1. What do you find most helpful? Give us your feedback on the 2019 SDN Member Survey to help further the SDN mission (and win prizes!)
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice

Tales from the trail...

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by Neddy, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Neddy

    Neddy ... can get you a toe.
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    So beyond the ROLs, which obviously take a lot of factors into consideration, I'd be interested to hear what people thought purely of their interview experiences at different programs. What places really wowed you on your interview day, and which places didn't seem to live up to their reputation? Here are a few for me:

    Wows:

    Michigan - Heck of a translational research sales pitch. Those guys have clearly been on a faculty and infrastructure spending spree. Be nicer when they get the new building though.

    MGH - Based on their reputation, I was expecting the attendings to be armed with cattle prods. I was very pleasantly surprised - the residents and attendings seem to have great relationships and overall I couldn't spot a weakness in the program. Loved it.

    I know you are better than this:

    Penn - Everyone I actually met there seemed great, but the PD, chairman, and several residents all made unsolicited remarks about some of the other residents being lazy and/or disgruntled. Seemed like a little too much honesty. Odd year for them though, with the signout system transition coming up.

    U of Washington - I consider it a red flag if you have to track down the PD 'cuz she didn't show up for your interview.
     
  2. superkeith

    superkeith Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    the program at the university of nebraska really impressed me. it is clear that they very much value the resident educational experience with an emphasis on learning the art and science of pathology rather than scut. the faculty that i had the privilege of meeting were all amazingly passionate about their field of expertise as well as teaching. the residents get along. the facilities were first rate. the institutional support and pa/staff assistance were superb. the department itself seems to be in a state of growth and developement and the excitement seems quite palpable. the recruitment of dr. audrey lazenby as director of ap was quite the coup. also, established strengths in hemepath and molecular are very much along my areas of interest.

    one program that did not impress me was northwestern. certainly, they are an outstanding program that trains great residents, but i definitely did not feel that it was the right fit for me. that one of my interviews consisted of me just staring at an attending while he worked on cases for 20 minutes is probably more a reflection of my lack of interview skills than it is anything else. still, it doesnt mean that i have to like it. also, when he did talk at me, he seemed bitter about applicants always expressing an interest in research but rarely following through as residents. in the end, it is the one program out of sixteen that i interviewed at that i did not end up ranking.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. Villin

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Stanford: :wow: the residents and faculty interacted with each other like the Brady Bunch...fantastic family dynamics...almost creepy but very alluring. :) faculty went out of their way to make my day very enjoyable. probably one of the coolest bunch of residents i met. impressive faculty...especially hemepath dept. awesome facilities especially autopsy room with windows!

    BWH: :wow::wow: i must admit that i am a name *****. i felt a shiver go up and down my spine when i arrived at the hospital (i know it was winter time, but i was warmly dressed). friendly faculty that made me feel at home and wanted. :) even the chair introduced himself and apologized to me at the end of the day because he was unable to meet with me...the vice-chair met with me instead. very serious bunch of residents and i like that! every resident i met was friendly, some first years looked a little worn down but that's no surprise. ;) it seemed like the faculty cared about my career...i hope this truly is the case. facilities are good and not spread out.

    MGH: :D great faculty, good facilities, and hit/miss residents. only downside was the new chair not meeting me even though he met with all the other applicants that day; I was the only non MD/PhD. :p I took that as a sign of disrespect and he didn't even acknowledge my presence when i walked passed him in the hallway later that day. recent change in chair, surg path director, but no faculty turnover that i know of...smooth transition if i ever heard of one.

    UCSF: awesome PD, decent chair (very opinionated) but civil, very nice faculty and great residents and dynamics. very nice facilities. But no one was there to greet me in the morning and i had to grab someone after the morning conference to direct me to my first interview.:(

    Hopkins: great chair, PD, faculty, and decent residents (hit/miss). great facilities. i felt at home there but Baltimore just doesn't do it for me. also, residents commented on a fair amount of scutwork (exceeding minimum ABP autopsy requirements by at least 30, organizing your own slides, excessive grossing even as one becomes more senior, etc); i know others have different opinions on this, but this is what they said.

    Mich: awesome faculty, chair, PD, and residents. i felt very welcome. hospital is huge and the path dept is just as spread out (well, mainly the researchers for good reason). tons of walking that day, but i needed the exercise. don't know if i could handle the wasted time walking everyday, but i'm sure it's not a huge deal. i just wished that new building was already built. they mistook me for a MudPhud when scheduling my interview, so i spent the whole day with researchers; i wish i had met Dr. Appleman, but oh well. The only drawback was that it was Ann Arbor which is a good medium size city, but a little boring for my taste. Sorry Yaah. :oops:

    Other programs

    UPenn: not crazy about their AP (surg path) going through a major transition as they recently hired a new surg path director. uncertainty about length of required surg path...currently 10 months, but even that number was in question. residents seemed okay, but there didn't seem to be a lot of chemistry among them. all in all, quite a forgettable experience.

    WashU: residents seemed to not play as a team, more as individuals with agendas (this may be the case elsewhere, but it was more apparent there). they spoke not so good of each other at times. lots of comparisons to other programs without mentioning names. PD was cynical about faculty turnover as compared to programs such as ivy leagues, stanford, etc. facilities run down.
     
  4. BabyTeaLeaf

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    UNM: This program really impressed me. Tricore is an excellent place for learning CP. Autopsy is superb -- no other program I went to could offer the same caliber of teaching, case variety, and overall forensic experience. AP seemed pretty good, not too overwhelming but definitely not light (50,000 surgicals). They also let residents take a few months to do research. As for the benefits, they really support their residents: personal desk, own microcope, $1600 per yr book fund, travel/moving expenses paid, very affordable medical and parking. As for fellowships, forensic and heme are great, but otherwise, not too many fellowships available. The only downside was that to me, Albuquerque wasn't the most exciting place. However, it's very affordable and still has good amount of things to do. I ranked them #2.

    Emory: This program really impressed me as well. They seemed like the most well-balanced program I interviewed with. AP, CP, and autopsy all seemed to be very very good. The wealth of fellowships they have also doesn't hurt. Emory's really pretty on the outside, and the facilities are still very good on the inside (but not the best that I saw). I thought their NP PD was very cordial and a good interviewer; it seemed like he would really advocate for me when the time for fellowhips came. If I liked Atlanta more, I might have put them #1 -- the lack of a grid pattern for city roads and traffic bothered me a little (not as bad as LA traffic though).

    UPMC: I was blown away when I saw this program. UPMC has alot of money and it shows, let's just leave it at that. Their subspecialty signout seemed very smooth and there was not alot that they couldn't offer. However, after I came back, saw some other places, and thought about the factors that are important for residency, I realized that UPMC is probably not the best place for me. I think if you're pretty knowledgable in path, this can be a great program for you (i.e. great for fellowships) but I just don't think I'm at that level yet. Grossing daily 6 days a week, very very large surg. volume, less preview and reading time than other programs are just a few reasons that made me put them lower (but still high) on my list. Btw, Pittsburgh is beautiful.

    UCLA: I found the residency coordinator (not the PD) particularly rude and unhelpful on numerous occasions prior to the interview day, but once I arrived, she was like the nicest person -- not sure what to make of this. Otherwise, I had a very good interview experience here and had a positive impression of their program.

    USC/LAC: I think this program is falling on some hard times right now (financially), but I'm sure they'll be fine and be coming back up soon. Recently, they lost almost all their cytopath faculty to neighboring Loma Linda. For the near future at least, their faculty aren't paid as well as other places in LA, so I'm not sure what's gonna happen. Having said that though, what goes on at the faculty level isn't something residents can control, and this may or may not matter for resident training. Also, they'll be moving to a new county hospital soon (in theory), so their facilities will be much better than they are now (let's just say right now they're adequate, but need improvement). Regardless of all this, I liked this program because of the residents -- they all seemed like people I could get along with and I know they get good training. Also, their faculty were all very nice (this was one of my most pleasant interview experiences). Ultimately, USC may not be pretty, but if you can ignore that, they have alot to offer and I think residency could be a blast there.
     
  5. LADoc00

    LADoc00 Gen X, the last great generation
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Messages:
    6,430
    Likes Received:
    472
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    And this one time, at band camp...oh sh!t, wrong thread.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. OP
    OP
    Neddy

    Neddy ... can get you a toe.
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Second all that on Stanford. Funny, 'cuz the people I spoke to who knew the program from a few years back had told me the residents were miserable - apparently they completely rearranged the surg path rotation schedule recently. This was my first away interview and I pretty much threw out all recieved wisdom after that.
     
  7. b&ierstiefel

    b&ierstiefel Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    11,787
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Non-Student
    It's OK to be a name *****. I'm a name *****...and a degree ***** too. Sometimes I feel like a doorknob where everyone gets a turn.

    Serious bunch of residents? When did you interview? You clearly weren't introduced to the Happy Hour contingent at the end of the day. We must have been on vacation...;)

    Yeah, some of the first years are a little worn down. I won't lie...first year is a hard year since our program is quite front-loaded...but you know a ton by the time you're a second year and the rest of your residency is lighter because you're more knowledgable and more efficient.

    The faculty really look out for you here. Dr. Fletcher is one of the most altruistic people I've met here...and I've heard of quite a few stories where he really went out of his way to help people progress in their careers and get jobs.

    Hope you match here...it'll be good to have you. You can gross in all of my colon specimens...and I expect you to find at least 30 lymph nodes in each colon specimen. I will smack your ass with a paddle after each time you dictate a case and you will scream "Thank you sir, may I please have another!"

    (Just kidding...I won't be grossing in any more colons for the rest of my residency).
     
  8. yaah

    yaah Boring
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Verified Expert 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Messages:
    27,933
    Likes Received:
    306
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    No more colons? Douchebag. ;) My glory hallelujah day will be the end of this month when I say so long to the mastectomy. We have this huge procedure with differential inking and standard sections and blah blah. I hate it. Should be one color. Take your sections and be done with it. It's easy to orient, it's a whole frigging boob. It's like a leg.

    Second the bit about faculty being good supporters - we have a few here who are like that and it makes a huge difference. Our AP director is similar.
     
  9. b&ierstiefel

    b&ierstiefel Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    11,787
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Um...how do you ink your boobs? Do you ink them before you go to sleep or after you wake up?

    Seriously though, we ink our boobs one color...and that's the posterior margin. Do you put different colors on the various superficial margins? The only time I use more than one color is when I'm dealing with lumpectomies.

    Anyways, yeah, I'm done with grossing general surgicals and after this year, finished with grossing for good. Kinda sad though...I'll have to find ways to prevent myself from forgetting these grossing skillz.
     
  10. Villin

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    yes, massa! yes, massa! ;)

    where was the happy hour announcement?! :mad: if i match there, you owe me (and maybe my wife) a drink! on second thought, just give me two drinks and that'll be the end of it.:D

    (side note: beer, good. 14 hr days IM subspecialty rotation during senior year, bad.)
     
  11. path-hopeful

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I pretty much agree on what you said about USC but I see things a bit differently, I think it's a diamond in the rough. The faculty there may not be paid well, but the ones that are there now are there because they like being there, which really changes the dynamic of the situation. They like teaching and they like USC. I had the opportunity to spend a month doing a rotation there and really think the attendings are a major strength of the program. Also, the new hospital is almost done. The last time I was there they had the lights on and people were walking around inside. The old hospital has character so I don't mind working there either... They have every fellowship imaginable (except for molecular and derm) and they take their own people for the fellowships. Also, it's the highest pay for residents in LA when you add in the $2000 bonus at the end of the first year. It's a county facility so you get county vacation (20+ days) and you have a lot of autonomy. The residents are cool and there are a lot of them so you'll have a lot of friends. The didactics are unparalleled and happen every day. They have plenty of volume, a FNA clinic, plenty of frozens... Plus you do half the year at the VA, which is pretty laid back and in West LA. I ranked it #2 because I don't like LA, but I'll feel a little disappointed and guilty if I don't match there. I really liked it, and I think there's a good chance I'll match there though...
     
  12. b&ierstiefel

    b&ierstiefel Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    11,787
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Non-Student
    There is no announcement...basically it's just a bunch of people sending text messages and pages during the day.

    just 2 drinks? you must be asian.

    Wait...if you match here, I owe you? That's funny. :laugh:
     
  13. Villin

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    :laugh: my tolerance is formidable.
     
  14. Logos'

    Logos' Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    ...
     
    #14 Logos', Feb 28, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  15. beary

    beary Pancytopenic
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Messages:
    9,508
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I just got off the boob service.

    For mastectomies: superior = blue, inferior = green, posterior = black.

    For lumpectomies: superior = blue, inferior = green, medial = red, lateral = orange, anterior = yellow, posterior = black. :eek:

    And now I'm back over at the VA and what do I get? More boobs. :mad:
     
  16. beary

    beary Pancytopenic
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Messages:
    9,508
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Glad you felt welcome!

    The walking around thing really does irritate me on a day to day basis. (Some of it is because of the construction going on right now so is a temporary problem.) We don't have enough grossing stations either and my #1 annoyance in life is finally getting a grossing station, getting paged by an attending, having to leave my station and walk ten minutes away to pick up slides, and then walk ten minutes back to show said slides to attending. :rolleyes:
     
  17. CameronFrye

    CameronFrye Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was under the impression that a temporary fix for the grossing space was going to be in place by this year. Did that not happen?
     
  18. beary

    beary Pancytopenic
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Messages:
    9,508
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    The construction is going on right now.
     

Share This Page