maxxor

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In the spirit of the MGH vs JHH program comparison thread, I wanted to ask for people's experiences on the trail comparing Stanford and MGH.

MGH has #1 NIH funding. Stanford has #3 NIH funding, but highest NIH funding per faculty member. MGH is in Boston + Harvard system for powerhouse academic research. Stanford is in Silicon Valley + lots of startups in medical devices, new sequences, and new IR techniques

MGH has higher case volume, but Stanford is also a referral center as well. At neither place will you be fighting for cases. MGH's higher case volume just siphons to the fellows/attendings anyway. Stanford's clinical volumes supposedly have increased 10% year-over-year for at least 3-4 years. They are building huge new hospitals and outpatient imaging centers to further increase their marketshare.

Stanford has no attending coverage on call. MGH does.

SFBay Area vs. Boston.

Any feelings from the board?
 
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SCOTTYDAWG

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Mgh trumps Stanford because all of those California assholes wouldn't give me an interview. At least the northeast isn't a bunch of elitist pricks like they are on the west coast. All honors and sick step scores weren't good enough. All they looked at was where I'm from.
 
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maxxor

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o_O...I have zero connection to California (heck, I'm originally from the deep south), so that's more illustrative of the crazy interview process. Maybe I got a diversity invite, lol.
 

Trastuz

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Stanford would be awesome if you hate discretionary income and want to spend your bimonthly paycheck on a 500 square foot apt. The only place I can think of that would be worse is NYC but at least it has decent public transportation. Also heard that Stanford had volume issues although this was a couple years back and as mentioned above this may no longer be an issue.

That being said, if you don't have a family and have $, Palo Alto/SF would be pretty awesome for life outside of work. If you have entrepreneurial ideas Silicon Valley obviously can't be beat. Training and research opportunities are probably similar at both programs. Bay Area weather >>> Boston weather IMO.
 
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maxxor

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Stanford would be awesome if you hate discretionary income and want to spend your bimonthly paycheck on a 500 square foot apt. The only place I can think of that would be worse is NYC but at least it has decent public transportation. Also heard that Stanford had volume issues although this was a couple years back and as mentioned above this may no longer be an issue.

That being said, if you don't have a family and have $, Palo Alto/SF would be pretty awesome for life outside of work. If you have entrepreneurial ideas Silicon Valley obviously can't be beat. Training and research opportunities are probably similar at both programs. Bay Area weather >>> Boston weather IMO.
I've got to say that NYC, SF, and Boston are roughly equivalent in terms of rents. These are cities where the moonlighting opportunities actually matters a lot, as you will need it to stretch out that resident salary. SF and Boston have high rents for similar reasons: not enough tall buildings, NIMBYs, and a generally anti-development attitude of the inhabitants.
 

Trastuz

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I admittedly have never lived in either of those cities but during my interviews it seemed Boston was more manageable and less congested than SF/Palo Alto. Public transportation in Boston is much better than the Bay Area. But although I give Boston the edge in terms of affordability, I agree it's not by much.
 
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Academically MGH> Stanford. MGH has a better reputation overall in the world of radiology and medicine.

However, if you plan to stay in California in the future, Stanford works better. California is a very very biased region towards its candidates at all levels: undergard to med school. Med school to residency. Residency to fellowship (not that much since fellowships are easy to get) and especially for job findings. Most jobs are not advertised. On the other hand, Boston is still more open to non local people, though competing with graduates of Harvard programs can be difficult.
 
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One of the attendings I met did residency at UCSF and fellowship at MGH before moving back to UCSF as staff, and his opinion was that Boston was more expensive, and he had grown up in northern California. With that said, anywhere in the deep south is about 20% of the bay area or Boston. Transportation is an issue, and not only does BART blow, but they like to go on strike, too.

Palo Alto itself can be a commute from affordable and safe living. For UCSFer's, there is affordable housing in Mission Bay earmarked for medical trainees.

It is interesting to me that we are comparing attending call coverage overnight (something that I find extremely relevant to resident training quality) to funding rankings (which IMO has nothing to do with the quality of residency training whatsoever).

If you don't want to practice/live in these places or have little interest in academic radiology, then neither seems particularly attractive. From an academic perspective, though, I don't put Stanford or Duke in the same tier as MGH or Hopkins among the radiology world.

If I did want an academic career, I'd rank MGH over Stanford; but I'd put Mayo-Rochester and MIR over both of them.

If I was from the deep south, wanted to stay there, and had a family to support, I'd look hard at Vandy or UAB, maybe Emory if the spouse is the only mouth I am feeding.
 

JoshSt

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If I did want an academic career, I'd rank MGH over Stanford; but I'd put Mayo-Rochester and MIR over both of them.
Curious - why Mayo? I know it's obviously a great program but curious why you'd rank it over MGH.

If I was from the deep south, wanted to stay there, and had a family to support, I'd look hard at Vandy or UAB, maybe Emory if the spouse is the only mouth I am feeding.
Would you throw UTSW in the mix or not (in terms of being a top notch program)?

My situation will be a spouse with young kids. I'd like the best program that'll take me in a location with affordable living expenses. Although I'd love to consider locations like Boston and California, they likely wouldn't be affordable on a resident's salary.

Thanks in advance.
 
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The best program is south is probably UVA. UTSW is a very strong program, but in the third level. First level is probably MGH, UCSF, Hopkins, MIR and BWH. Second level is Stanford, UCLA, UVA, NYU, U of Wisconsin, Mayo Rochester, U of Washington, .... I put UTSW in the third level. If you want to stay in Texas, it is one of the best ones after UT Houston. But generally speaking other than certain fellowships at MD Anderson, Texas programs are not academically considered at the same level of MGH, UCSF, Hopkins or even Stanford.

The discussion about ranking of programs is very very controversial. If you look for pp job, UTSW works better for getting a pp job in Texas than MGH. For pp, the key is to go to the one of the well known local university programs and makes connections. Now, personally I don't put UTSW over MGH or Stanford, even if I want to go to pp in Texas. But that's only me. If you are looking for academic job, name always matter. Academic places always love graduates of MGH or Hopkins or Stanford or UCSF.

Choosing a program is a very challenging decision esp if you have a family. It also has a huge impact on the location that you will eventually settle. Most people will eventually get a job and live in the place that they do their training. May seem a little weird. But after spending 5-6 years in a location you will like it. And 6 years from now moving will be a challenge for you, esp if your spouse is working and your children are going to school. I went to a so called top program and many residents came there because of the name brand. Some who did not like the location at first eventually ended up staying and are now working in this area.

The morale of story is to find a location that you'd like to live in the future. Then try to match into the best university program in that location. If you don't have any preference (I am pretty sure that everybody has some sort of preference, but anyway ) or you want to work in academics in the future, choose the most prestigious program that you can match into.
 
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JoshSt

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Thanks for the detailed post shark - it is extremely helpful and will definitely give me insights in the very near future.
 

Puff-of-Snow Sign

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The best program is south is probably UVA. UTSW is a very strong program, but in the third level. First level is probably MGH, UCSF, Hopkins, MIR and BWH. Second level is Stanford, UCLA, UVA, NYU, U of Wisconsin, Mayo Rochester, U of Washington, ...

The discussion about ranking of programs is very very controversial. If you are looking for academic job, name always matter. Academic places always love graduates of MGH or Hopkins or Stanford or UCSF.

If you don't have any preference (I am pretty sure that everybody has some sort of preference, but anyway ) or you want to work in academics in the future, choose the most prestigious program that you can match into.
Very useful post, shark. I've trimmed the above quote to the relevant parts for my own situation. I'm planning on an academic career and am trying to decide how to rank several top programs, none of which are in my "preferred" region (lots of traveling these days, so I'll make an airline ref here)...

I loved BWH, MIR, Penn, and UCSF (in alphabetical order). Haven't visited MGH yet, but they are likely to round off the top 5 for me. Any reason I should rank one of these 5 over the others, location and cost-of-living issues aside?

(Btw, excuse me for hijacking the thread, as my question is not about Stanford at all...but it was relevant to the content of recent posts in this thread, so I figured why not...)
 
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Very useful post, shark. I've trimmed the above quote to the relevant parts for my own situation. I'm planning on an academic career and am trying to decide how to rank several top programs, none of which are in my "preferred" region (lots of traveling these days, so I'll make an airline ref here)...

I loved BWH, MIR, Penn, and UCSF (in alphabetical order). Haven't visited MGH yet, but they are likely to round off the top 5 for me. Any reason I should rank one of these 5 over the others, location and cost-of-living issues aside?

(Btw, excuse me for hijacking the thread, as my question is not about Stanford at all...but it was relevant to the content of recent posts in this thread, so I figured why not...)

UPenn was my TOP level one about 5 years ago. I heard they had some issues in the last 2 years. Just because of this I put it in the same pool as Stanford and UCLA.

No difference between MGH=BWH=Hopkins=UCSF=MIR for you future academic career. If everything is the same, some programs may choose an applicant from MGH over others. For example, I have seen more new people from MGH in big California programs recently. I don't know whether it is coincidence or not.

A little controversial point: If location is not a factor and you like all of them the same, though doesn't matter in practice, choose MGH or BWH. The "Harvard" name brand is something that will stay with you the rest of your life. let's be frank. If you are in a tumor board, the oncologist or liver surgeon knows more about MGH than MIR. Or if you are doing a biopsy on a patient, Harvard means different to him than UCSF or MIR. It does not have any functional value, but also an Acura works as good or even better than a Lexus or BMW. You know what I mean.
 
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I didn't think of Texas being in the deep south since it is sort of its own region. UTSW is probably the snobbiest institution I've ever dealt with. Like the University of Texas football program which has a total of 1 national title since 1969 (an upset victory), they still think they are the best place ever.

With that said, if you want to live and work in Dallas, then UTSW is the place to be.

The reason I cite Mayo is because I know people personally who have been happy there, but the reason is because they seem to work hard to build a program out of people from different regions, i.e. they have looked beyond the name of my no-name medical school to take people I know. Granted, maybe most people from big-name medical schools don't like the cold, so Mayo settles for my friends.

The northeast and California are horribly inbred, so all I know about them is the brand. I am not a Porsche buyer because the repairs and gas make the vehicle cost prohibitive, similar to the cost of living issue. Being the brand works for them, though. I'll take a Honda any day. My Honda may be in northern Florida.

Here is what matters to me. Do I like the residents? Do the graduates do what I want to do? In rural America, there are people from DO programs who make a ton of money because their practices are high RVU generators in monopolistic markets.

If my spouse loved her job in Shreveport, then LSU-Shreveport is going to make me happy because there is no happy life without a happy wife. Probably an extreme example, but if I am used to living in a place where I can drive to work and pay $600 for a house payment, and that is all I ever want to do, then MGH doesn't have that much to offer me.
 
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The best program is south is probably UVA. UTSW is a very strong program, but in the third level. First level is probably MGH, UCSF, Hopkins, MIR and BWH. Second level is Stanford, UCLA, UVA, NYU, U of Wisconsin, Mayo Rochester, U of Washington, .... I put UTSW in the third level. If you want to stay in Texas, it is one of the best ones after UT Houston. But generally speaking other than certain fellowships at MD Anderson, Texas programs are not academically considered at the same level of MGH, UCSF, Hopkins or even Stanford.

The discussion about ranking of programs is very very controversial. If you look for pp job, UTSW works better for getting a pp job in Texas than MGH. For pp, the key is to go to the one of the well known local university programs and makes connections. Now, personally I don't put UTSW over MGH or Stanford, even if I want to go to pp in Texas. But that's only me. If you are looking for academic job, name always matter. Academic places always love graduates of MGH or Hopkins or Stanford or UCSF.

Choosing a program is a very challenging decision esp if you have a family. It also has a huge impact on the location that you will eventually settle. Most people will eventually get a job and live in the place that they do their training. May seem a little weird. But after spending 5-6 years in a location you will like it. And 6 years from now moving will be a challenge for you, esp if your spouse is working and your children are going to school. I went to a so called top program and many residents came there because of the name brand. Some who did not like the location at first eventually ended up staying and are now working in this area.

The morale of story is to find a location that you'd like to live in the future. Then try to match into the best university program in that location. If you don't have any preference (I am pretty sure that everybody has some sort of preference, but anyway ) or you want to work in academics in the future, choose the most prestigious program that you can match into.

A correction in my previous post. The best program in south is probably Duke. Then I rank UVA after it.

I apologize for the mistake.
 

Lolscan

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Boston is full of pretentious assholes. Go stanford. You won't regret it in the winter.
 
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Mgh trumps Stanford because all of those California assholes wouldn't give me an interview. At least the northeast isn't a bunch of elitist pricks like they are on the west coast. All honors and sick step scores weren't good enough. All they looked at was where I'm from.

Plenty of my classmates from last year and friends applying this year are from mid-tier rank 45+ schools on USNews, and plenty of them got lots of love from Cali even not being from there. Not sure how much research you have, but I would guess not too much since you seem to have better numbers/grades than most and didn't get Cali interviews so that would probably be the missing link. The people I know who got interviews there have pretty decent (ie. like 3 years of research during med school or at least some publications) to really good research (year off at Doris Duke/NIH/etc).
 

SCOTTYDAWG

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Plenty of my classmates from last year and friends applying this year are from mid-tier rank 45+ schools on USNews, and plenty of them got lots of love from Cali even not being from there. Not sure how much research you have, but I would guess not too much since you seem to have better numbers/grades than most and didn't get Cali interviews so that would probably be the missing link. The people I know who got interviews there have pretty decent (ie. like 3 years of research during med school or at least some publications) to really good research (year off at Doris Duke/NIH/etc).
If research was the key to not getting any West Coast interviews, why did I interview at MGH and BWH?? I have no east coast connections.

Common link: west coast peeps are a bunch of haters.
 
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If research was the key to not getting any West Coast interviews, why did I interview at MGH and BWH?? I have no east coast connections.

Common link: west coast peeps are a bunch of haters.
I only got BID of the 3 Harvard programs last year but got all the top 4 Cali, plenty of "top" midwest, south programs, maybe east coast peeps are a bunch of haters lol.

Process is pretty random but there is some sense to it at some level, people with solid apps will get x number of interviews, people with amazing apps will get y number of interviews

as to why certain programs didn't hand them out, luck plays a factor, depends on who reviews your app, etc, not every app resonates with every reviewer even if it's amazing by most standards and it seems that people with better research got more of the "top" program interviews west and east coast when i applied
 
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maxxor

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I found it correlated strongly with medical school. I got interview invites to the same places for med school AND got rejections from the same places. I'm a southern dude interviewing mostly on the coasts and got love from both ends, but also got straight up rejected from Penn and other places in the middle.

I think the process is surprisingly effective at finding personality matches between applicants and programs. Your persona hasn't changed that much from undergrad to med school. Why should your residency interviews be that different?
 

Puff-of-Snow Sign

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Another Southern dude here. No clear correlation with med school for me. But I applied to a lot more places for residency and didn't stray as far out of the region for med school. Got love from 1/3 Cali programs I applied to and 1 other West Coast program (the only other Western program on my list). Had great results in the Northeast, but didn't fare so well with the higher-ends in the Midatlantic and the South...where I thought I would do the best. Mixed results in the Midwest, but overall that was less important to me. In the end, there were some disappointments in terms of invites, but I've been very satisfied with most of the places I've been...enough so that I'm sure I'll end up in a great place that's a good fit for me.

As I near the end of the trail, I'm finding that it's not as clear as I thought it would be. No place in my top 5 has emerged at the clear choice like I thought it would.