XRanger

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I'm trying to get clinical experience in socal and the 2 hospitals that I'm interested in are Hoag CCE and CHOC.

Has anyone done either/both of these programs? what's your opinion on it?

Hoag seems like more engaging because you get to work in different departments such as ER, ICU, etc..
but CHOC seems like more fun and more lenient and you get to work with little kids.

I don't know which one I should choose. I'm thinking of doing both but I'm afraid it's gonna be too overwhelming and take too much of my time.
 

thedelicatessen

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I did the Hoag program a few years ago, and I've heard that the quality of the program has gone downhill. There is a whole lot of unnecessary administration/red tape involved. In addition, there are so many people in the program that the letter of recommendation probably won't be worth much as you won't stand out unless you become part of the leadership. It's a good opportunity as an established hospital volunteer program, but I wouldn't count on it being your most outstanding activity for your application.
 

phishee

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I also did the Hoag program. And delicatessen is correct about all the red tape. Besides your shifts you have to go unnecessary meetings and by the end it felt like all the "leadership" people were trying to make it more of a club than a clinical experience. delicatessan is also right about the letter. If you want one, you have to try and get in with the leadership people, and probably go to all of the extra events they plan.
That being said, the exposure I got on Labor & Delivery and Main OR really helped shape my interest in certain specialties and showed me aspects of medicine I would not have seen in other hospitals. I would never have thought of OB/GY but I really loved my time on L&D. But remember that you have to work your way up to places like the OR. Your first rotation is usually not so great. But its worth it when you get to your first choice department. I saw so many awesome surgeries in the OR!
I don't know how far you are, but the CCE program is also at St. Mary's in Long Beach. My friend worked at both Hoag and St. Mary's and said that the Long Beach location was better. I guess they have less staff and also have more traumatic incidents in the ER (Hoag has a lot of surfing accidents and stitches).
 
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