Stories from the Interview Trail

Discussion in 'PM&R' started by drusso, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    So, what's the buzz among applicants this year? What are people hearing about different programs?
     
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  3. marathon chick

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    I am currently on the interview trail and every program that I visited so far has mentioned that the american graduate application pool has increased significantly. This is year is going to be tougher to match especially at the top tier programs. Now who says PM&R is not competitive?:laugh:
     
  4. njdevil

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    Every program I have interviewed has said the same thing, the applicant pool is stronger and larger. Although several programs complained of getting applicants that haven't even had a physiatry rotation.
     
  5. drusso

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    Good God, that's WEAK! Can you imagine applying to Derm programs without having a derm rotation?
     
  6. Ligament

    Ligament Interventional Pain Management
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    bump. indulge us guys. any more stories?

    regards.
     
  7. Pulseless

    Pulseless Junior Member

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    I visited the CWRU/Metrohealth program and was very impressed with their facilites as well as their vision for the future. Their new Program Director is the current president of the AAP and has an aggressive plan to develop a strong relationship with the CWRU Biomedical Engineering program (Top 3 in the nation). Although the program is not currently very well recognized, I beleive that with execution their program could be a top 5 player. Their current residents seem very happy and their is a good balance of inpatient vs. outpatient. Dr. Peckham a current researcher doing work with FES is top in the field and Dr. Chae is one of the few NIH funded PM&R docs. Anyway, I was impressed and will definitely consider their program. One of the few cons I saw was in-house call, but even that isn't bad.
     
  8. gwen

    gwen Senior Member

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    my interviews so far have been very laid back. they talk more than i sometimes...many try to sell, sell, sell their programs. so sometimes i wonder, hmmm, do i really like the program or are they just doing a good job of selling it!?! i've kept a little journal and jot down notes after each interview, just in case i forget who i liked and who was so-so.

    i don't have a stellar academic record but i really feel welcome at the programs. they really appear to want to get to know us (or are doing a damn good job of acting).

    oh yeah, initially i sent thank you cards to everyone who i interviewed with...then thought...damn, i'll need a factory outlet to keep up with this. so now i just send thanks to the directors.

    i also love my flat shoes! i saw some females with super high heels and yikes! are you going into PMR or what, ladies? keep the high heels at home...you do a lot of walking around hospitals.

    i haven't noticed any cut-throat attitudes either. thankfully, most candidates seem very nice and help each other out. mmm, i feel happy knowing i'll be in a field with nice people. imagine derm or ortho or optho interviews...i can almost feel the tension in those rooms.

    well, that's all from my interview trail.
    would you guys suggest e-mailing the residents/chiefs from programs one is interested in? or does that sound too kiss-ass?

    bye,
    gwen
     
  9. marathon chick

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    I agree with gwen when she mentioned there are a lot of cool 4th year medical school students going into PM&R. Everyone I met on the interview trail are really excited about the future of this young field. However, some of my interviews were not laid back. In some cases, I was asked about muscle innervations, brachial plexus, EMG fundementals, management of pain and so on. Thank Goodness, I had been taught well during my rehab elective time. All these interviews came from the programs listed in US News and World Report ranking. I don't know if they are doing this because of the increased interest in the field? Has anyone out there had an interview I just mentioned? :confused:
     
  10. Ligament

    Ligament Interventional Pain Management
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    bump. How you people doing?

    This forum is getting too slow! :-(

    regards!
     
  11. Finally M3

    Finally M3 Senior Member

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    This is more of a general question regarding the background of people who applied...

    What did you guys do to 'show interest' in the field besides doing an elective in PMR? I'm gonna do my elective in March (at a site which is one of my top choices) and was thinking of doing a Pain elective and taking a couple of months to do research 4th Year.

    I'm just starting to freak out a little because of hearing through the grapevine that PMR is getting more competitive!

    Thanks :pity:
     
  12. SJS519

    SJS519 Junior Member

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    Okay...here's the low down on where I already interviewed:
    1. Emory- I spent a month there rotating, so I may be a little biased. They have a small program (3-4 residents a year). Supposedly, the program underwent changes a few years ago (some faculty left). I heard that they left because of "family issues" (ie. difficult pregnancy, etc). Anyway, the residents get to rotate at various places (some which make it a pain in the $%% to travel...Atlanta's traffic sucks ). Most notebly.... The Shepherd Center. It is both a TBI and SCI model system (note..some programs are one or the other...I know Baylor in Houston is another program that is both). They have some pretty big names in TBI and spinal cord. I know the residents get alot of exposure to muscloskeletal and pain (they have the opportunity to do MANY injections!), if that's your thing. Like I said, I may be biased, because I rotated there, but I think the program is good. Inhouse call. 2 mo of elective time.
    2. Baylor (Dallas)- This is another small program (3 residents/year). This program has Dr. Barry Smith as program director, who has a pretty good name. I don't know why, but I thought this program was just okay. They don't have any elective time, and not too much musculo (some of the residents were complaining about that). It sounds like they are making many changes right now, and I don't know if I want to be at a program where I may feel like a guinea pig.
    3. UT Southwest (Dallas)- A lot of people I interviewed with seemed like they really liked this program. It sounds cush (q 14 call, many residents moonlight and get paid VERY NICELY). Faculty are very young and enthusiastic. Alot of current residents I know when they applied ranked this program very high (they all wanted to go into outpt rehab).
    4. Baylor (Houston)- What can I say here? Baylor is just Baylor. Big program, big names, etc. One thing the residents complained about was not enough exposure to injections, but that was consistent everywhere (except at Emory...there goes my bias again)
    5. UAB- small program, has Spain rehab (Model system for SCI). The residents kept emphasizing the fact that they get ALOT of elective time (6 mo). In house call. This is the only program I found that research was optional, instead of required. That was another cool program, but I don't know if Birmingham is a happening city.

    Whew! That's it so far.... I still have many more on tap. Just a word of advice: I was stupid and scheduled 3 interviews back to back. By the time I got to Baylor, I was exhausted and everything they said to me was "blah, blah, blah". (and I really liked Baylor, too). Give yourself a rest (if you can) between them. I was trying to knock them out all at once, and I was burned out by the end.

    P.S. I have not had any malignant interviews...(poor marathon chick...I'm sure you handled that brachial plexus interview well)
    :)
     
  13. marathon chick

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    Hello everyone,
    I am still on the interview trail. Just wanted to send out a warning to other interviewees who will interview at Thomas Jefferson. This was one of the most maligant interviews I have ever had. Just wanted to let you know what's up ahead in the road.:eek:
     
  14. rehabdoc

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    Anyone interviewing in Boston?
     
  15. Ligament

    Ligament Interventional Pain Management
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    Whats up at Thomas Jefferson that makes it malignant?
     
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  17. rehabdoc

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    I have a pain fellow (PMR) from T.J in our hospital and he said it is not malignant.......true or not I am not sure
     
  18. marathon chick

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    Hello Everyone,
    I mentioned that I felt that the TJ interview was malignant for these reasons During the interview, I was asked these questions: What were your ACT/SAT scores. What were your MCAT scores? Why would a nurse call you at night? Why did you get a "B" in Microbiology during your second year in medical school instead of an "A".Also after another applicants interview, the applicant had tears in her eyes when she walked out of the room. I asked her what happened. She told me she felt like she was on jepardy and had a negative $10,000. I thought to my self, are you kidding? Before I could completely answer a question, I would be interupted and asked another question. The residents did not seem happy. All the residents I talked to said TJ was their (at best) second or third choice and that they only chose it then because it was in the northeast and close to New York and New Jersey. I am just telling you my own experience. I am not stating hearsay.
     
  19. Ligament

    Ligament Interventional Pain Management
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    wow, that sucks Marathon Chick. I never had such an interview...thanks.

    regards.
     
  20. seeking

    seeking Junior Member

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    SJS519- How is call at Emory and UAB? I know they both have inhouse call, but how often is it? Is it hard or easy? Is call only for PGY2 and PGY3? Do the PGY4's have any call?

    What did you think of Atlanta? Are there any decent places to live that are close to the hospitals? Looks like the hospitals are really spread out, is it hard to get around from location to location?

    Thanks!!
     
  21. SJS519

    SJS519 Junior Member

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    Seeking:

    Sorry I didn't write back sooner. (I have been away interviewing, and am happy to say, I AM FINISHED!!!!)

    Both places, UAB and Emory had inhouse call 5-6 times a month as a PGY-2. I am unsure about the other years. I know that at Emory, when you rotate at Shepherd (PGY-3), you take at home call.

    I think that housing in Atlanta is both affordable (I'm from the Northeast, so I think an affordable 1 bedroom is less than 900 bucks) and prevalent, (rent or buy). Most people live inside 285 (which circles the city), and find housing no more than 15 minutes from Emory. Once you get outside of 285, the traffic sucks. The furthest place you rotate is at the Children's Center which is about 15-20 min. away from Emory on backroads.

    Hope that helps, and if I find more info about call at Emory, I'll let you know.
     
  22. gecko

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    I just wanted to make my contribution as I've had a lot of great advice from this forum. A low down of places I've interviewed:

    1) MCV: very good well-balanced program with many leaders in the field. I believe a solid top 10 program. Prepares you for everything well. Nice residents and attendings. Not an overwhelming schedule.

    2) Tufts: I had a malignant interview with them. PD seemed nice, but two other attendings I interviewed with weren't. Good Peds PMR. I didn't like the atmosphere...and residents didn't seem to be very happy.

    3) UCLA/VA: Not an outstanding program, and may lose Ranchos Los Amigos due to financial constraints. Good with Spine/EMG/MS...not as good with bread and butter inpt PMR stuff. Nice PD...seemed like a laid back atmosphere...and lots of residents 7-9 per year.

    4) Temple: Good overall program and residents seemed happy and laid back. They are proud about their cush call schedule. Most residents eventually go into fellowships. Rotate at Moss/Magee. In a bad part of Philly though.

    5) RIC: I loved this program. They are right in downtown Chicago along Lake Michigan. The best facilities and awesome teaching. I can't say enough about this program. Their PT gym has huge windows facing the lake....beautiful views. Very nice approachable attendings, but a very academic feel. May not get as much opportunities for doing procedures.

    6) St. Vincent's (NY): Stronger for outpt PMR. Catered more for preparing residents for private practice, and geared to do well on the boards. Very caring and enthusiastic PD. In a great location: near the village in Manhatten. Residents seemed happy. They offer housing....huge benefit considering the costs of living in NY.

    7) Schwab (U of Chicago): Good overall program. Strength in SCI. In a bad part of Chicago. PD either really likes you or hates you...highly energetic, and very pro-resident oriented. Some bitter residents though...and PGY-2 year is pretty brutal...work-load wise.

    8) U of W: Great program! Excellent in inpt rehab....weak at MS...they just got three great MS MD's though...but I hear from residents that they still don't get to do much procedurally...at least not yet. Residents seemed really overworked...but they emphasized that this program isn't the malignant program that they used to be in the 80's. Very academic feel. Residents have to take graduate school courses, but don't get a degree for it. Some unhappy residents that told me they can't wait for residency to be over.

    9) UC Irvine: A mediocre program. Residents emphasized how laid back they were. Heard that quite a few residents have left the program....but most were for personal reasons (wife/husband in another city, etc). High turnover rate of attendings...right now in a state of imbalance. Great So Cal location and weather.

    If anyone has more input on Johns Hopkins, St. Vincent's, or UCLA, please add a few comments. :clap:

    Hope this helps.

    Gecko :D
     
  23. gecko

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    bump!

    Hey, does anyone out there know how good St. Vincent's program in NYC is? I have spent a lot of time giving other people advice....I'd really appreciate it if someone could help me back by writing a few sentences about this program. :confused:

    Thanks,
    Gecko
     

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