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surprise IM programs that aren't mentioned

cookiegrub

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I went up and down the search list in both sdn and reddit (so I apologize if I haven't been using the right boolean on phrase if this has been mentioned before) but I can't find a composite list of lesser known IM programs that applicants don't know about. I haven't heard a lick from VSAS and I don't know how to go about pursuing the right programs for an audition. In light of this, I was wondering if I could just skip to thinking about my residency program list. I don't want to apply to a bajillion IM programs and I already talked with my chair about their suggestion (of which they pointed to some generic programs). Harvard, JHU..etc are a league of their own and at this point everyone and their mother is going to consider them, so I want to stray away from these programs and ask if you all have other gems that may not be advertised as much (esp with covid preventing proper exposure). I am interested in fellowship but I realize there are community programs that don't have fellowships but have fantastic match rate. I have been randomly looking at university programs but somewhere my inexperience has me believing that I'm not getting the big picture at my level. Kindly appreciate any help if anyone is willing to add to a list of great IM programs worth looking into besides the top 30 (according to USNR).
 
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AlteredScale

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I went up and down the search list in both sdn and reddit (so I apologize if I haven't been using the right boolean on phrase if this has been mentioned before) but I can't find a composite list of lesser known IM programs that applicants don't know about. I haven't heard a lick from VSAS and I don't know how to go about pursuing the right programs for an audition. In light of this, I was wondering if I could just skip to thinking about my residency program list. I don't want to apply to a bajillion IM programs and I already talked with my chair about their suggestion (of which they pointed to some generic programs). Harvard, JHU..etc are a league of their own and at this point everyone and their mother is going to consider them, so I want to stray away from these programs and ask if you all have other gems that may not be advertised as much (esp with covid preventing proper exposure). I am interested in fellowship but I realize there are community programs that don't have fellowships but have fantastic match rate. I have been randomly looking at university programs but somewhere my inexperience has me believing that I'm not getting the big picture at my level. Kindly appreciate any help if anyone is willing to add to a list of great IM programs worth looking into besides the top 30 (according to USNR).
 

blub1212

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I would put in a plug for the University of Cincinnati. I feel like it is a lesser-known program that has a great patient population mix with a huge focus on resident education.
 
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Gaborik10

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I would put in a plug for the University of Cincinnati. I feel like it is a lesser-known program that has a great patient population mix with a huge focus on resident education.

I loved that program on the interview trail. The long block really turns off a lot of applicants though (although its pretty unique and maybe cool if you want to go into primary care).
 
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cookiegrub

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Thanks I've definitely been using the various databases to help but I think the issue for me is really assessing the resident culture and how much focus goes into training and being felt like a team member. I don't even know what questions to focus on that will impact me as a resident. All programs seem nice but my goal is fellowship and so I am not sure what mistakes I might make if I go into this blindly.
 
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cookiegrub

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I loved that program on the interview trail. The long block really turns off a lot of applicants though (although its pretty unique and maybe cool if you want to go into primary care).
does the long block prevent adequate exposure and research time for a competitive fellowship match? Though, I would like to come out of residency with strong primary care skills in the event I decide on general practice.
 

AlteredScale

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Thanks I've definitely been using the various databases to help but I think the issue for me is really assessing the resident culture and how much focus goes into training and being felt like a team member. I don't even know what questions to focus on that will impact me as a resident. All programs seem nice but my goal is fellowship and so I am not sure what mistakes I might make if I go into this blindly.

Honestly I think resident culture is at best assessed through the interview process, I guess you could contact the chiefs as well and ask them. But I don't believe there's a great database for this.
 
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cookiegrub

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Honestly I think resident culture is at best assessed through the interview process, I guess you could contact the chiefs as well and ask them. But I don't believe there's a great database for this.
True, to one person things may be completely different compared to another. But wouldn't hurt to have some programs thrown in that have positive culture and where faculty help them get great fellowship positions.
 
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Gaborik10

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does the long block prevent adequate exposure and research time for a competitive fellowship match? Though, I would like to come out of residency with strong primary care skills in the event I decide on general practice.

I don't think it prevents being competitive for fellowships. because it sounds like you still have electives and things like that. I'm sure they match really well. For those kinds of questions you probably have to ask someone who went there.
 
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cookiegrub

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I don't think it prevents being competitive for fellowships. because it sounds like you still have electives and things like that. I'm sure they match really well. For those kinds of questions you probably have to ask someone who went there.
Read more into their program and it seems like what every residency should do in the event IM people just want to practice right after. Thanks for your suggestion
 

blub1212

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does the long block prevent adequate exposure and research time for a competitive fellowship match? Though, I would like to come out of residency with strong primary care skills in the event I decide on general practice.

Long-block is actually really good for people that want to go into fellowship. From October of your second year through October of your third year you are doing outpatient medicine and only on elective as an inpatient. You will have 4-6 weeks of nights (most end up with 4 weeks) and then some people elect to do ICU or another couple weeks of inpatient. But, other than that you work "normal human hours" and have every weekend off for that year. It provides a ton of time to work on your research projects and build your CV.
 
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studentdocftw

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Cincy, Wake Forest, Ohio State, Tulane.
These come to mind as programs that appeared to have solid training but lacked recognition. In general, these types of programs are usually lower on the "rankings" + have 1 big deterrent for a lot of applicants..in this case, Cincys long block and the cities of Winston, Columbus and NOLA.
 
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bobow98

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Cincy long block looks awesome for people trying to go into fellowship for sure. 3 half days of clinic a week, manage inbox, and do research the rest of the time with some didactics and all weekends off? At my residency we had 3 weeks inpt and 3 weeks outpatient/elective/nights/vacation blocks with a weekend coverage during our outpatient blocks and trust me that was barely enough time to relax and squeeze in minimal research.
There are probably a lot of underrated places in the midwest from the looks of it.
 

ucimres

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Long-block is actually really good for people that want to go into fellowship. From October of your second year through October of your third year you are doing outpatient medicine and only on elective as an inpatient. You will have 4-6 weeks of nights (most end up with 4 weeks) and then some people elect to do ICU or another couple weeks of inpatient. But, other than that you work "normal human hours" and have every weekend off for that year. It provides a ton of time to work on your research projects and build your CV.
I went to UC! Long block is amazing. It's perfectly timed to give you plenty of time to do research and electives before applying to fellowship, and to go on as many interviews as you want. I had a way easier time with this than my friends in x+y programs. I can also say that compared to my friends in traditional or in x+y programs, I was the only one who had a truly great outpatient experience during residency, with a patient panel I got to know very well and really take ownership of.

Cincinnati is so slept on but I think it's the strongest IM residency in Ohio (did med school and fellowship at other Ohio institutions, and have a lot of friends around the state).
 
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shouldigomd

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You are not alone in your feelings. I had the same dilemma when applying for residency. Once ERAS opens up you can see every program you can apply to. You simply have to take the time and visit the websites and do the research. You can try and reach out to residents about their experiences. Ultimately if you are interested in fellowship (especially more competitive ones) than match lists are the most important thing for you to look at. SDN / internet glorifies the elite programs. If you want a less competitive specialty than you can afford prioritizing "happiness" more. If you want cards / gi than you should prioritize reputation. Ultimately you have to find the balance that works for you.

When making your list reflect on the quality of applicant you are. If you are an average AMG from a low or mid tier program than doesn't make much sense to apply to johns hopkins. That being said now isn't the time to be frugal.... spend the extra $1K and apply generously. You spent 250K for med school... makes no sense to be picky to save 500 to 1000 bucks when applying.
 

cookiegrub

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You are not alone in your feelings. I had the same dilemma when applying for residency. Once ERAS opens up you can see every program you can apply to. You simply have to take the time and visit the websites and do the research. You can try and reach out to residents about their experiences. Ultimately if you are interested in fellowship (especially more competitive ones) than match lists are the most important thing for you to look at. SDN / internet glorifies the elite programs. If you want a less competitive specialty than you can afford prioritizing "happiness" more. If you want cards / gi than you should prioritize reputation. Ultimately you have to find the balance that works for you.

When making your list reflect on the quality of applicant you are. If you are an average AMG from a low or mid tier program than doesn't make much sense to apply to johns hopkins. That being said now isn't the time to be frugal.... spend the extra $1K and apply generously. You spent 250K for med school... makes no sense to be picky to save 500 to 1000 bucks when applying.
what do you think impacted you in residency that you wish you had known about your program before or had asked about? What perspective did you gain when you became a resident that wasn't clear to you as a medical student (eg schedule wise what type of schedule seemed to transition better)?
 
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shouldigomd

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what do you think impacted you in residency that you wish you had known about your program before or had asked about? What perspective did you gain when you became a resident that wasn't clear to you as a medical student (eg schedule wise what type of schedule seemed to transition better)?

Unfortunately a lot of it really isn't figured out until you are a resident and much of your experience is dictated by the people that are there (peers, chiefs, etc) during your 3 years. I really enjoyed my residency program (mid tier university program). A few things:

1) don't overemphasize your interviews. Interview day "vibe" is important but I really put a lot of weight into how much I enjoyed the interviews. Reality is you will likely only interact with that person minimally (unless you go to a very small program). Same thing for the PD. A charismatic PD is great but don't let it overwhelm your judgement. Some put on a great front and others are "cold" on the surface but great for their programs.

2) Schedule.Some programs have you doing endless inpatient wards months which can be extremely draining. Make sure your program has easier blocks interspersed to allow you free time / time to decompress. You should also have more freedom and electives as you advance through.

3) Location / Trends: Depending on your fellowship location really matters. I am doing cardiology and there are definitely trends in where people from my program get interviews. For instance if you want to end up in the PNW you should try and find a program out there or with a good trend of getting people there. Also in house fellowships should take around 30-50% of their own. If they don't or take 100% internal .... these can be red flags.

4) Autonomy: Some programs have IM residents as scut note monkeys. Make sure your program lets you manage your own patients, do your own procedures, etc.

Balance is important and so is happiness. If I could go back and choose some elite program that I would be unhappy at for 3 years I wouldn't (even if it meant an "elite" cards fellowship). That is just me though.
 
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cookiegrub

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Unfortunately a lot of it really isn't figured out until you are a resident and much of your experience is dictated by the people that are there (peers, chiefs, etc) during your 3 years. I really enjoyed my residency program (mid tier university program). A few things:

1) don't overemphasize your interviews. Interview day "vibe" is important but I really put a lot of weight into how much I enjoyed the interviews. Reality is you will likely only interact with that person minimally (unless you go to a very small program). Same thing for the PD. A charismatic PD is great but don't let it overwhelm your judgement. Some put on a great front and others are "cold" on the surface but great for their programs.

2) Schedule.Some programs have you doing endless inpatient wards months which can be extremely draining. Make sure your program has easier blocks interspersed to allow you free time / time to decompress. You should also have more freedom and electives as you advance through.

3) Location / Trends: Depending on your fellowship location really matters. I am doing cardiology and there are definitely trends in where people from my program get interviews. For instance if you want to end up in the PNW you should try and find a program out there or with a good trend of getting people there. Also in house fellowships should take around 30-50% of their own. If they don't or take 100% internal .... these can be red flags.

4) Autonomy: Some programs have IM residents as scut note monkeys. Make sure your program lets you manage your own patients, do your own procedures, etc.

Balance is important and so is happiness. If I could go back and choose some elite program that I would be unhappy at for 3 years I wouldn't (even if it meant an "elite" cards fellowship). That is just me though.
thanks that was very insightful and gives me something to be cautious about (especially the location part that you mentioned).
 
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