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UCLA vs. Baylor

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by macro0rchidism, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. macro0rchidism

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    I'm interested in hearing what others have to say about these 2 programs.

    UCLA- great clinical and surgical training, tons of research opportunities but ridiculous amount of driving. Fellowship placement better than that of Baylor. Why is it that this program has a malignant reputation? The residents seemed fairly happy. Are they overworked?

    Baylor- also great clinical and surgical training, hospitals all located within a 2 mile radius! housing much more affordable vs. los angeles. Good fellowship placement, but not as good as UCLA's.

    I am unsure as to which one I should rank higher...any input is much appreciated...thanks
     
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  3. WhiteDots

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    Both are great programs. I wouldn't say that Jules Stein fellowship placement is better than Baylors. Both get fantastic interviews and both match very well. In part though, this may vary if you're considering a specific subspecialty like oculoplastics where Jules Stein is stronger. Otherwise, I think the other fields match comparably.

    Jules Stein certainly isn't a malignant program. I think the residents are happy and the faculty are nice. The challenge with Jules Stein is the location of their teaching hospitals and the driving challenges you face. However, if you're used to commuting, then it's fine. Baylor's proximity of hospitals is a nice convenient factor where you're not faced with any commute time.

    In the end, you have to go with which place you feel like your personality fits in.
     
  4. futureopht

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    I think both programs are excellent. I had a chance to interview at Baylor and loved it. One concern I had was the retina research, which seemed limited only to clinical. I did hear though that they are hiring another retina guy (fellow from OHSU) from what the Chairman said. The heat in the summers can be rough in Houston if you're not used to it.

    That said, I've heard great things about JSEI.. one guy who trained at Jules Stein is currently a retina fellow at my home institution, and I would say he is by far the best trained of any resident who I've worked with in clinic/OR. I think JSEI is one of the only places where it is not uncommon for many residents to get several core vits/SBs as primary surgeon, even membrane peels I've heard. If retina is what you want, JSEI may be a little stronger.
     
  5. WhiteDots

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    With regards to retina research at Baylor, the clinical faculty at Baylor is pretty much only involved in clinical research and trials. If you are interested in basic science retina related work, Baylor definitely has it, but it's with the baylor graduate school of medicine.

    Here is a link of some faculty at Baylor who do retina related basic science work:
    http://www.retinaresearchfnd.org/basic_grants.htm

    The only faculty I believe who is listed with the ophthalmology department who has active basic science research with whom the clinical faculty work with is Dr. Sam Wu. However, there are many other faculty at Baylor who do work on retina research with whom you could collaborate with as a resident (see the grants from the retina research foundation). Many of them do top notch retina related work and publish in high impact factor journals (like Neuron, Cell, etc).

    I will warn you that it is hard to do bench basic science research during residency. If you do bench work, it is a trade off that you're giving up clinical or surgical time because there really is alot to learn in residency. Either that or you do all your bench basic science work on the weekends that you have free or don't sleep at night. :)
     
  6. Jake the Snake

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    Unfortunately I didn't get invites to either place. But Jules Stein certainly has a much better website for whatever that's worth. :) You can't even see Baylor's current residents on it's site.
     
    #5 Jake the Snake, Dec 16, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  7. V05

    V05
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    Research is much more important during fellowship than residency. I agree with the above comments that there is very little time to do research during residency and clinical training should be the primary focus. There should be more emphasis on research when considering fellowship placement, especially if you are interested in academics. One can publish quite a bit and learn a lot from a good research mentor that can jump-start a research/academic career.

    Baylor and UCLA are exceptional programs. You will have strong clinical and surgical training at both institutions. JSEI edges out over Baylor in terms of reputation/ranking and basic research. Baylor edges over JSEI in terms of collegiality, attending supervision/accessibility and its location at an unique and largest medical center in the country. It is a difficult choice.

    Incidentally, according to this year's Ophthalmology Times, JSEI/UCLA is ranked 5th best overall program but not ranked in the top ten for best residency program. Cullen Eye/Baylor is ranked 5th best residency program but not ranked in the top ten for best overall program.
     
    #6 V05, Dec 16, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  8. rubensan

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    you will not go wrong at either program. you will work hard at both programs.

     
  9. futureopht

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    I was wondering about something -- should I be disappointed if after emailing the PD and committee members at Baylor with a thank-you note, I didn't get back any sort of feedback/reply? I'm not sure if I should read that much into it, but I have gotten some replies back from other programs saying "thank you" or "I hope you rank this place highly" from program directors/chairs. I know the match rules say that a program can't contact applicants after the initial interview, but I thought they were allowed to correspond if applicants initiated it or had any questions... Has anyone out there heard back from faculty from Baylor after their interview?

    Maybe I'm just being too paranoid...
     
  10. macro0rchidism

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    I'm in the same boat as you...sent a correspondence, but never heard back...
     
  11. Jokestr

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  12. Jokestr

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    Don't know about Baylor, but JSEI is not the only program in around that allows the residents to get core vits/SB as primary. Just completed my retina rotationn as a 2nd yr op resident and I have ~25 core vtx's and ~20 SB's. I'm not even going to do a retina fellowship. It is just the standard at our program. Good to hear that other residents are getting the experience too. It's pretty awesome to have the 25 gauge vitrector just microns from the retina :D
     
  13. WhiteDots

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    With regards to contacting programs and having them contact you back. This varies alot from place to place. Yes, technically, the rules are that programs aren't allowed to initiate or convey correspondence after the interview until after the match.

    Please don't put alot of weight into which programs contact you back and which programs don't. Trying to play the strategy game of do they like me and if so.. I would want to rank them higher isn't how match is supposed to work. The match is designed in the residents favor. Simply rank programs in the way of places that you want to go and leave it at that. Inform programs that they are your favorite if that's where you want to go. Whether or not they correspond back should *NOT* play a factor in how you rank a program because some programs are more strict and by the book whereas others aren't as much; and you do not know which are stricter by the book and which aren't.

    So, a few examples that I know that play it strictly by the book are places like MEEI, Baylor, and Doheny were a few... and there are plenty others that I'm not listing that play it strictly by the book and won't have any correspondence post interview... so, don't over think or over read too much into post-interview correspondence.
     
  14. futureopht

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    thanks for your advice.. I don't plan on playing that game at all. now I can get some sleep!
     
  15. BTS

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    I agree with the general points of this post - you shouldn't put a lot of weight into what's in a correspondence or whether a program contacts you or not. And the match does work in the applicants favor, so rank them the way you like them.

    However, it's NOT against match rules to contact applicants after the match or to respond to correspondence from applicants. Check the SF Match website if you disagree (under "about the match" and "match rules"). What's against the rules is a program that says to you "we'll rank you first if you rank us first". I'm not sure where the misperception comes from that programs contacting an applicant after interviews is against match rules. I can't speak to the programs mentioned in the post, but there are many programs that contact applicants in a legitimate way (and many that do not contact applicants at all).

    Besides, if programs couldn't talk to applicants from the time of interview to the time of the match, then I couldn't talk to any of the people that I wrote letters for until the match.
     
    #14 BTS, Dec 18, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  16. AThousandCranes

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    Hi, I hope this helps you out --> I interviewed at baylor in the december group and we were explicitly told they will not respond/reply to any thank you/intent to rank/ etc emails, just b/c thats how they do things. so please dont worry! :)

     

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