Doggeronie

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Torn on how to rank my programs. I'm a mediocre, low tier US MD student, and I'm interested in a competitive fellowship, like Cardio, or Heme/Onc. My top 4 are Dartmouth, Hofstra Northwell (NS/LIJ), Stonybrook, and Mayo FL.

I would prefer to live in a city. I'm brown and on the younger side, so I'd also like it if my class was more diverse and on the younger side as well.

Dartmouth fulfills none of these expectations, but people keep telling me it's the most prestigious program I've gotten an interview from and that I'd be a fool to pass on it.

I'm really trying to convince myself that I could make it through 3 years of residency at Dartmouth, since I've lived in rural areas for my education. People are saying residency is so time consuming that I really won't have the time to notice that I'm living in a rural area. I could potentially drive 2 hours to Boston if I ever got a day off, but I don't know how realistic that is. I'd be a 4 hr drive from home so I could potentially see my family once a month. And in terms of the basic necessities, the area does seem to have nice apartments, grocery stores etc, but it's still basically a village. The lack of brown people also really nags at me.

In terms of the other programs, I'm very confused on what to think of them as well.

Hofstra- Solid urban location, great access to Manhattan, 100% US MD program, large and wealthy hospital system. Only 1.5 hrs from home and I could literally hop on the train to go home. This was my #1 for a LONG time because of the location and the 100% US MD but I'm now questioning this. It seems to have very little rep/prestige? People are saying outside of NYC Hofstra has pretty much no recognition. Now not sure what to think since I'm getting mixed reviews.

Stonybrook- very diverse class, seem to all be on the younger side, location seems solid although not as urban as Hofstra. Really think I'd like working with the people there. 2.5 hrs from home, not a bad drive. But again, seems to not really be prestigious at all. Seems like a run of the mill mid/low-tier academic center.

Mayo Florida- Great location in North Florida but really far from my family in the Northeast. Class size is small, but seems diverse enough. Mayo seems to have a great reputation, and Mayo FL is the #1 hospital in Florida. Very impressive research support. But, they did SOAP 3 people in last year (seems to be an anomaly)? Plus, it is kinda a branch campus of Mayo MN so does that mean it's not as great as the others in my list?

All four programs have in-house fellowships in all subspecialties.

What do you guys think? Please help me out. I'm gridlocked. I want to have a life but I want to have a career too.
 

ciestar

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What do you mean on the younger side? Im 30 and do great with my younger co-interns. If you’re weary of non-trads, you’ll be shocked to find that about half of med students are non-trads. If you’re unwilling to work with a 30 year old.. well... idk. You also dont have much control over how old your co-interns are.

What is your gut telling you? If you feel Dartmouth isn’t for you, I wouldn’t rank it as high just for prestige. As an intern, I really understand that it is important to be in a program you actually like. Now I get that it’s high ranked programs are a path of less resistance for fellowships but, it isn’t 100% necessary. In-house fellowships are also important, which they all have. I know people who matched from community programs, DOs, and even Hahnemann (which was full of IMGs) who got cardio, GI, heme/onc...
 
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Doggeronie

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What do you mean on the younger side? Im 30 and do great with my younger co-interns. If you’re weary of non-trads, you’ll be shocked to find that about half of med students are non-trads. If you’re unwilling to work with a 30 year old.. well... idk. You also dont have much control over how old your co-interns are.

What is your gut telling you? If you feel Dartmouth isn’t for you, I wouldn’t rank it as high just for prestige. As an intern, I really understand that it is important to be in a program you actually like. Now I get that it’s high ranked programs are a path of less resistance for fellowships but, it isn’t 100% necessary. In-house fellowships are also important, which they all have. I know people who matched from community programs, DOs, and even Hahnemann (which was full of IMGs) who got cardio, GI, heme/onc...
I don't have a problem working with older residents, I just think it would end up impacting my social life since they (30+) are at a different stage in their lives and often don't have the same interests as younger residents (~25)
 
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I can't really speak to the homogeny at Dartmouth given I am whiter than the snow falling outside the kitchen window. Although my wife (who is/identifies as brown) often mentions having other brown persons present as a considerable comfort factor in different situations, hospitals, jobs, etc. So that plus your gut seems to indicicate Dartmouth might not be for you. (Again this part just my 0.02)

I know sooo many people from small, community hospitals that got fellowships in those specialties (military and civillian). If you want to be the high powered CEO reseracher cancer curing Dr. Strange wizard then maxing out your prestige matters but if not... then I think it's really okay to consider other factors. You'll do better if you're not miserable.

Personally I wouldn't worry so much about distance from home or age of the people in the program, but that's just me. You can always go back when you're an attending. Given my specific circumstances most of the programs I ranked/would be at have a pretty wide age range. They still seem to get along great. hang out outside of work, find SOs (in and out of the hospital), etc. Often having someone with a bit different perspective really livens things up, alcohol, clubbing, etc notwothstanding.
Side note: one of my close friends went to undergrad in stonybrook and really liked the area.
 
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What do you guys think? Please help me out. I'm gridlocked. I want to have a life but I want to have a career too.
Planning your career or life around what "people are saying" is a fool's errand. Based on what you have shared, Hofstra Northwell is clearly the best fit for you. Rank it #1 and don't look back.
 
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Mnowledge

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I am applying to radiology, but I was gung-ho IM -> GI prior to fourth year. I interviewed at all 4 places (for radiology) and I am brown as well. Here are my thoughts:

1) Prestige + opportunities: Unfortunately, prestige still matters for competitive IM fellowships, but so does research + LOR. All 4 places are university programs with ample research opportunities . Also, most residency programs like to keep their own. There is no tier difference among the 4 programs, although Dartmouth may have a slight edge. You really cannot go wrong here. FYI, it's untrue that Hofstra/Northwell is only known in NYC. They are one of the largest and most funded hospital systems in NY state and their general reputation is strong all across Northeast.

2) Ancillary support: If I was still applying IM, this would have been a huge factor. It is one of the primary reasons people will advise you to stay away from NYC programs. It affects your QOL and quality of your training. LIJ hospital is still in Queens and the ancillary staff will give you problems if you choose Hofstra. Unsure about the Stony Brook or Dartmouth. Mayo FL has strong ancillary support (their radiology program is categorical with linked prelim IM, and this is what I heard from the IM PD).

3) Location: There are decent Southeast Asian restaurants and grocery stores near all 4 locations. If you want a thriving brown community, being close to NYC is obviously your best bet. If you are ok with rural, Dartmouth seemed like an amazing place to train and settle down (low cost of living, down-to-earth people). Also, due to its rural location, it was not as affected by the pandemic as NYC programs. Jacksonville is also an up-and-coming city with a younger population (average age 30), decent COL, excellent weather, plenty of beaches, bars, restaurants, sports, concerts etc.

If it was me, I would have ranked Dartmouth > Mayo FL > Northwell > Stony Brook
 

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I don't have a problem working with older residents, I just think it would end up impacting my social life since they (30+) are at a different stage in their lives and often don't have the same interests as younger residents (~25)
Eh, you’d be surprised that 30 year olds and 25 year olds have similar interests. But whatever, if you think that you wouldnt click, then that’s fine. I still think Hofstra is where you’d be happiest based on your descriptions.
 
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PhillyMed777

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Torn on how to rank my programs. I'm a mediocre, low tier US MD student, and I'm interested in a competitive fellowship, like Cardio, or Heme/Onc. My top 4 are Dartmouth, Hofstra Northwell (NS/LIJ), Stonybrook, and Mayo FL.

I would prefer to live in a city. I'm brown and on the younger side, so I'd also like it if my class was more diverse and on the younger side as well.

Dartmouth fulfills none of these expectations, but people keep telling me it's the most prestigious program I've gotten an interview from and that I'd be a fool to pass on it.

I'm really trying to convince myself that I could make it through 3 years of residency at Dartmouth, since I've lived in rural areas for my education. People are saying residency is so time consuming that I really won't have the time to notice that I'm living in a rural area. I could potentially drive 2 hours to Boston if I ever got a day off, but I don't know how realistic that is. I'd be a 4 hr drive from home so I could potentially see my family once a month. And in terms of the basic necessities, the area does seem to have nice apartments, grocery stores etc, but it's still basically a village. The lack of brown people also really nags at me.

In terms of the other programs, I'm very confused on what to think of them as well.

Hofstra- Solid urban location, great access to Manhattan, 100% US MD program, large and wealthy hospital system. Only 1.5 hrs from home and I could literally hop on the train to go home. This was my #1 for a LONG time because of the location and the 100% US MD but I'm now questioning this. It seems to have very little rep/prestige? People are saying outside of NYC Hofstra has pretty much no recognition. Now not sure what to think since I'm getting mixed reviews.

Stonybrook- very diverse class, seem to all be on the younger side, location seems solid although not as urban as Hofstra. Really think I'd like working with the people there. 2.5 hrs from home, not a bad drive. But again, seems to not really be prestigious at all. Seems like a run of the mill mid/low-tier academic center.

Mayo Florida- Great location in North Florida but really far from my family in the Northeast. Class size is small, but seems diverse enough. Mayo seems to have a great reputation, and Mayo FL is the #1 hospital in Florida. Very impressive research support. But, they did SOAP 3 people in last year (seems to be an anomaly)? Plus, it is kinda a branch campus of Mayo MN so does that mean it's not as great as the others in my list?

All four programs have in-house fellowships in all subspecialties.

What do you guys think? Please help me out. I'm gridlocked. I want to have a life but I want to have a career too.
I disagree that Dartmouth is a prestigious medicine program. Remember that undergrad prestige is quite different from residency prestige.

I feel that Mayo FL is by far the most prestigious in the list. Id rank Hofstra second which has come a very long way in a short period of time (due primarily to their enormous hospital system in place). Then Dartmouth.
 
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LutGholein

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Excuse my ignorance but isn’t Mayo Jacksonville the top “prestige” one? I think the Mayo name has clearly buoyed the institution, but if you’re looking for more diversity and name I’d imagine that’s the place. Granted I think all 4 would lead you what you’re looking for. They are all solid/amazing places.
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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Eh, you’d be surprised that 30 year olds and 25 year olds have similar interests. But whatever, if you think that you wouldnt click, then that’s fine. I still think Hofstra is where you’d be happiest based on your descriptions.

I think this is something that is hard to realize until you've lived a life outside of school for a bit (which it sounds like maybe OP hasn't, given that they're graduating at 25). When I worked for a couple years between undergrad and med school, my friends were a mix of college friends that moved to the same city (within 1-3 years of my age), coworkers (mostly around my age) and then people I met through my hobbies (literally anywhere from 21 to 50+). Once you start meeting people outside of classes/the college mindset I think you tend to meet and click with a wider age range. I think things like children, life priorities are more important than age - I would probably click better with a 30 something with no kids than a 26 year old with 3 kids, just because I myself don't have kids and am not in that mindset.

Maybe it's different if your main way of meeting people is through nightlife or something (I'd have felt weird like, clubbing with a 50 year old rather than people closer to my age) but when you have a shared interest/hobby connecting you its easy to get along with a variety of people.
 
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DameJulie

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Planning your career or life around what "people are saying" is a fool's errand. Based on what you have shared, Hofstra Northwell is clearly the best fit for you. Rank it #1 and don't look back.
I agree with Med Ed. I also felt the same after reading OP's post.
 
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From what you write it seems like Hofstra is a good balance of all the factors you find important.
 
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ACSurgeon

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Rank residency programs how you prefer, not based on what others prefer.

I’m not in IM, but I know you don’t need to most prestigious program to match into competitive fellowships. It might open some doors or give you an edge, but not required at all. If these or other programs are a better fit for you, just make sure they’ve done ok matching people into your desired fellowships and rank them above a more prestigious program that you might hate.
 
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Torn on how to rank my programs. I'm a mediocre, low tier US MD student, and I'm interested in a competitive fellowship, like Cardio, or Heme/Onc. My top 4 are Dartmouth, Hofstra Northwell (NS/LIJ), Stonybrook, and Mayo FL.

I would prefer to live in a city. I'm brown and on the younger side, so I'd also like it if my class was more diverse and on the younger side as well.

Dartmouth fulfills none of these expectations, but people keep telling me it's the most prestigious program I've gotten an interview from and that I'd be a fool to pass on it.

I'm really trying to convince myself that I could make it through 3 years of residency at Dartmouth, since I've lived in rural areas for my education. People are saying residency is so time consuming that I really won't have the time to notice that I'm living in a rural area. I could potentially drive 2 hours to Boston if I ever got a day off, but I don't know how realistic that is. I'd be a 4 hr drive from home so I could potentially see my family once a month. And in terms of the basic necessities, the area does seem to have nice apartments, grocery stores etc, but it's still basically a village. The lack of brown people also really nags at me.

In terms of the other programs, I'm very confused on what to think of them as well.

Hofstra- Solid urban location, great access to Manhattan, 100% US MD program, large and wealthy hospital system. Only 1.5 hrs from home and I could literally hop on the train to go home. This was my #1 for a LONG time because of the location and the 100% US MD but I'm now questioning this. It seems to have very little rep/prestige? People are saying outside of NYC Hofstra has pretty much no recognition. Now not sure what to think since I'm getting mixed reviews.

Stonybrook- very diverse class, seem to all be on the younger side, location seems solid although not as urban as Hofstra. Really think I'd like working with the people there. 2.5 hrs from home, not a bad drive. But again, seems to not really be prestigious at all. Seems like a run of the mill mid/low-tier academic center.

Mayo Florida- Great location in North Florida but really far from my family in the Northeast. Class size is small, but seems diverse enough. Mayo seems to have a great reputation, and Mayo FL is the #1 hospital in Florida. Very impressive research support. But, they did SOAP 3 people in last year (seems to be an anomaly)? Plus, it is kinda a branch campus of Mayo MN so does that mean it's not as great as the others in my list?

All four programs have in-house fellowships in all subspecialties.

What do you guys think? Please help me out. I'm gridlocked. I want to have a life but I want to have a career too.
I’ll try to keep this short but I, and hundreds of others have been in your sort of dilemma before regarding Dartmouth. If it means anything I ended up ranking it below hofstra, but above stony brook when I applied IM.

Dartmouth is essentially a beautiful hospital and friendly atmosphere in an extremely white, rural area where most of your patients are white and from rural places. If only having white patients (also large proportion of them being conservative) means anything to you, then proceed with caution. When you take away the name of Dartmouth, the program really is just a solid mid tier program that does a decent job matching people into fellowships. However the biggest thing with Dartmouth is dealing with the location and population for those of us who are minorities and from much bigger, more diverse cities. Putting the name (which was really just copied from an undergrad college) aside, the hospital is a quaint place where a lot of your attendings aren’t necessarily crazy “top tier” renown leaders of their fields but generally a smart close knit group of people who are familiar with the rural life or went to Dartmouth for earlier schooling. A lot of them are actually chicken farmers. I personally just could not jive with the type of people there despite them all being very nice, but the life outside of the hospital was too “simple” and “plain” for my tastes and I missed the city life already just from my 6 hour visit there so I knew deep down I wouldn’t be happiest there.

The biggest obstacle for you matching Dartmouth after interviewing there wont be “will they rank me high enough”. It will be more about how YOU rank them and how committed you are to that type of location and environment.

just my two cents from a life long city folk who had spent a lot of time thinking about where to put that program on my list.
 
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Doggeronie

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I’ll try to keep this short but I, and hundreds of others have been in your sort of dilemma before regarding Dartmouth. If it means anything I ended up ranking it below hofstra, but above stony brook when I applied IM.

Dartmouth is essentially a beautiful hospital and friendly atmosphere in an extremely white, rural area where most of your patients are white and from rural places. If only having white patients (also large proportion of them being conservative) means anything to you, then proceed with caution. When you take away the name of Dartmouth, the program really is just a solid mid tier program that does a decent job matching people into fellowships. However the biggest thing with Dartmouth is dealing with the location and population for those of us who are minorities and from much bigger, more diverse cities. Putting the name (which was really just copied from an undergrad college) aside, the hospital is a quaint place where a lot of your attendings aren’t necessarily crazy “top tier” renown leaders of their fields but generally a smart close knit group of people who are familiar with the rural life or went to Dartmouth for earlier schooling. A lot of them are actually chicken farmers. I personally just could not jive with the type of people there despite them all being very nice, but the life outside of the hospital was too “simple” and “plain” for my tastes and I missed the city life already just from my 6 hour visit there so I knew deep down I wouldn’t be happiest there.

The biggest obstacle for you matching Dartmouth after interviewing there wont be “will they rank me high enough”. It will be more about how YOU rank them and how committed you are to that type of location and environment.

just my two cents from a life long city folk who had spent a lot of time thinking about where to put that program on my list.
Thank you so much!!
 
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Mayo FL all the way ------- outstanding location, great quality of life, in-house fellowships, beautiful hospital, and happy residents. Agree with PhillyMed, all Mayo sites are exceptional. Mayo will take you where you want to go and that is what I would choose. Also, please don't beat yourself up by calling yourself a "mediocre, low-tier student." These are some great interviews and clearly, you have a lot to offer if they wanted to consider you for their program.

The Mayo Clinic is one of the best programs in the world and is at the forefront of medical education. They are innovators and practice medicine the way it should be practiced. That is why they are consistently one of the best hospitals in the world with the best training programs available. They also recruit and get a ton of the top medical students from many different medical schools, which leads to a very talented group of residents who are also kind and supportive. Mayo does things their own way and is unapologetic about it.

There is a reason why 80% of Mayo faculty have trained there for either residency or fellowship. What does that say about them as an institution that so many want to stay? There are so many internal matches at Mayo (matched 8 people to their cardiology program in Rochester) and I have been told that it is largely because there are very few fellowship programs that are better than what Mayo has to offer. Also, after the most recent fellowship match list, I noticed that all the talk about Mayo's match list was never brought back up because they destroyed the match ----- Mayo, Duke, Vandy, Cleveland Clinic, Yale, Stanford, Penn, UCSF etc. all on the list. Also, Mayo in FL also matched to great places like Stanford, Northwestern, and Mayo FL. All that to say, Mayo is amazing and you have a chance to be a part of this institution!

Mayo produces leaders in medicine and provides you unlimited support to fulfill your goals. There are also awesome in-house fellowships that you could explore. For all the reasons above, Mayo would be an easy choice. If you are concerned about being at a branch campus, then you can pursue a fellowship at Mayo Rochester but I think the fellowship options in Florida would also be exceptional. That being said, you would have the option to rotate up in Minnesota and make connections during your Mayo residency in Florida. I also wouldn't worry about the SOAP thing. Emory and some other really good programs have had to SOAP as well but you don't hear too much about that.
 
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EmergDO

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Mayo FL all the way ------- outstanding location, great quality of life, in-house fellowships, beautiful hospital, and happy residents. Agree with PhillyMed, all Mayo sites are exceptional. Mayo will take you where you want to go and that is what I would choose. Also, please don't beat yourself up by calling yourself a "mediocre, low-tier student." These are some great interviews and clearly, you have a lot to offer if they wanted to consider you for their program. The majority of people in places like the reddit spreadsheet seem out of touch with a lot of the comments on there. Here are some direct examples:

Did BIDMC feel like "fake Harvard" on your interview day?
Hopkins Bayview has some mediocre fellowship matches a few years? That's okay a lot of programs do like JHH and BWH have also had some lackluster matches. That is no reason to discount a program.
Then, on the same spreadsheet, some med students attempt to discount Mayo by commenting on their match list: Mayo in Rochester has had some "weak" fellowship matches over the past two years and does not have residents from all "top tier" med schools.

Hopefully, you can see this is a bunch of nonsense. BIDMC is a Harvard teaching hospital. I'm sure Hopkins Bayview is a great program regardless of match list. The Mayo Clinic is one of the best programs in the world and is at the forefront of medical education. They are innovators and practice medicine the way it should be practiced. That is why they are consistently one of the best hospitals in the world with the best training programs available. They also recruit and get a ton of the top medical students from many different medical schools, which leads to a very talented group of residents who are also kind and supportive. Mayo does things their own way and is unapologetic about it. There is a reason why 80% of Mayo faculty have trained there for either residency or fellowship. What does that say about them as an institution that so many want to stay? There are so many internal matches at Mayo (matched 8 people to their cardiology program in Rochester) and I have been told that it is largely because there are very few fellowship programs that are better than what Mayo has to offer. Also, after the most recent fellowship match list, I noticed that all the talk about Mayo's match list was never brought back up because they destroyed the match ----- Mayo, Duke, Vandy, Cleveland Clinic, Yale, Stanford, Penn, UCSF etc. all on the list. Also, Mayo in FL also matched to great places like Stanford, Northwestern, and Mayo FL. All that to say, Mayo is amazing and you have a chance to be a part of this institution!

Mayo produces leaders in medicine and provides you unlimited support to fulfill your goals. There are also awesome in-house fellowships that you could explore. For all the reasons above, Mayo would be an easy choice. If you are concerned about being at a branch campus, then you can go to a fellowship at Mayo Rochester but I think the fellowship options in Florida would also be exceptional. That being said, you would have the option to rotate up in Minnesota and make connections during your Mayo residency in Florida. I also wouldn't worry about the SOAP thing. Emory and some other really good programs have had to SOAP as well but you don't hear too much about that.

I don't have any skin in the game and didn't apply to any of the Mayos or CCs, but from what I remember Mayo Fl is really only associated with the real Mayo in terms of name and funding--they haven't sent anyone to Rochester for fellowship in 5 years and a majority of their matches are in house. I had classmates who applied and it always seemed like the fake Mayos were hoping you'd only pay attention to the name and not the fact that they were a pretty middle of the road community program, which always seemed a little scummy. I don't think my friend ranked them (and keep in mind--we were DOs). That being said, I don't know anyone who trained there so I can't speak from any experience. Perhaps it really is a magical land of education.

As for the others, medical students vastly overstate how important tiny differences in program prestige are. Look at the fellowship outcomes (I bet the non Mayo ones are all pretty similar in outcomes) and then pick based on geography and how happy you thought the residents were--residency is hard enough, you want to be in a place you enjoy and around people you get along with.

Personally I'd put Hofstra #1 and never look back, but I love the City. If you want to stay in the area, Stony and Hofstra will have plenty of recognition.
 
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Instatewaiter

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Rank residency programs how you prefer, not based on what others prefer.

I’m not in IM, but I know you don’t need to most prestigious program to match into competitive fellowships. It might open some doors or give you an edge, but not required at all. If these or other programs are a better fit for you, just make sure they’ve done ok matching people into your desired fellowships and rank them above a more prestigious program that you might hate.

Yeah... I will politely disagree.

Residency prestige matters a ton in internal medicine for a competitive fellowship. If you want to be a hospitalist- no issue where you went to residency. If you want nephro or endocrine, probably not a big deal as they are not terribly competitive except at the tippy top. However if you want GI, cards or heme/once- these are competitive even in the lower end of the spectrum. Where you come from does matter for these specialties. While certainly not impossible from any of those places listed, they are not in the same tier.

I would put dartmouth above fake mayo which is above the others, especially when considered nationally.
 
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ACSurgeon

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Yeah... I will politely disagree.

Residency prestige matters a ton in internal medicine for a competitive fellowship. If you want to be a hospitalist- no issue where you went to residency. If you want nephro or endocrine, probably not a big deal as they are not terribly competitive except at the tippy top. However if you want GI, cards or heme/once- these are competitive even in the lower end of the spectrum. Where you come from does matter for these specialties. While certainly not impossible from any of those places listed, they are not in the same tier.

I would put dartmouth above fake mayo which is above the others, especially when considered nationally.
I understand that. My point was attending a mid tier academic program doesn’t shut those doors. If these programs routinely match people into competitive fellowships then OP should rank the programs based on preference rather than the same extra edge the program name brings. Remember, it can be harder to be productive or perform your best if you’re unhappy.
 
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As many have already iterated, Dartmouth is reknown for its undergrad but medicine residency is mid tier at best. It’s in a pretty rural location with patients who haven’t had medical contact for years and is probably one of the few places where local hospitals still push tPA for MI before transporting over.

That being said, I know residents who have gone to Dartmouth, Stony Brook, and LIJ who have successfully matched at competitive cardiology programs.

Pick the place you see yourself fitting into. Fellowship match will be dependent on how much initiative you have as a resident.
 
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