SUNY Downstate

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by daisygirl, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof
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    Anyone have any firsthand information regarding this program. I recently interviewed there, and I was quite surprised at how much I liked the program. However, the reviews on scutwork are pretty brutal.

    Any info would be quite helpful. One thing to keep in mind is that I really don't give a crap about the surrounding area, only the quality of the program.
    :)
     
  2. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
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    I haven't interviewed here yet, but I've also been worried about the scutwork reviews. What did you like about the program?

    Also, could you put your experience on the interview experiences thread? Please? :love:
     
  3. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof
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    Done :) I would still love to hear from anyone out there :love:
     
  4. JacksonX

    JacksonX Junior Member
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    This is based on a friend of mine who is a non-GS surgery resident at downstate and did her intern year 2001-2002, so take that into consideration. (this is before that blasted 80 hour workweek started.)

    It's a BRUTAL place.
    You get the worst of the worst in there. The patients are the "scum of the earth", so to speak, and Kings County is falling apart and extraordinarily poorly run.
    You will work your tail off.

    You will put in all the iv's yourself.
    You WILL hang fluids for patients yourself (the nurses do NOTHING.)

    You will wheel patients to their CT scans at all hours of the night, as there is pretty much no transportation or ancillary services.

    Many surgery residents get weeded out/leave, and they hire many foreign graduates.

    The program is pure hell.

    BUT... You WILL be well trained. Any trauma, you can do. And general surgery case or patient management case, you will be well trained for.

    NOT for the weak of heart. But for those who can stomach it, want to WORK, you may find it well worth it.

    Also, I know their peds surgery program was incredibly weak (most of the attendings left.)

    Keep in mind, this is based on the general surgery program as of 2002, and the hospital as of early 2005.
     
  5. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof
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    Thanks so much JacksonX. I knew about their peds surg problem since many of the attendings on that service did leave after their fellowship program was dropped.

    I would still love to hear from any current residents in the program if they don't mind being brutally honest- a pm would be greatly appreciated if you'd rather not publicly post. I honestly did like the program a great deal when I interviewed there, however I am not so thrilled with the scutwork reviews.
     
  6. downstateguy

    downstateguy Junior Member
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    the reviews on scutwork are pretty much right-on.
     
  7. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
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    This doesn't make sense, though. Daisygirl, you said you were impressed with the program and that the people seemed happy. And yet the reviews make it seem like the residents are very unhappy. So which is it? Do they only let the happy ones talk with the applicants? Do they publicly whip the residents who say anything bad about the program? What's going on?

    I feel like I'm going to spend so much time struggling over a rank list and not really even know what the program is like. How do you rank a program that seemed great when you were there but has horrible reviews? I'd like to "go with my gut," but I'm starting to think that any sh!tty program can pull it together for a few hours on interview day, leaving the applicants completely in the dark about the real program. Argh.
     
  8. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof
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    I understand what you are saying. I was honestly impressed with Downstate, particularly with the enthusiasm of the faculty that spoke to us in the morning.

    I'm going to struggle with my ranklist somewhat too. However, I can tell you that you will find that some programs are quite malignant (and crappy in my opinion) and that it is very noticeable. I've been on four interviews, and two of them are places that I will not rank since I'd rather go unmatched then wind up getting stuck in these two programs. The residents at both of these programs were not particularly happy and it was apparent. I didn't get this impression from Downstate. My gut feeling with Downstate is that there are probably some unhappy residents there (I didn't see them on interview day though) and their unhappiness may stem from several reasons but one that stands out in my mind is that Downstate is a tough place to train namely because of the surrounding area and its population base.
     
  9. GuP

    GuP Senior Member
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    Does anyone have any new info about Downstate? How is the program now? How is the intern surgery year there?
     
  10. kirurg

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    I interviewed there and ranked it (my classmates who interviewed there did not)...

    I would be scared sh**less now if I had matched there. The residents I talked to said they never study because they collapse the second they get home. I wasn't too worried about working hard, I just want to be able to do some reading on a regular basis.

    The residents probably leave the program very competent though.
     
  11. Asdf77

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    I interviewed there, and it just seemed like a poorly managed program from a logistical standpoint. 3 items in particular stood out.

    1. You have to take your entire month of vacation in one block, for all 5 years. So you have the potential to be q3 call for 23 straight months w/o a day of vacation.

    2. There are FIVE different hospitals to work at. I understand that a few different hospitals give folks a wider experience, but five was just too many.

    3. Your pay could vary up to $3,000 per year within your own class depending on which hospital is deemed to be your employer. This is a random assignment. So you could make less your 2nd year than your first year if you get unlucky and end up with the worst salary. I just find it ridiculous that a surgery program can't find a way to just pay everyone the same amount. Is it that hard?

    As for the teaching, etc, that all seemed fine. but this logistical stuff seemed so out of whack to me that i put it pretty low on my list. Seemed like nice, happy residents and supportive staff, etc. But just poorly run.
     
  12. i agree with the above posters. While I think the Assoc PD is trying hard to increase the sense of community in the program with these "families" of residents across the years with a attending surgeon "parent", i think there are significant drawbacks to the program.

    I agree with the point about a month block of vacation-- while this seems to be somewhat common in gen surg programs, when i asked them about it, and they all hate it, i asked why they couldnt approach the admin to change it- and they basically said "because thats the way it is". I wanted a program that was more responsive to the needs of the residents.

    Also, there are a handful of research labs you can join, like the chairman's, but if you want to do research outside of the institution (even in nyc) i was told "general surgery is competitive and your spot will not necessarily be there when you get back" which i also thought was a really bad attitude.

    Lastly, the day was totally disorganized. I showed up and wasnt on the list, no one was available to interview me, etc. The residents seem to get the bulk of their operative experience at the small private hospitals instead of Kings Cty or Downstate. It seems like you will be very well trained and capable of handling a lot, but the cost for that education might be too high.
     
  13. Castro Viejo

    Castro Viejo Papa Clot Buster
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    About 1,000 General Surgery procedures are performed at Kings County Hospital while 2,000 General Surgery procedures are performed at University Hospital of Brooklyn.

    The bulk of the operative experience for the residents come through their community affiliates (Long Island College Hospital and Lutheran Medical Center).

    They recently had to slash a spot because they were anticipating having trouble making the increase in RRC case requirements. Their Chiefs, prior to this, were graduating with a little over 600 major cases.
     
  14. avocadoshake

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    Any updated review on SUNY Downstate?
     
  15. bluebird17

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    any reviews about SUNY downstate in recent years?
    - So far what ive found out: Kings county is very busy, scurwork mean attendings, nurses not really doing their thing with blood draws and IV morphine pushes on residents

    Abovementioned is nothing new or different that i have heard about any NY program be it Surgery or Medicine.

    Most i want to know how well are you trained as a surgeon. in the previous above posts sentences like " overall residents leave the program confident" are the things that im interested to know if its true.

    Thanks
     

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