increscence

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Dec 27, 2006
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I need some help deciding between UF-Jacksonville and LSU-Ochsner. I got a last- Anyone have any ideas on the pros/cons of each?

- Are Ochsner residents still spending 3-4 months of the year at offsite rotations?
- VA affiliations?
- Does either of these programs pay for loupes, lenses, BCSC?
- Surgical numbers?

Thank
 
Nov 15, 2013
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I need some help deciding between UF-Jacksonville and LSU-Ochsner. I got a last- Anyone have any ideas on the pros/cons of each?

- Are Ochsner residents still spending 3-4 months of the year at offsite rotations?
- VA affiliations?
- Does either of these programs pay for loupes, lenses, BCSC?
- Surgical numbers?

Thank
Don't know much about jacksonville. I know that they do have a local VA hospital right on campus essentially and are a slightly smaller program. Maybe more call but likely better surgical numbers. I have a friend doing an IM residency in Jacksonville who says it's not a bad place to be.

For LSU- I'll be there Wednesday. Yes, residents still spend several months of the year in cities some distance away. Not sure what the housing situation is for that. They are a larger program so less call coverage perhaps but I would imagine lower surgical volume. They are affiliated with a VA hospital which I believe is in Oschner.

I don't know about equipment reimbursement for either.

I couldn't tell from the wording of your post if you are deciding on how you will rank the two programs, or if you are deciding between conflicting interview dates. But as all of LSU's interviews are next week, if you are thinking about cancelling that one (i dont know the jacksonville dates), I urge you to do it asap. Inside of a week already and that does not give programs much time to find a replacement.
 
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increscence

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Thank you so much for your reply and for all the info. At this point, they both sound like great programs, so it will be difficult to choose.

I definitely hear you on the timing. Thank you again.
 

teleret

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I need some help deciding between UF-Jacksonville and LSU-Ochsner. I got a last- Anyone have any ideas on the pros/cons of each?

- Are Ochsner residents still spending 3-4 months of the year at offsite rotations?
- VA affiliations?
- Does either of these programs pay for loupes, lenses, BCSC?
- Surgical numbers?

Thank
UF Jacksonville lost VA facilities in 2012 and do not send there residents anymore. If you go there for an interview, pay attention to who is the faculty and who they take to fill the residency positions. I believe medical students are pretty smart and observant in nature , so you will figure out what is going on there. This is the end of discussion for me.
 

akademix

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UF Jacksonville lost VA facilities in 2012 and do not send there residents anymore. If you go there for an interview, pay attention to who is the faculty and who they take to fill the residency positions. I believe medical students are pretty smart and observant in nature , so you will figure out what is going on there. This is the end of discussion for me.
Can you elaborate on what you mean? I need to make a similar decision. Thanks so much.
 
Jul 22, 2013
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Can you elaborate on what you mean? I need to make a similar decision. Thanks so much.
I second this, please elaborate, or PM us privately if you want. I interviewed there and such info will be important come ranking time...

thanks
 

teleret

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I second this, please elaborate, or PM us privately if you want. I interviewed there and such info will be important come ranking time...

thanks
Lack of decent glaucoma, cornea, oculoplastics , peds experience. Loss of VA patients. If the interviews did not help in ranking, then not much else I can help with.
 
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increscence

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Would any interviewees or residents be willing to comment further? Again, these sound like great programs, but there isn't much information on their websites or the internet in general.

If anyone is willing to comment on the discussion above, that would be much appreciated as well.

Thank you again!
 

EyeSee1

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Aug 13, 2013
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Would any interviewees or residents be willing to comment further? Again, these sound like great programs, but there isn't much information on their websites or the internet in general.

If anyone is willing to comment on the discussion above, that would be much appreciated as well.

Thank you again!
I remember reading this post last year... take it with a grain of salt, as always.

Two of my resident colleagues are from/near the LSU-Oschner program. They were not very happy with traveling aspect of the program, a huge dealbreaker and rightly so. Though the program is based in New Orleans (a great city, in my opinion), you spend a lot of time traveling to satellite clinics across the southern part of Louisiana. Gas is reimbursed, but not enough for you to break even unless you have a hybrid car (even then, not sure). From what I understand, at least half of your residency is not spent in NOLA. You'll be put up in paid lodging, but it's not nice. From what my colleague told me, it's worse than your typical freshman dorm from college. However, many residents say they felt well-trained at LSU-Oschner.
I think the big issue is traveling constantly to satellite clinics. For single people, this probably isn't an issue, but for married residents, this can be a big deal (especially if there are children). Last year, they had 3 of 8 spots open post-match day. Not sure exactly how that went down, but take that for what it is.
 

teleret

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I need some help deciding between UF-Jacksonville and LSU-Ochsner. I got a last- Anyone have any ideas on the pros/cons of each?

- Are Ochsner residents still spending 3-4 months of the year at offsite rotations?
- VA affiliations?
- Does either of these programs pay for loupes, lenses, BCSC?
- Surgical numbers?

Thank
I guess I will have to put another quater here.
I do not know anything about LSU-Ochsner.
For UF-Jax you will have to buy your own lenses, loops, and books.
Glaucoma specialist left, peds left, cornea left. All left last year.
As I wrote previously, if you do not see who they prefer as residents, not much I can do
to help you out.
I am usually on sidelines on SDN but this just hit the right button.
You should rank all the programs anyway, but this should give you heads up.
 

DrZeke

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LSU:

The traveling is annoying. I think most people I talked to there seem very happy with teaching and faculty and it seems to be a nice training environment. The open spots were in 2011 and I think it was before the new chairman came on... Not sure if that affected anything. If you change up your method of ranking you can have unmatched spots...that may have happened?

Call was reported to be super chill at satellite locations. I think when in the city LSU residents share call responsibilities with Tulane residents.

They boasted 130-160 cataracts, depending on how much you wanted. They said they do 90th percentile for peds surgery.

Their fellowship match list is solid. They consistently have matched retina no problem.

Jacksonville:

Nice staff, nice facilities. Program is 6 years old. Last year 1/2 residents failed the glaucoma match. Not sure what the circumstances surrounding that were, but it's something to notice.

I think they boasted 180 cataracts.

Call is ok - but the attending is contacted first and then decides whether or not the resident needs to take the call. It's nice because maybe it cuts down on workload but possibly not great for learning how to handle these situations and possibly gauging serious vs non serious calls.

They give you BCSC with an iPad I think?

I think Jacksonville sounds very exciting but they are young and have all the kinks of a young program to work out. One should be comfortable with the pros and cons of that type of situation.

I think LSU is a bigger program, more faculty, lots to do and maybe less hand holding, but some people learn better that way.

I took notes at every program so you can PM me for anymore thoughts...
 
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increscence

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Hey everyone,

Just wanted to thank everyone for all the great information. Your input helped me make a decision and I'm sure many other applicants benefited as well.

I was about to add my 2 cents after finishing the interview, but everything I wanted to say has already been said. If I can be of help to anyone, please message me.

Thank you all again very much, and best of luck on the trail.
 
Jan 15, 2010
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Please see the link detailing information about the LSU-Ochsner program (I posted some updated information about the program last year).

The only major update is that the program made an internal decision to go from 8 to 6 residents starting with last years match. I want to emphasize that the decision to decrease residents was an internal decision and NOT required by the ACGME. This decision was largely because the program was unclear how last years changes in the Louisiana Health Care System would effect surgical numbers. Now that things have stabilized in LA, the overall surgical volume has actually remained the same. This should significantly boost surgical numbers as the total number of cases will be split between 6 residents and not 8. With 8 residents our average cataract numbers currently range from 100-130 each each. I don't think this will effect the call load significantly given that there will still be 18 total residents in the program.

There is also a new "state of the art" LSU and VA hospital being built which will be available in 2015.

Hope that helps.
 
Jan 15, 2010
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Copied from another post:

As a current LSU/Ochsner resident, I thought I could shed some accurate light on the program. I wanted a residency program that would get me into a good fellowship but was not malignant, and I believe that sums up LSU New Orleans.To start, here is a list of the fellowship match for last year’s graduates.
Cornea - Tufts
Oculoplastics - Duke
Retina - University of Alabama
Pediatrics - University of Wisconsin
Glaucoma - University of Wisconsin (this resident is from Wisconsin and did not want to go anywhere else).
Glaucoma - Tulane
2 residents went into general ophthalmology, including the resident who had the highest OKAP score. They felt well prepared for practice and did not want to specialize.

Our attendings are very approachable and friendly. In speaking with friends at programs in more high-intensity areas like New York, my experience has been very different from theirs in that they often feel overworked and underappreciated. . Although I have no desire to stay in Louisiana long-term, I constantly find myself thinking that I would want to stay here for fellowship because of the great work environment.

We are an excellent clinical program and, unfortunately for our patient population, there is considerable ophthalmologic pathology. Traditionally, we have not been research-heavy, but this is changing now with our new chair(wo)man Dr. Weiss, former chair of the FDA Ophthalmic Devices Panel and recent chair of American Academy of Ophthalmology Basic and Clinical Sciences Course.

I would like to address some previous posts on student doctor.
1. “The state of Louisiana is having issues with its health care…budget cuts…negative consequences for its graduate medical training.”
These cuts have been in effect for over a year now. They have not affected ophthalmology at all. However they have resulted in rural small community hospitals providing fewer services to the poor. This results in more of the poor traveling great distances to New Orleans and some of the surrounding hospitals. Jindal is trying to center health care, particularly subspecialty health care, in New Orleans as a way of cutting costs. To accommodate the new influx he is currently building a 1.2 billion dollar hospital as well a brand new VA. Both will be state of the art and operational by early 2015.
2. “Back when I was a resident a few years ago LSU was a terrible program with very low surgical numbers. Tulane is def the better of the new Orleans programs.”

- Our fellowship match speaks for itself. A terrible program would not be able to send its residents to such strong fellowship positions.
- With respect to surgical numbers…while we currently do not have excessively high surgical numbers, we meet ACGME requirements and are on par with any other large city such as DC or New York. Our average cataracts are around 115 to 120. Not amazing, but certainly not terrible and near the national average. That number should increase to about 160 for the incoming class. We are also cutting our residency program from 8 to 6 residents to get higher surgical numbers. We required 8 residents per year before Katrina, but after almost a quarter of the city population left we have not required the same number of residents.
- Is Tulane a better program? Hard to say. I am as close to being unbiased as possible as I have as many friends from Tulane Ophtho as LSU Ophtho .After talking with both groups of residents our step scores and class ranks are essentially the same. Both programs have one or two people with Steps in the low 250s but most of us are right at the national average of 238. For the most part our fellowship match is comparable with some variation from year to year. Most residents currently at Tulane and LSU interviewed at both programs, and ranked one higher than the other based on personal preference based on interactions with faculty, interview experience, etc. Both sets of residents were equally competitive.

3. “I believe a retina fellowship at LSU was cut because of the inability to fund one.”
- Before the healthcare cuts were put into effect there were talks about cutting the retina fellowship down by one fellow. However, after seeing that the cuts have not affected Ophthalmology, LSU continued to take its normal number of fellows – a total of 3 per year (2 one year, 1 the following year, 2 again, and so on). Nothing has changed. In addition, Ochsner has its own retina fellowship which takes one every other year.

4. “The travel issue”
- Currently residents are in either Lafayette or Baton Rouge 3 months out of the year. Lafayette is 2 hours away and Baton Rouge is a 1.5 hours drive. We also go to Houma, which is only an hour drive away. If you are used to LA traffic then that is a normal commute to work. We are currently traveling because Charity Hospital was shut down after Katrina. However a new $1.2 billion hospital is currently being built that will be staffed by both LSU and Tulane. Travel should not be an issue after 2015. However, I sincerely hope they keep the Houma rotation, as the staff and attendings are fantastic and it is a great place to practice. In the unlikely event that we are still traveling in 2 years, residents are able to come home on the weekends and call is light so its very manageable. While on my away rotations I really only spent 4 nights away and 3 nights in New Orleans – not too bad. Tulane residents also travel - they do 3-4 months away as a first and third year. They do not do away rotations as a second year, however their away sites are 3-4 hours away in much smaller towns and they are not allowed to come back on the weekends while they are on call. I would like to stress that most likely neither Tulane nor LSU will have away sites once the new hospital is built. On the off chance there are still away sites significantly reduced time will be spent at them.
LSU/Oschner is a great place to train. We have diverse institutions. Oschner, where we spend 4 months of our first year, is primarily wealthy patients. Call at Ochsner is moderately busy. ILH is a rough inner city hospital. The trauma and call is intense and you will often go in multiple times a night. Sleep is minimal while on ILH. You will get your ruptured globes, eyelid lacerations, and gun shot wounds to the eye - enjoy! This is only 3.5 months of the year so you have the rest of the year to recuperate. At ILH you learn all the required skills to handle trauma. I’m glad we don’t spend the entire year here – otherwise, there would be little time to study. The away rotations (Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and Houma) offer a lot of autonomy, great pathology, and light call. We typically start at 8:30 AM and end by 4 PM. That means for 4 months out of the year I have ample time to study. I feel I am much further ahead in BCSC reading than my friends at other programs because of this. I can also get up early before clinic to read.

To summarize:
· Strong clinical program
· Good fellowship match
· Diverse patient populations
· Plenty of time to study for OKAPs
· Healthcare funding cuts in Louisiana have not affected ophthalmology
· Amount of time at away sites will be reduced and potentially eliminated entirely by 2015.
· 2 brand new hospitals opening in 2015 totaling close to 2 billion dollars
· Approachable attendings