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St. Louis University Residency Reviews

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by Abram Hoffer, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Abram Hoffer

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    For those who have interviewed at St Louis University, how did you find this new Emergency Medicine program? Positive vibe? Negative vibe? How wasa the interview? The facilities? Will you rank them after seeing what you have seen?
     
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  3. Old_Mil

    Old_Mil Senior Member
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    I didn't interview there, so this is thirdhand information from the trail.

    But for what it's worth, I've heard that people are being asked to demonstrate line placement technique on interview day. Whether it's true or just one of those rumors that gets started I can't say.
     
  4. Soup

    Soup Running down a dream
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    I interviewed there and did not have to demonstrate anything other than the ability to interview well and look interested.

    As for the OP's question. I found it hard to get a read on the program because it doesn't have any residents. I certainly see a lot of potential. Their census isn't great but their very high acuity makes up for the lower numbers. Of course the faculty is nice and laid back (except for the PD who appears a little intense -- maybe just nervous since he wants things to go well). I saw a few things that could be red flags -- a few of the other residencies in the hospital are under RRC scrutiny d/t work hour violations. They haven't completely figured out their stance on moonlighting or exactly how their aeromedicine experience will work. Overall, I'll probably end up ranking them relatively high since my wife is from St. Louis and would like to be near family and I'm intrigued with the challenge of being part of the first residency class. Nevertheless, I did not have to demonstrate line placement technique.
     
  5. dmitrinyr

    dmitrinyr Senior Member
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    I have an interview at SLU soon. For those who have interviewed at SLU, how is the dinner the day prior to interview? The only reason I ask is because I will be flying in during the evening prior to the day of my interview and cannot attend the dinner. Given that it's a new program, there will only be attendings there, right? I just don't want to miss anything specific that might not be mentioned during interview day. Thanks.
     
  6. NEATOMD

    NEATOMD Senior Member
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    I interviewed there a while back. In general it seems like a good program. Let me preface this by saying that I am a very critical person so I pick apart every program...alot.
    Negatives:
    1.) Wash U: SLU isn't Wash U but the name seemed to keep coming up during my interview day. At one point while eating lunch, they pointed out where Wash U was...That's great and all but, I'd already interviewed at Wash U and I was there in St Louis that day to hear about SLU. I kind of got the "living in the shadow" sort of feeling. SLU seems like their going to be a good program, I think they should forget Wash U and stick to their selling points. For comparison, I didn't hear about SLU when I was at Wash U until an interviewee brought it up when asking about housing.
    2.) Small/outdated ED: 20 rooms is small. It seems to have really good pt throughput though. And, the acuity seems very good.
    3.) No OB: In my mind that is a problem. They do see occaisional OB patient, but can't admit any. That's not reflective of most ED's. Luckily you will get some ED experience while there on offservice rotations.
    4.) New program: This can be good and bad. You've probably already got opinions about this so, I'll leave it at that.

    As an aside, I've heard a lot of negative things from others who've interviewed there.

    I spent a little bit of time in the ED there and the small size didn't seem to be that big of an issue. I didn't see any OB, but I didn't see quite a bit of acuity including some decent trauma. I was never asked to do any lines. We went to a nice restuarant that was located in a hotel on campus for the night before. Both residents (from other services were there) and ED attendings. It was a pretty benign experience and it had the same feel as most other pre interview socials. Despite being in other specialties, the residents were really useful. If you think about it they can answer most of your questions about a program (housing, cost of living, night life, perks).

    Positives:
    1.) The interviewers were pretty laid back.
    2.) They have a nice sim lab.
    3.) Cardinal Glennon (Peds) is a great hospital.
    4.) St Louis is a great city with a lot to do and great cost of living.
    5.) SLU faculty started Wash U's program (I told you I heard a lot about Wash U).

    The facilities:
    As previously mentioned the ED is SMALL and seemed dated equiptment wise (though they recently went to electronic records) and has curtains over most rooms. They claim to be getting ready to revamp it all. The hospital in general is in a bad area of St. Louis which is great if you looking for knife and gun club experience, not so good if you want to roll out of bed and land in the parking lot. There are good places to live in St Louis though that are pretty close by. The rest of the hospital seems...poor. It's a bit dark on most floors and a bit of a maze to navigate, but it's nothing you wouldn't figure out after a few months.

    Overall, my impression was still somehow positive. It'll probably rank at the top.
     
  7. carn311

    carn311 Dead tired.
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    I'm a student at SLU and wanted to give you guys some insight into why WashU will come up often at interviews.

    Apparently WashU's EM residency was started by a former member of SLU's faculty because he/she could not garner enough support for a program at SLU at that time. Over the years, WashU's program has kept VERY close relations with the faculty and students at SLU because apparently we are a fruitful recruiting ground for their program. Dr. Char, who is faculty at WashU, speaks yearly for our EM interest group and has been known to take any 4th years applying to EM programs from SLU out to dinner.

    So, my point is it's not an inferiority complex; it's just that the programs have and will continue to maintain close relations especially as SLU is just getting their program off the ground.
     
  8. RustedFox

    RustedFox We're all stars now. In the GOAT RODEO.
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    Everyone seems to be mentioning "Oh, I've heard some bad things about SLU from the trail", and this happened to me yesterday while at another interview.

    C'mon everyone, out with it: What are these "bad things" that are you hearing specificially? I'm interviewing there in a week and a half, and would like to know what to look out for. 3 years is a long time.

    On a side note: I understand that residency is an essential part of training, but it's disheartening to hear people refer to residency like it were a prison term. Ex: "Oh, I did my three years at Hospital X. I didn't want to be there at all, but you can do three years anywhere, really."

    You get "three years" for knocking off a convenience store with a .45 magnum, not "three years" at _____ Univ. Hospital. Seems wrong to talk about it as such, eh ?
     
  9. VentdependenT

    VentdependenT You didnt build thaT
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    its a brand new friggen program fer crying out loud. There is nothing substantial to judge them on yet. The slu resident will see lots of sick inner city people and treat the trauma of gang related violence. The first class will be responsible for shaping the attitude of the program.
     
  10. RustedFox

    RustedFox We're all stars now. In the GOAT RODEO.
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    "New Program" need not be a bad thing. I've interviewed at two "new" programs, and liked them very much; the attending staff seemed accessible and interested in the program. Got the sense that they would be good programs with good support in good locations.

    Possibilities that I'm considering for these "bad things that I'm hearing":

    1. Faculty with bad/uninterested/malignant attitude; especially true if you get the sense that they "can't be bothered with residents".
    2. Poor facility/poor support staff.
    3. Poor location/poor salary/poor housing options.

    I want to know what other people are hearing/thinking/feeling. Three years is a long time.
     
  11. Chief58

    Chief58 Newbie
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    I'm a 4th year at SLU going into EM and the new PD for the program is my advisor. I think I should be able to help with a lot of this. I've also interviewed all over the place and have quite a few places for comparison. To start, they definitely don't test your line placement techniques or do any other weird interview day stuff, by the way. That's just a ridiculous rumor.

    Let me answer your concerns to the best of my abilities, RustedFox.

    This is not a problem at all. Nearly all of the faculty have been very helpful and interested in my learning through two different rotations I've completed at the SLU ED (clinical and administrative). There are one or two people who I have had personality clashes with (inherent to life), but all in all, the reason I'm going into emergency medicine is because of the enthusiasm these people had in teaching me. I imagine since they've been good to me, they'll be good to the residents, especially since they've been gung-ho on getting the program off the ground.

    To be honest, the facility is not great and fairly dated. It is comparable to the Maricopa ED on a smaller scale, if you have interviewed there. It definitely has a county feel to it, considering the patient population (inner city/poor) and the acuity (high trauma and admission rate, many complicated patients who waited too long to come to the ED). If you're looking for glass doors and plasmas in every room, this is not the place to come. However, you will never find yourself at a lack for resources or supplies. You have access to anything and everything you need.

    As for the support staff, it is hit or miss. I've worked with some incredible people who made all of our lives easier and I've worked with some bitter, cynical people, too. Mostly, though, everyone worked hard and did their job. You won't be doing your own labs or peripheral IVs, for example. If you order a test, all of the nurses and techs will get it done in speedy manner. I would say the support staff is about what you'd expect at most places. Solid, but nothing over-the-top spectacular.

    The location is all a matter of personal opinion. It is a medium-sized midwestern city. If you want Chicago or NY, St. Louis might not be for you. However, if you could live in cities like Milwaukee, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Cleveland, or Cinci, St. Louis is comparable. You have plenty of sports (NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA Div I) and nightlife locations (Laclede's Landing, Soulard, Wash Ave.) if that's important to you. All ethnic foods are represented (one of my favorite places is a Vietnamese place not far from the hospital). I'm married, so I can't comment on the singles scene, but my single friends have never complained. One unique aspect of St. Louis is Forest Park. It is in the dead center of the city and was the site of the 1904 World's Fair. It's bigger than NY's Central Park and almost everything in it free. This includes the Zoo, Art museums, the History museum, running paths, bike paths, an ice-skating rink, and all kinds of sport fields. Even the outdoor theatre there has free nosebleed seats. Forest Park alone makes it a great city for residents with kids. You don't have to break the bank to keep them busy. Overall, most city people should be happy unless you need NY, Chicago, the ocean, or mountains.

    Housing is cheap and readily available. Many people buy, even medical students. I live 5 minutes from the hospital in an Italian area called "the Hill" with great restaurants everywhere (very safe area). There's plenty of lofts and condos downtown, also about 5 minutes away (very safe downtown). If you want a suburban feel or a house, you can literally live 15 minutes or less away in a quiet neighborhood with good schools. The only places to avoid are right around the hospital in the "midtown" area (not so safe) or in north city (why St. Louis makes the "most dangerous city" rankings).

    As for the salary, I really can't comment. I don't have the info with me and I'm working in the ICU right now (slow day). I remember that it seemed fairly comparable to most other places I interviewed. It wasn't the highest, but it wasn't the lowest, either

    Overall, though, the program has the potential to make the right people happy, but, like any program, its not for everyone. The faculty are dedicated and enjoy teaching. The patient population ensures you will get the solid training you need. I guarantee, however, that there is nothing malignant or terrible about it.

    I'll try and post some more of the positives and negatives when I have a bit more time later.
     
  12. RustedFox

    RustedFox We're all stars now. In the GOAT RODEO.
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    Thanks for the heads-up. I've been to St. Louis a few times before and found it to be a pretty interesting city (especially liked the riverfront casinos and ballpark). I'm really looking forward to this interview, which is why I'm sensitive to the negative chatter.

    EDIT: Six residents seems like a small number, though. No plans on increasing that ? Last place I had interviewed at just upped their numbers from six per class to eight per class.
     
    #11 RustedFox, Jan 11, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  13. yeeeeeeeah

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    The city for each program played a big role in my list.
    1. Baylor: Pros: I liked Houston a lot and grew up in and still have most of my family in the SW. I liked the residents. Faculty seemed cool and are from all over. I think I would like to end up in the SW when I'm done with residency. Ben Taub was nicer than I was expecting and the Texas Medical Center was impressive, some Peds EM at Texas Children's Hospital. 6 months of ICU. I'd get to work on my Spanish. Free lunch everyday while working in the ED. 8's during the week and 12's on weekends to allow for a weekend off a month while in the ED. (I've forgotten how many shifts- 20-22ish?)
    Cons: Newer Program (In its first year). Houston Traffic. Moonlight starting 3rd year. Residents Pay for parking.
    2.Univ. of TN- Chattanooga: Pros: I rotated here and like the faculty and the residents. No floor months (Peds or IM). About 5 ICU months. Nice hospital, Nice ED. Free food + parking. Newer program (in it's 3rd year) but has a lot of support from the college of Medicine and Hospital- the Dean of the College of Med is an EP and the president elect of ACEP. Good "outdoor activities." Variety of good food- I've was pleasantly surprised. I'd be very happy to end up here, and thought about putting them number 1 but chose Houston over Chatt. 17 12's as an R1, 17 10's as R2, and 16 10's as an R3 (or something close to that).
    Cons: Not a big city, although Nashville and Atlanta are close by (not a plus for me). Not a great place to fly out of- most flights take you to Nashville or Atl first. No family nearby.
    3. JPS: Pros: Some of the faculty seemed pretty cool. Fort Worth seemed ok from what I saw during my 1 day visit. I like most of the curriculum- about 6 months of ICU. 1 mo of Cardiology is a plus in my book. Nice ED. Free food + parking. Good benefits package. Dallas nearby. This program could have gone lower on my list, but I like the city more than the ones below, and although the idea of being at a brand new program is a little scary it didn't scare me off. Also, it could be cool to be the senior-most resident in the ED on day 1 and not have 2 classes above to compete with for procedures and cool cases.
    Cons: Brand New Program. Hard to get a feel for things because no residents to talk with. PD not at interview day. 2 months of Medicine. No Peds EM integrated into Adult EM months (this was the issue that most worried me, but the Assoc. PD said that they will see what the residents think and are working on some of the hospitals nearby but have nothing solid as of the time I interviewed. They do however, have 3 months of Peds EM- 1mo as an R2 and 2mo's as an R3 at Children's Hosp. of Dallas. Nothing R1 year).
    4. Kansas City (KUMC): Pros: Nice people, Nice ED
    Cons: 1 mo of Medicine + 1 mo of Peds, Newer program ( in 1st year), I think KC may be a bit colder or more snowy than what I'm looking for
    5. Arkansas: Pros: Established program. Nice people. Newly built ED that was pretty nice. I believe an EM resident is involved in/runs all of the Traumas. A lot of moonlighting opportunities.
    Cons: Little Rock. Residents give a lot of the lectures. 1 mo of Medicine at the VA (I think they may consider changing this?) 1 Month of Peds Flight experience (I think this is a combined EMS/Flight experience. You can opt out of the helicopter rides and do an additional month of PICU instead, but most people don't). All 12's (R1- 18, R2-17, R3- 16)
    6. Christus Spohn: Pros: The beach. Good weather year round. Family is the only other program, so when you are off service you are working w/attendings. EM handles the all of the traumas (no surgery residents). No call, except for one service.. PICU, I think. Everything else is shift work. When on Trauma, it's 12 hr shifts. Moonlighting opportunites. 9 hr ED shifts (20/19/18 for R1/2/3). Weekly quizzes to go with reading (+/-) Free food + gated parking. Optional flight experience. 1 mo of Cardiology.
    Cons: Older EDs. Level Two Trauma center (although they say they see plenty, plus no surgery residents to compete with). 1 mo of Neurology (they say it's beneficial, bc you're often consulting Neuro, good experience, etc.) 1 mo of Medicine
    7. Emory: Pros: I rotated here for a month. I loved Emory (EUH, Emory Hospital- Midtown, etc) but wasn't a fan of Grady. Lots of sick pt.s at all of the EDs. At Grady, at the beginning/end of each shift the teams sort-of mini round on all of the pts. , it's brief (about 10 min max) and usually an attending, resident, and med student will share something cool that they saw or learned. Now have EMR. Some cool residents. The SICU month is supposed to put hair on your chest. During intern year (it may be during the first month in the ED) you get a month to cherry-pick procedures and can take some from the upper levels so that you get more comfortable and more experienced during that month. A lot of the faculty were very nice and the residents seem to like each other. I believe Emory gets the most NIH research money for EM. 8hr shifts during week, 12's on weekend to allow for 1 weekend off a month while in ED. Around 22 shifts a month(?).
    Cons: Grady just wasn't really my style. Very crowded. Lots of pts on stretchers in the hallway, my 3rd year wheeled a pt to CT and then I took him to X-ray. A lot of the rooms don't have functioning ophthalmoscopes or otoscopes. Some of the labs didn't get drawn on a few pts. Very large class size (19, likely going up to 20). 1 mo of Medicine. ATL traffic. I'm also not a big fan of ATL and I think that colored my experience as well. I think it is a good program. Most of my mentors in EM went to Emory and they are awesome, that's one of the reasons why I wanted to check it out. I think when you come through the program you'll be very well prepared. 75% of the program is at Grady, 25% at Emory. Because of this and since I didn't like the city either, It had to be a lower ranking for me. I agree that Grady really is a place you should rotate at if you very interested in going there for residency. You'll find out if you like it or not during that month and they take heavily from those who have rotated (in one class, I think 18 of the 19 did a rotation there).
    8. St. Louis (SLU): Pros: 1 mo of Tox + 1 mo of Burn Unit. St. Louis can be a violent city (trauma).
    Cons: St. Louis can be a violent city. Small ED with lower pt census (I believe around 35K/yr). Interview day was a bit disorganized. Newer program (in it's 2nd year) 1 mo of Peds, IM, and Neuro. A couple of awkward interviews, although PD seemed cool. I also missed the pre-interview dinner and didn't get to meet some of the residents.
    9. MS: Pros: A lot of moonlighting opportunities. Since it's a 4 yr program, they have room for all of the things that other programs pick only a few of (Cardio, Radiology, EKG, Tox, Ultrasound, Peds Sedation, TeleMedicine). Most of the resident were pretty cool.
    Cons: 4 years is about 1 year too long for me. Jackson. 1 mo IM. 1st year is very off-service heavy, only 3 mos of EM (2 adult + 1 Peds).
     
  14. MuddyBoots

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    Any updates on the program - coming into its own? Anyone from SLU around for a few comments?

    -MB
     
  15. vanilla60

    vanilla60 Account on Hold
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    Just wondering the same thing. Would love to hear if anyone has any new comments regarding the program and/or living in St. Louis
     
  16. Groove

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    Oh yea... I remember that place. I interviewed there for residency. I think they were brand new from what I remember. It was the strangest interview. The PD spent 15 mins on discursive questioning about varying ethical scenarios involving co-residents or future colleagues (most involved being drunk on the job and whether you would report them...). At first, I was completely at a loss and wondering what on earth showed up in my chart that would give cause for that line of questioning. All the other interviewees said they got asked the same thing, so I remember wondering if there was rampant alcoholism in the department or what, lol. I'm sure it was a fluke day or something but I still remember that and it gives me a chuckle.
     
  17. GreenEydGem

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    Isn't the Columbia the new program, not SLU? If you look at the accreditation history on the ACGME website, it's the University of Missouri that's the new program without residents. The other MO programs have full compliments.
     
  18. MuddyBoots

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    SLU graduated its first class of EM residents in (I believe) 2012. Most of the posts in this thread are older (dated at bottom of post), that's why I was hoping for an update since they've since graduated a full class and had a few years under their belt. You are correct, though, U of Missouri is new this year.

    -MB
     
  19. TimeEnough

    TimeEnough EM intern
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    I'm a 4th year SLU student going into EM. I had a generally positive experience during my home rotation. The majority of our faculty are easy to get along with, although like at any place there are a few difficulty personalities. In particular, our program director has a tendency to rub some people the wrong way, although he means well. It seems like the program has made good progress working through some of the "new program" issues. I haven't heard residents complain overly much about any of the off service rotations. The relationship with trauma surgery is okay, not great. Trauma isn't rude or hostile, but they definitely don't have a lot of respect for the folks in the ED either. They have now instituted a system where EM runs trauma activations on even numbered days and trauma runs them on odd numbered days (or maybe vice versa actually, it's been a few months), but sometimes trauma kind of steam rolls the ED people anyway. Ortho does basically all of the fracture reductions. The residents themselves are all nice, pretty laid back as a group. The local knife and gun club keeps the penetrating trauma numbers up, especially in the summer months, but honestly, I don't feel super unsafe living in the city (with judicious application of common sense safety precautions), and I live less than 1 mile from the hospital. These are just some of the things that jump out in my mind, but if there are specific questions people have, I'd be happy to try to answer them.
     
  20. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor?
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    This is a review by an interviewee who wishes to remain anonymous:

    So I tried to go into this interview with an open mind because I’d heard the PD could be kind of abrasive but this is EM so how bad could it really be?

    Most of my interviews were pretty standard EM interviews – what do you like to do in your free time? What rotations did you love/hate? Why EM?

    And then I met the PD…

    I had a timed 3-4 minutes to ask him questions and I asked my usual Q’s “strengths, weaknesses, changes coming, etc” and we chatted nicely. Then he started asking me things in this really abrasive, accusatory tone. “Why didn’t you get honors?” (I did get honors in X,Y,Z) “Well yes, but those are the easy clerkships. Why didn’t you honor everything?” (insert calm answer about how I worked hard and got good feedback, etc) “Yes, but you still didn’t get honors.”
    Then I got asked why I didn’t rotate at SLU, because if I was really interested in doing residency here I would have rotated here. The rest of the questions were all equally negative and I kind of just blacked out because I had no further interest in working for him. He then closed with, in a very pleasant tone, “Ok well let us know what you’re thinking closer to rank list time.” I was kind of in shock. A friend of mine interviewed the same day and said he got the same strangely harsh questioning. Maybe that's just the PD's interviewing "style" but, his was my last interview and no other place had been nearly as negative or abrasive in their interviewing so it was a huge turn off.

    And then there was lunch. Only one resident was there for lunch which I thought was odd since most lunches at other places had like 4-5 residents minimum, but maybe they only ask for one person to show up? If so they asked the wrong resident. The resident spent the entire lunch telling the group how he never wanted to live in St Louis and how he only had 17 more months until he could go back to Chicago where he really wanted to be. Oh and he shared with us how he and another non-EM resident have a “suicide pact” (his words) in case one or both of them started to hate medicine. I don’t know who decided it was ok to leave this guy alone with applicants but it was a really poor choice. I don’t think he said a positive thing the entire time.


    Overall, I just left SLU with a bad taste in my mouth. I know other people who interviewed there who had similarly bad experiences and I know people who said the PD wasn’t nearly as bad. Maybe it just depends on who you interview with and what day you’re there…
     
  21. tsbqb

    tsbqb New Member
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    I Interviewed at SLU and had a really good impression fo the place and I ranked them highly.

    All of my interviewers except the PD were super nice and laid back. The PD was cool to me. He was definitely more serious than the other interviewers but he was still nice and courteous. You cant expect every interviewer to have a fun conversation with you.

    Its the smallest program I know of (6 per year). That may explain why there were few residents at lunch. Everyone was really nice though at the dinner the night before. Seemed like a great bunch of people.

    Overall I thought it was a great program where you see everything in terms of pathology. The drawbacks for me was how small the program was and St Louis (which actually seemed like a cool town but wasn't great for me since I have no connection to it.)
     
  22. Old_Mil

    Old_Mil Senior Member
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    Unless the leadership has changed see my original post.

    Sent from my Z10 using Tapatalk
     
  23. DermViser

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    Wow, even derm interviews don't do that. That abrasive line of question is fully expected from foreign-born IMGs (which he is).
     
  24. kmb1908

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    Any updates?
     
  25. Psilocyba

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    Any updates? I am interviewing there in 2 weeks...
     
  26. nepalidr

    7+ Year Member

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    Hi, How did you interview go with SLU?
     
  27. OnlyOneZlatan

    2+ Year Member

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  28. CTtiger

    Joined:
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  29. CTtiger

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
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    Does any one know how involved you can get with STL FD EMS as a resident here? Their website has them listed as one of the EMS agencies, but I'm curious about the degree to which there is involvement. Thanks!
     

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