The BIDMC experience

Discussion in 'Internal Medicine and IM Subspecialties' started by ion1, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. ion1

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    i recently visited this program and have some mixed feelings. maybe some other people can comment. the other threads have been uniformly positive about BID, but i have some concerns.

    1. i expected this program, with its harvard name/teaching affiliate of HMS, to be a high power program with a culture of academia. maybe something similar to what i saw at duke, mgh, hopkins, or washU. this was not the case. this program seems to be riding on its name, without having any sense of "we are a tough program like any other top program, but we help each other out, so that we are better docs down the road."

    2. the people - i was unimpressed with the residents. largely due to the reason above. early in the day, the program leadership said they like to train the types of docs who provide the level of care that would be expected for their own family members. i doubt this program can get you there, since the residents seem more interested in enjoying their residency than challenging themselves in patient care.

    3. the program leadership - zeidel, the chair, is awesome. but why go to a program when the PD can negatively impact you on your fellowship opportunities? all fellowships require a PD letter. what's the point in going to a program, working hard for several years, and then having the PD not fight for you, as has commonly been mentioned on prior forums.

    4. when i visited boston and took the T, there were all these signs telling me to "keep an eye on BI." i was like, what the **** does that mean? i'm not sure what to make of the website (which i wont post, but i'm sure you can find), since it just seems to be a war about whether the hospital employees should be able to unionize, but there seems to be some inner struggle at the hospital.

    5. the numbers - they posted their fellowship numbers at the orientation. 63% get their first choice of fellowship. 83% get their first or second choice. and apparently, everyone matched. i dont know if i should be impressed with these numbers or not.

    with all that said, this place will likely get you where you need to be. their fellowship matches are respectable, and i thought this is a good place for someone interested in primary care. it also boasts a nice EMR. and it's in boston, which seems like a nice city.

    but again, i'm trying to sort out this program since it was not what i expected...

    any thoughts appreciated.
     
  2. sam79

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    I totally agree 100% with you, could not agree any more. I don't know where previous positive post came from, may be vandy can answer this question, would he/she come to BIDMC just to live in Boston leaving Wash U/Hopkins. I think it is too much of a cost that you are paying to come to Boston.

    Please read my reply to the other post about BIDMC. If you talk to people in Brigham and MGH, they are not even happy that BIDMC is one of the harvard hospitals. All they think is when you go out for fellowship interview that it is one of many harvard "affiliate" in Boston like mount auburn etc

    PD is someone as worse as it could get, even in last year fellowship match (this is from personal experience) she wrote hugely unimpressive letters and forget about calling any single program to support the residents.

    The faculty seems to be uninterested in training their own residents, rounds in CCU/MICU are often business rounds. 63% fellowship match for Harvard Hospital is unacceptable.

    You do not want to come to Boston to come to this program, I would rank the boston programs in this order. MGH>Brigham>Tufts or BU> UMass>Lahey>Beth Israel

    Sorry guys just a little frustrated with how things have been in so call harvard hospital....good luck with match!!!!
     
  3. mem141

    mem141 Junior Member
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    Sam79....what is your deal?
    I went to your "eyeonBI" website. It looks like it's about a labor union dispute? I mean, I'm all for unions, sure, but it doesn't really seem central to my IM residency training.
    I went to my BI interview and loved it. It seemed like a great program with residents who are truly happy about where they are. I know for a lot of us OC types, seeing people who are happy makes us suspicious they aren't pushing each other hard enough, and it's certainly it's own type of environment that may not be for everyone. But I mean, comparing it to Mt. Auburn? I have no idea what/where that is, but I'm guessing that the dudes in charge of Sanford's Gude and UpToDate do not hail from that hospital.

    And I disagree about the MGH/BWH people being ashamed of BI. My best friend from med school is at Brigham and told me that when they rotated together at the Roxbury VA she thought the BI interns she worked with were great.

    Last, if you look at last year's rank list, there are certainly a lot of people who ranked BID equal to or higher than the other Harvards and other top programs. So I'm not sure I understand how your description of it as a cesspool of ignorance really is compatible with that. But you say you have personal experience with this, so what is the deal? I actually really liked it there and if it is a hellhole, they do a good job hiding it and I'd appreciate you stepping up, Sam, and explaining a little better how you get your perspective.

    The PD not supporting fellowship apps is certainly a legitimate concern and one I'd like to here more about it. The chair said he calls fellowship directors regularly for residents...

    Anyway, just wondering.
     
  4. sam79

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    I am sorry if I upset you or for that matter anyone with my comments. Try out 2 things, ask the program the email of residents who have matched in the sub specialty that you are interested in (if you want to go for one) and you will find out from those resident how much they were supported by the PD.

    And I agree with you comment that BIDMC has some big shot names as the heads of the department let's say in Cardiology but find out how many of his own people (residents) has he taken in his fellowship program.

    When I say personal I meant more for fellowship support experience. I have no doubt that this program is a great primary care program and would train you as one of nation's best primary care physician.

    Make your own decisions...I was just sharing thoughts, I am out of this forum!!
     
  5. absolutezero

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    I'm surprised by all the negativity toward BI. I interviewed at BI, MGH, BWH, BU and Mt Auburn and BI really stood out to me as a great place. I too have concerns but I really don't stake too much on the union griping- this is standard seige tactics to wear down the administration. It doesn't really have anything to do with what type of place it is to train. Just considering the staff compared to other harvard hospitals, BI is well known to have the finest nursing and support staff.
     
  6. VandyMed2009

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    ion1 and sam -- you seem very confused by my positive eval of BIDMC. I'll clarify by addressing ion1's points.

    1. "i expected this program, with its harvard name/teaching affiliate of HMS, to be a high power program with a culture of academia."
    I got a very strong vibe this is a highly academic program. The residents all do research, and they have many mentoring and course opportunities available for research. I asked one resident if there was anything he didnt' like about BI, and he said "I feel like they push too hard for research and fellowships and don't support people doing primary care".

    2. "the residents seem more interested in enjoying their residency than challenging themselves in patient care. "
    This is not the vibe i got at all. Yes, the residents seem happy and have free time to enjoy themselves, spend time with their families, and explore the city. I NEVER got the impression that they would sacrifice patient care in order to have free time; they seemed to care about their jobs and patients as much as any other residents i've seen. Call me crazy, but I don't think you need to be overworked, miserable, and violating call hours to be a good doctor. I WANT to go to a program where the residents are happy.

    3. "what's the point in going to a program, working hard for several years, and then having the PD not fight for you"
    I had never heard this before the last few days of posts here on SDN. None of the residents at BI said negative things about the PD and I did ask. However, now that this has been brought up, its certainly something I will investigate. But I have to admit i am skeptical -- i really doubt that a PD would last for any significant length of time if they really behaved this way.


    5. the numbers - they posted their fellowship numbers at the orientation. 63% get their first choice of fellowship. 83% get their first or second choice. and apparently, everyone matched. i dont know if i should be impressed with these numbers or not."
    Yes, this is true, not every single person got their #1 choice. but they ALL matched into their field of choice. Personally, i'm ok with that. I just want to do a fellowship, i dont have to do it at 1 particular place. Other people might not be o k with that. its personal.


    Overall what I gather is that some people don't think BIDMC is "hardcore" enough of a program. And i agree with you, it definitely seems easier/less stressful than the other harvards and hopkins. But I think its wrong to assume that because its easier, you will get poor training. Some people care more about going to the best of the best and don't care if that means being miserable and overworked. Some people like me would rather be at a solid program where people are happy. Thats why its called a Match -- you have to find the program that's the best fit for you. The PD thing is, however, certainly concerning. I would really like an actualy BIDMC resident's opinion on this though, as opposed to rumors passed down from other applicants.
     
  7. viostorm

    viostorm Senior Member
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    Look, I don't think it is worth arguing with this 3 post count moron. Grow a sack and either post as your real name or let us know who you are before you go around trashing Harvard.

    I liked my BID interview and I'll likely rank it highly ... probably 1 or 2.
     
  8. Nimbius

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    Is this a joke?? BIDMC is one of the best IM programs in the country, above UMass, Lahey, and certainly well above BU.
     
  9. Linus2007

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    I just posted some thoughts on the other forum. Hmm have to say that some prior posters observations are little bit dodgy. The Cards department filled half of the fellowship with BI residents so they do take their own. Again the eyeonBI is a labor dispute that does not affect us. In fact it mainly is marketing on the outside labor organization to put pressure on the CEO to agree to the union.

    I do agree that if you want to do Cards at BWH or MGH coming from BI will not help you.
     
  10. dragonfly99

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    I don't know a huge amount about this hospital, but I do know of someone who went there and ended up not liking it. This was several years ago. I don't think it's on the level of the other Harvard hospitals, in terms of how rigorous it is or in fellowship matches. However, the fellowship match rate you listed above is actually good...particularly if the folks were trying for things like GI and cardiology. If the PD is not going to bat for the residents in terms of fellowship placements, etc., and/or in other ways, that would be a big deal. The PD is going to be much more important in your residency experience than the dept. chair, in general. If you go to an interview and get a bad vibe from the PD, run, don't walk, to get away from there. Also, realize that some PD's who act nice during the interview are not - need to do your homework on each program as much as possible.
     
  11. sam79

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    I guess people are not allowed to post feedback based on personal experience in this forum, otherwise users like "viostorm" will come and start abusing....so be careful before you post the comments on BIDMC (even if you are the moderator) especially in a thread where rather than finding the truth about the program students are more interested in cursing seniors, good luck to everyone for the upcoming match!!!
     
  12. viostorm

    viostorm Senior Member
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    The fact is it appears you created your account just to bash BID, all FOUR of your post trash BID. Its obvious you are bitter about something that happened to you at BID. In my opinion this is classic TROLL behavior ... but whatever.

    This community has long history of tolerance of negative reviews of programs. I don't even go to or probably ever will go BID so who cares, but I didn't appreciate someone creating an account just to talk trash about a program.
     
  13. greenergrass

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    umm... BID is a phenomenal program and an integral harvard hospital. With that, it gets major academic talent and money.

    Your posts are comical and likely serve to scare off borderline applicants so you might have a better chance. Pathetic and transparent.

    I will likely rank it #1 or 2.
     
  14. mem141

    mem141 Junior Member
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    FYI, the fellowship placement stats for last year (63% to top choice, etc) were:
    10 to cards
    9 to GI
    5 to heme/onc
    5 to GIM
    4 to pulm/cc
    4 to endocrine
    1 to allergy
    1 to ID
    I believe they have 48 categoricals total, if that helps.

    (If you're interviewing with BIDMC, then you have this list in front of you anyway, so no new information here...)
     
  15. greenthing

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    OK, I'm a BI resident (intern, to be exact) and would like to weigh in on a couple of points.

    1) The nonsense about the PD not being supportive is . . .nonsense. I'm not sure why that's being propagated on SDN, but no resident I've ever talked to about it (and I've talked to quite a few, mostly because this came up on SDN last year when I was making my decision) has any problem with her. She's matter-of-fact, helpful, and practical. What more could you want? If you suspect she isn't doing a good job with fellowship letters, feel free to look at our fellowship match list. Nobody I know has had any complaint in this regard or any other around our PD.

    2) The bit about us not working hard and being hedonistic strikes me as really funny right here in the midst of intern year. I assure you that we work plenty of hours and are plenty dedicated to our patients while in the hospital. I chose BI because in large part because the residents seemed like the most supportive of any program I visited (including Brigham, Duke, WashU, etc), and I have been 100% satisfied about the support I've received. A second reason for choosing here was that residents seemed to have some time to take care of themselves as well. If there is any area where I feel like BI isn't exactly what I expected, it that this ample time that I expected (in part due to reviews on SDN) has not materialized. That having been said, I am writing this post . . . . :)

    Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions/concerns about BI you'd like to discuss.
     
  16. Gharfunkle

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    I'm a current Resident at BIDMC.

    To allay some of the concerns, I can comment on a few of the issues raised above.

    1. "Eye on BI" - This is a campaign being waged by the local Service Employees International Union because the workers at BIDMC are not unionized unlike some of the other hospitals around Boston. A lot of the employees at BIDMC, because they're actually very satisfied with their workplace, are actually irritated by the SEIU campaign. Feel free to review our CEO, Paul Levy's blog for further details on the subject. I for one am very satisfied with the work environment at BIDMC.

    2. Research opportunities - Academic opportunities in both clinical and basic science research abound with numerous mentors in many fields, especially cardiology, gastroenterology, hematology/oncology and general medicine. All of these mentors all well-known in their respective fields. Some people were publishing several papers in their intern year. One of our interns last year was first author for an Infectious Diseases study in Annals of Internal Medicine. Of course, academic productivity increases in the 2nd and 3rd year, where there is more opportunity for research time. We get up to 9 weeks of research time in one year, in addition to a 2-week research coruse for those who are more in the early stages and don't have additional degrees or research experience. The faculty are top notch. I personally worked with a great mentor who is associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. One of my classmates has published at least 6-8 papers with the TIMI Study group DURING his residency, of which he was first author on several, and he's not even a PhD. I've heard similar opportunities from classmates in other fields such as GI, Heme/Onc, etc. The dude who invented Up-To-Date, Burton Rose, is a nephrologist at BIDMC, as are a number of the Deputy Editors of Up-To-Date. The Deputy Editor of the New England Journal is also on BIDMC staff. If you're interested in diabetes research, the Joslin Diabetes Center is part of the BIDMC system.

    3. Fellowship matches - The Chief of medicine and program director meet with each person planning to apply to fellowship starting early in the season, and will meet with you as often as you like to help you solidify your application. Once you know your top choice program, they both personally call the fellowship director for each applicant's top choice. With regard to the director's letter, it is an amalgamation of letters by three people. The BIDMC Housestaff is divided into Firms, with each firm having its own chief. The point of this firm is to have one leadership faculty get to know you very well over the course of the residency. That's not to say that our PD does not also get to know you well. The final Chair's letter is put together with input from the Firm Chief, the Program Director, and the Chairman of Medicine. I personally applied in cardiology and got my first choice. As for BI not taking its own, Cardiology usually takes 1-2 candidates out of 8 internally. This year, they took 3/8 candidates because there was such a strong pool. We had several people interviewing at the most prestigious cardiology programs, including Partners, Hopkins, Penn, Duke, Cleveland Clinic, or any other top notch program. Of course for people interested in Electrophysiology, BIDMC is the place to be, given the father of modern electrophysiology, Mark Josephson, is our Division chief. It is also a very strong program for echocardiography and MRI imaging, with Warren Manning our many research mentor in that area. Our division chiefs also meet with applicants, and Mark will personally call for you the program director of your top choice when you tell him your choice. And Mark's opinion is not taken lightly in the cardiology world.

    5. Clinical training - I've had ICU nurses who have worked at several hospitals around Boston who have commented that BIDMC residents run the most organized and efficient Codes of any housestaff in town. Clinical training is strong in all of the Boston hospitals, but each has its own styles. Brigham has a reputation of being fellow-driven, so they medicine housestaff often have to request consultations from subspecialty services. MGH is seen as probably the most autonomous of the Harvard programs. BIDMC is a balance between the two. BIDMC also takes its duty hour compliance very seriously, which is important in our housestaff's well-being.

    Overall, I've been happy with my training at BIDMC and the opportunities it has provided. Feel free to PM me with any messages.
     
  17. lurkerboy

    lurkerboy exhalted mystic ruler
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    I am a graduate of the BIDMC medicine program. I am currently a cardiology fellow in NY. I came out of residency running circles around my current colleagues (from nyu, bu, yale, cornell, etc...) when it came to procedures and ability handle hard work.

    My favorite thing about my program was how everyone worked together.... if you were supposed to finish admitting at 9pm (i think its different now) and you got a call for an admit at 8:55, co-residents on NF would just take it so that the day people could get out. No one dumped on each other. The Brigham is not like that.

    As for the program leadership, I think they were all great. The PD and chief would have us over to their houses at least once a year. Everyone is on a first name basis. The computer system is 2nd to none and is constantly improved. The staff all enjoy what they do and work with the house staff. I still follow the CEO's blog - the whole culture is progressive.
     
  18. hoddog

    hoddog Junior Member
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    Just had to add my quick thoughts...I am a resident at BWH. Just to clarify, we do NOT dump on eachother. And, the BI is an amazing place to train. From our perspective people seem very happy there. (But, we are too...)
     
  19. EyeOnBI

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    My recently completed residency years at BIDMC are three of the most formative, exciting, and rewarding years of my life. I can't imagine a more academically rigorous yet endlessly supportive place to have spent these years. BI was my first choice, on a list that included every other major academic center in Boston. I believe one would receive fantastic training at any of these places. For me, however, there was something special about BI. I will be forever proud to say that I trained here, forever thankful for the support of the administration, and most of all, forever attached to those residents who experienced it by my side.
     
  20. TommyGunn04

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    I'm surprised to read so many negative things about BI! Here's my take on the program:

    I interviewed at BI a few years ago when I was going through the match process. To this day, I still remember how impressed I was with how friendly and collegial the housestaff were. There was a palpable difference compared to some other programs with regards to how cooperative the residents seemed to be, and their attitude of being willing to help each other out with late admissions, etc. The chairman was VERY impressive as well. I remember there being concerns about the PD at that time, and she certainly struck me as a bit socially awkward, but I heard overwhelmingly quite positive things about her directly from many of their current housestaff.

    I also interviewed at BU that year, so I can make some direct comparisons. To put it bluntly, I was thoroughly unimpressed with several of their interns, a couple of whom personally told me that it wasn't their first choice program and that they wished they had matched elsewhere. It also clearly did not have the same degree of academic rigor compared to BI, in terms of faculty, clinical experiences, quality of conferences, etc. etc.

    I strongly disagree with the above ranking of BI being far below BU and other Boston programs....it's clearly a top-tier sort of program, and the training you'd get there would easily rival that of the other Harvard programs.
     
  21. greenthing

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    I agree with the above posters about the quality of BI's program. I also interviewed at several Boston programs including all of the Harvard programs, and I ranked BI above all of them because of the strong emphasis on teaching and because of the happiness sheer friendliness of the residents. I have not been disappointed in either regard.
     

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