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UCSF vs Stanford

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teapot16

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Sorry for another versus thread but I just wanted to hear people's opinion about these two programs. I really loved both programs and they're my #1 and #2 in no particular order at this point. If there's any residents or students who looked at both programs and can give me their insight, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
 

GasEmDee

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teapot16 said:
Sorry for another versus thread but I just wanted to hear people's opinion about these two programs. I really loved both programs and they're my #1 and #2 in no particular order at this point. If there's any residents or students who looked at both programs and can give me their insight, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

I looked at both these programs very carefully when I applied, and they were my #1 and #2 choices as well. I debated hard up into the very last minute that the ROL was due. Both are very research-oriented programs. Both offer you solid clinical training in diverse clinical environments, including the university hospital, the VA, and the big county hospital. (UCSF sends their residents to four hospitals, Stanford send theirs to three.) Both programs encourage their residents to do fellowships and pursue careers in academic medicine, and there are financial incentives in place to facilitate this at both institutions (UCSF's incentives are a bit better). Both places offer housing supplements to defray the high costs of living in the bay area (Stanford has the better salary, almost 10k more with everything included IIRC).

UCSF has the bigger name recognition factor in clinical circles, and it has two faculty members on the National Institutes of Medicine. It also has a larger research program, as based on NIH dollars. Many people consider it the only west coast program on par with the big east coast programs. There is a very strong philosophical emphasis on anesthesia as perioperative medicine (pre-op, OR, ICU, pain management), although I am not exactly sure how this perspective translates into real differences between this residency program and others. However, a couple years back, roughly 6 UCSF residents went into ICU fellowships. UCSF anesthesia residents get more experience teaching medical students by virtue of the fact that there are more UCSF medical students and that UCSF students are all required to do an anesthesia rotation. UCSF also trains a lot of other medical professionals (nurses, PharmDs, dentitsts), and it can be nice to hang out with these folks. UCSF has an integrated pre-op/intra-op/post-op computer system in place (PICIS)


Stanford offers a much broader educational environment. If you care about things outside of clinical anesthesia, Stanford has a big business, law, and engineering school, all of which are in close proximity and which interact on a regular basis. There is a lot of interdiscplinary research, networking opportunities, venture capital, etc, and the cross fertilization is increasing tremendously. The medical center is dripping with money for interesting research projects. The Stanford name has more prestige outside of clinical circles, but its clinical reputation is still overshadowed by UCSF's reputation, for historical reasons. Stanford also has a very pervasive university-wide culture to it that allows individuals to pursue an education suited to their specific needs. I also felt the anesthesia program to be more warm and supportive, but obviously that is just subjective. One glaring negative about the stanford program is that it is still trying to computerize its ORs.

Stanford and UCSF anesthesia have an interesting recent history. In 1998, UCSF and Stanford attempted to merge their clinical operations. This attempted merger resulted in failure, and my understanding is that Ron Miller was opposed to this merger from the get go. Whatever happened, there is some remaining bad blood between the two institutions that I perceived at my interviews. So when you hear UCSF talk about Stanford, or vice versa, take what you hear with a grain of salt.

You'll have to size up the differences in the two city environments yourself, though u can choose Stanford and live in San Francisco, or you can choose UCSF and live in outside of the city.

Good luck with your decision. PM me for specific questions.
 

GasEmDee

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I was thinking about this issue today, and there was one other big difference that I wanted to mention. All rotations at UCSF are proscribed, i.e., there are no elective rotations. Interestingly, on interview day, Dr. Miller mentioned in no unclear terms that rotations should not be left for residents to choose, because it was far too important an issue. The comment was a bit off-putting, but in some ways he is right.
 

MSfour

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I completely agree with GasEmDee's excellent analysis. Both are superb programs, but have very different cultures. If you are interested in basic anesthesia research and pursuing an academic career, UCSF may be the place. Stanford excels in clinical research and, as GasEmDee described, multidisciplinary networking and entrepreneurship. As might be expected, UCSF seems to be more intellectual and nose-to-the-grindstone (i.e. not fun and not particularily friendly), whereas Stanford seems more laid-back and congenial. Different strokes for different folks, but you can't go wrong with either.
 

CHMer

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Just wondering if anyone in the know could elaborate on the cost of living compensations provided by these programs. I took a quick look through the UCSF anesthesiology website but didn't find the info there.

Also, what type of financial incentives are provided by these programs to pursue an academic career/practice?

thanks
 
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