect combination of academics, reputation (I want to go into GI so I believe this is important), an underserved patient population, and living in NYC!

However, as I am a West Coaster, having grown-up and trained in California, I am now questioning if it is a good fit for me. I spoke to a Columbia MS grad who gave me impression that Columbia is much more malignant, formal uptight, etc than anything I am used to.

Due to a crisis in my personal life, I was unable to go for a second-look. Are there any residents, med students or interviewers who have experience/ opinions about Columbia's program--the environment, residency happiness/camaraderie??? With ranklist due so soon, I would GREATLY appreciate it any input!!! Thanks
Go with your first gut impression. If it was good, go for Columbia. You must realize that no matter where you go, you will have a few crappy moments. These last minute doubts are a normal part of the ranking process. Don't make any hasty changes now. Stick to your original impressions.
 

yomanjr

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I agree. I think in the long run your Columbia experience will take you a long way. In the short run, I don't think Columbia's PD is a personable as Dr. Sue. The residents at Columbia tend to be from east coast while you would see many of your classmates at harbor or while rotating at ucla. but then again, if you haven't been to new york it is an experience that cannot be missed. you can always return to cali. BTW, what about ucla made you drop it below harbor?
 
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woeisme

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yomanjr said:
I agree. I think in the long run your Columbia experience will take you a long way. In the short run, I don't think Columbia's PD is a personable as Dr. Sue. The residents at Columbia tend to be from east coast while you would see many of your classmates at harbor or while rotating at ucla. but then again, if you haven't been to new york it is an experience that cannot be missed. you can always return to cali. BTW, what about ucla made you drop it below harbor?
Thanks everyone for your input. I have some serious thinking to do, since yes, Columbia was my original #1, but I have been enjoying my current rotation at Harbor.

Again, because of personal stuff going on in my life, I really have not put much time/thought into my choices. Thus, I am afraid to go with my "gut" since my exposure to Columbia was so short and I have much more personal experience with Harbor. But I really have always wanted to live in NYC, see a different part of the country, and yes I know that I can always come back to Cali. I am afraid, however, that if Columbia is not a good fit for me, that it will be a miserable 3 years. And perhaps I will not "flourish" there, get good letters, and match in GI.

Yomanjr, in terms of UCLA, mainly I want to work with an underserved patient population and see a diversity of pathology. At UCLA, while there are definitely patients that run the gamut economically and pathologically, there is not a spirit of service that I feel more strongly at Harbor and Columbia. Also there tends to be too much of an emphasis on tertiary/quaternary care, esp transplant (so if this is what you are looking for, this is a plus), and I didn't think the residents there are as closeknit of a group as I have seen at other programs.