UMASS interviewees/applicants

Discussion in 'Internal Medicine and IM Subspecialties' started by irlandesa, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. irlandesa

    irlandesa Senior Member
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    Hi,

    I am an intern (categorical) at UMASS and just wanted to welcome interviewees and encourage further applications. First order of business, if you have not yet heard from UMASS and are interested in interviewing, you should definitely let them know. I think that they do not invite some people who are very well-qualified b/c they think they will not be interested in coming to a program in Woosta, so definitely let them know! Second, we have informal social gatherings for applicants (dinner/appetizers/drinks if you wish at a local pub), so PM me (I cleaned my mailbox out) if you would like to know when these events are. Also feel free to PM me with any questions.

    Although UMASS, like many programs, could probably do a better sell-job on interview day, I was very pleasantly surprised on my interview day and am happy to be here. Worcester has a large population of immigrants from Puerto Rico and from Brazil, a multitude of social problems (heroin and EtOH are big here), and UMASS Memorial essentially runs the health care system in Central Mass (an interesting mix of "urban poor" in Worcester, and rural areas throughout Worcester County and some of Northeastern CT). So, you are always learning, and it is not malignant at all here. I welcome any inquiries, and look forward to meeting y'all;)
     
  2. irlandesa

    irlandesa Senior Member
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    thanks for the PM's with your thoughtful questions! So glad to see people are still thinking of UMASS; especially with the myriad posts about all the grief caused by BWH rejections lately! Keep the posts, questions, etc coming;)
     
  3. irlandesa

    irlandesa Senior Member
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    hope everyone had a great thanksgiving; with all the good questions about UMass, and the limited amount of time on interview day, I thought I would put up a brief list of FAQ's in case people didn't have time to PM me or didn't have an account.

    1) Where is UMASS, and what type of program is it?
    UMASS Memorial Health Care and its' many hospitals/facilities are the clinical partners and affiliates of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass. Worcester is located about 45 minutes west of Boston in Central Massachusetts; it is the second largest city in New England. UMASS's IM program would best be described as a university-based, multi-hospital program. Residents rotate through 3 hospitals during their 3 years here; UMASS hospital (University Campus, where all the med school buildings are), Memorial Hospital (Memorial Campus), and Milford Regional (smaller hospital which does require some commuting).

    2)What schools do the residents come from?
    This is an issue that tends to kick UMass in the arse when it comes to their reputation. Because the current program is a merger of 2 different programs (merged back in '98 I believe), one which was university-based and took only US allopathic grads, and the other which was community-based and the majority of residents were IMG's; about 50% of current residents are IMG's. However, UMass makes a big effort to take IMG's who have done research and/or some clinical work at UMass, and tends to like grads from Trinity College (probably the best Irish school) and US citizens from SGU.

    Among USMG's, UMass grads tend to have a lot of loyalty for their school and often, high hopes of matching in fellowships there, thus, they tend to be a bit overrepresented in the program. Nonetheless, categorical and M/P residents entering the program in the past five years have also come from U of New Mexico*, Albany Medical College*, BU*, Tufts*, Finch/CMS, MCG, U Mississippi, SUNY-Downstate, U Maryland, MCV/VCU, Harvard, Wayne State, Temple (guy who is a Yale anethesia program grad and anesthesiology attending for a few years!), UTSA, Tulane, UMDNJ-RWJ, Loma Linda, Oregon Health Sciences University, Northwestern, Ohio State, UNECOM*, NYCOM*, SGU*, Trinity College*, and probably a few I missed. Bottom line: where you went to med school isn't going to keep you from matching here! (places marked with * have 2 or more residents entering in last 5 years).

    3)Tell me about the patient population? Are there many private patients? How is resident autonomy?
    UMass Memorial is the main health care provider (this is an understatement) for Central Mass., which consists primarily of Worcester County. Worcester proper has a population of about 200 K, but Worcester County is the most populated county in Mass., with a population of close to 800,000 and growing. A growing # of patients are now coming in from Northern CT as well, as UMass has a small affiliate over the border in Putnam, CT, strangely enough.
    In any case, the patient population here is suprisingly diverse, and you get to see a bit of everything! Worcester is for the most part a poor, old "industrial town", with large immigrant populations from Puerto Rico and Brazil (in particular). IVDA and EtOH abuse are big problems here, but it is nicer and safer here than in Springfield, MA to the west. A large amount of the population at both Memorial and UMASS comes from the more suburban and rural areas of Worcester County (or Northern CT), which ranges from well-off retirees to nursing home patients to young people (also a number of immigrants) who do hard, manual labor on farms and roads. Like I said, I am getting great exposure and becoming more confident in my skills every day as a result of working w/ this population!

    Private patients RARELY exist at University/UMASS, and at Memorial there are some primary care attendings who house staff do not admit with; often it is because these attendings treated residents inappropriately or refused to teach at all. Most attendings LOVE having house staff coverage, treat us as colleagues and equals when discussing patient care decisions, and are more than willing to do informal teaching. Like BU and Brown, UMASS is a very resident-driven program; in fact, occasionally errs on the side of giving too much autonomy to interns. However, once you learn the ropes and who to ask for help it gets better.

    4) How are the relationships among attendings, house staff, and nurses, care coordinators, etc.?
    One of my favorite aspects of working here is that this is one of the most non-malignant places an intern could work. So far, my teaching attendings have been great; my first one in particular saved my butt by doing walk rounds with us when my resident was on delayed start on a long call day or on his day off. With a few exceptions, you will have the same teaching attending for an entire month per UMass policy. If an attending is not willing to be on the teaching service for one continous month, he/she will not receive teaching priveleges for that month. I have really enjoyed the residents I've worked with so far, they were all very bright and gave good feedback. Comraderie development got off to a slow start during intern year when we were all scared and overworked, but is going well now. A number of interns have gotten really on top of getting people together and we all get along great. Nurses and care coordinators here know the residents by name (yes, even at big UMASS hospital) and are uniformly friendly, helpful, and competent. Wonderful change from where I went to med school!

    5)How are fellowship matches? I want to go into (fill in the blank), can I do that at UMASS?
    Although spots in competitive specialties like Cards and GI are never guarenteed, UMASS residency grads tend to do well in these areas, and have a bit of a leg up in getting spots in UMASS's cards and GI fellowships. However, Cards and GI fellowships at UMASS, in spite of the fact that the IM program is DO friendly, very, very rarely take DO's or IMG's. However, Cardiology and GI training at UMass is excellent, and matches of note in the past 5 years include: Cards: UMass (duh), U Chicago, BU, Baystate, Dartmouth, U Cincinatti, UIC, Cornell, CHF @ Yale-New Haven GI:UMASS, BWH, Mayo Clinic (MN), UC Davis, Cornell.
    Other fellowship matches of note include: Endocrine: MGH, UCLA; Rheum: UTSW, JHU; Heme/Onc: Duke, Vanderbilt, JHU.
    UMASS Medical School is ranked #4 in the nation for primary care, so careers in primary care or gen med or hospitalist medicine are always encouraged. However, whatever you want to do here, you can do; with 2 months of elective time and 1 very cush geriatrics month during intern year, there is always time to explore your options.

    6)"perks" at UMASS?
    $150 PDA allowance, $250 book credit, free critical care textbook during intern year, lunch @ 2-3 noon conferences/week, free laundry service for white coats; meal tickets on call.
    NO overnight call on wards, except for q4 o/n call and cross-coverage during your annual month at Milford. During your ICU month, q3 o/n, regardless of where you're assigned. Long call and short call are q5 at Memorial Campus

    7)What are your favorite aspects of the program?
    As mentioned, 1)patient diversity and amazingly broad spectrum of clinical experience, 2)cooperative, friendly atmosphere for working and learning, 3)non-malignant with no real scutwork, you do draw your own ABG's however, 4)proximity to Boston and family there.

    8)8)Was this your first choice? No, please see my old posts. BUT, if I had to do it again, I would rank UMass #2 just behind Brown, both very similar programs and I would have been happy at either. I did match in my top 3.

    9)Negative aspects of the program? : 1)Location-I don't like Worcester as much as Boston or Providence, who does? But as mentioned previously, Woosta has its' merits.. 2)Night Float issues: Interns do one month of Night Float each month on a rotating system, and although we don't admit, it can get really overwhelming and we were not given orientation this year. I brought this to the CR's attention, and he was very receptive to changes and apologetic for the trouble caused to interns. Still a lonely PITA month though. Night Float residents at Memorial Hospital start admitting after 8:30 p.m. (or when long call caps), and ER attendings at Memorial have an unfortunate tendency to admit every person that comes through the door to house staff. There have also been some ER staff at Memorial who have mismanaged patients horribly and/or behaved abusely toward multiple residents to the point where several residents had to file complaints. Fortunately, only a third of your R2 NF month is @ Mem. Hosp.

    10)Details on the social events, please?
    Informal cocktail/appetizer reception for residents/applicants/sig. others/interested students at Funky Murphy's bar/restaurant in Worcester starting @ 6 pm every Monday for the next month (except X-mas week). For January dates, I'm not sure, please PM me and I'll look it up for you. Dress is casual, no RSVP necessary, and you can come on whatever date (s) you like!

    Hopefully this will answer some ?'s, I really have no life and need to get to bed before I start a Part II FAQ :D Good luck!!! :luck: :luck:
     
  4. irlandesa

    irlandesa Senior Member
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    OK, I'm going to add on a few FAQ's since I really do not feel like putting together my geriatrics presentation for tomorrow.;)

    Thank you all for all of the questions, and for coming to interview. I was really surprised at the variety of applicants we are getting this year, and expect to see even more variety as the year goes on! Feel free to PM me with additional questions that did not get answered on your interview day (this includes categorical, prelim, osteopathic, and Med/Peds people), or with feedback about your interview day. You can be totally honest, as I have no feedback whatsoever into the rank list, and not everyone is going to have a totally positive interview experience. One of our newly chosen chiefs out of the R2 class actually had a miserable interview day at UMASS, then came back for a second visit and loved it, so you never know.. I probably will not have so much time to write once I start my Milford month in 2 more weeks, but we will see.

    How does UMASS prepare residents for the ABIM exam? Are there any classes?
    UMASS does have some review sessions for senior residents, and of course the practical experience and strong motivation of the residents is a big factor in high pass rates. We are about at the national pass rate average of 87%, but this is on the low end due to the fact that about 1/3 of the residents on average are not native English-speakers (but still great doctors for the most part) and therefore may find the exam a bit more difficult. I agree that more formal and proper board review is in order, and my understanding is that next year's chiefs are psyched to work on changing this.

    How are the computer systems/facilities?
    Our computer system, unfortunately, is still back in the Meditech days at UMASS and Memorial, but it is an easy system to use. They are working on upgrades, albeit slowly. Facilities and computer systems tend to be MUCH better at Milford, and all hospitals should have full access to online radiology at all times. Yes, we are too far behind! UMASS is a large university hospital, not too pretty, large, expanding ER, ongoing construction, very similar to Brown-RIH in size. It is an L1 trauma center, very busy, and often filled near capacity. Memorial Hospital is a little smaller and nicer, but still busy; large geriatric population (when I was there, the median age of patients on our team was 86+ at times!). Milford is a pretty and small hospital, more rural, but also expanding. Call rooms are blah, but with the limited amount of o/n call, who really cares! :p

    OK, sorry, these ?'s do showcase some of the more negative aspects, but overall I've been happy here and highly recommend the program. Got to go work, ciao..
     
  5. irlandesa

    irlandesa Senior Member
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    bumping as the rank list deadline gets closer. good luck to all in the match!!
     
  6. irlandesa

    irlandesa Senior Member
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    bumping for this year. hope the interview process is going well for everyone. Just wanted to add on some things that are new at UMASS this academic year:
    1)electronic orders in 2 of our 3 ICU's are up, along w/computerized notes. The 6ICU (soon to become an ICU for ONLY cardiac patients) will also be gettng on the ball soon. About time!

    2)Online radiology is up and running, with weekly radiology rounds for all medicine residents at University Campus, who present their patients when the patient's CXR, CT, etc. comes up on screen, and the chief radiology resident does some teaching. Good times!

    3)I forgot to mention free food during the Milford month, as much as you want, every day. Most of us end up putting on weight at that hospital, like it or not:)

    4)Beautiful new ED at the big campus, where there is now more than enough space to work. You'll see it when/if you interview here.

    5)Gatherings with residents and applicants are back at Funky Murphy's this year, with free food and drink. A few (not many) med students at UMASS who do not drink were concerned about being pressured to drink alcohol at events like these, but this is completely unfounded. No one here will judge you for drinking or not drinking, a variety of vegetarian food is right on the table, and dress is completely casual. I myself will be likely stopping by in my scrubs on Monday night (events are on Mondays, usually, during interview season) because of my NF shift later @ 8 pm, and obviously, will not be drinking anything except water, maybe caffiene
    (just a bit, prob. medically indicated:D)

    Good luck to all, maybe I'll meet some of you again! One person I met at Funky Murphy's last year turned out to be one of my interns during my first month..
     
  7. cappuccino7

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    Bumping up this thread ... On the UMASS site, it says that "All appointments are for one year and will be renewed by mutual agreement of both parties." So even categoricals are only guaranteed a one year spot?
     
  8. Frugal Traveler

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    Wow... this is a great FAQ.

    Wish other residents would do this for their program :thumbup:
     
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  9. ResidentMD

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    Seriously?

    I agree. I wish residents do this.

    I was thinking about this over the last few days - like we have a hotel sharing thread, would med students, residents and fellows be willing to participate in an institution thread? Those who are willing to offer opinions about their programs can just put up their institutions in that thread, and people can PM them with questions. Maybe it could become a sticky.
     
  10. applesbananas

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    YES, I think this is a great idea. I think residents have the most info about their programs but med students are in a great position to give less biased info. Any way that it could be anonymous so that we can maintain some anonymity on these boards? Maybe email a mod, who could post it and even verify our schools?
     
  11. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat
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    This is the standard, at all programs, in all specialties. All it means is that your contract is a year at a time.
     
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  12. mauvespice

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    Wow, how very kind of you irlandesa!:bow: Hope you come back this year!:)
     
  13. WeezerNY

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    Any updates on the current UMass program? Still mostly DOs and FMGs? I cant seem to find a current resident list.
     
  14. ResidentMD

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    I know a few residents at UMass. I dont think it is mostly DO and FMGs. I think certainly < 25% are IMGs, I dont know about DOs. From what I know, residents are very happy with their training. They get to rotate in 4-5 hospitals, and also get a good amount of time for their leisure activities. It does sound a bit more cush than many academic programs I have heard of, but cush in sort of a good way (i.e. you arent overburdened, you get to learn things at the pace you like) - another program that comes to mind like that is Mayo. Residents get along well with each other. They have very strong basic science research that is only getting stronger, if you are interested in that.

    Of course, I hope someone from UMass can comment as well - I'd like to know if my impression is correct :)!
     
  15. drcuma

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    Anybody have any current insight into UMASS in 2011??
     
  16. tictaq

    tictaq Never Follow
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    I interviewed at UMass in January and I liked the program

    I'm looking at the current resident list they gave us:
    Senior residents: 27 categorical spots; 16 are osteopathic or IMG's (including Caribbean); all the med-peds are US allopathic graduates

    PGY-2: 29 categoricals; 20 are osteopathic or IMG's

    interns: 27 categoricals; 16 are osteopathic or IMG's

    however IMHO I don't think you should grade a residency program solely based on how many DO's and IMG's are there. I think that people just don't want to be in Worcester. I thought the program was strong, although I didn't like their drip system. They match well into competitive fellowships. Results from their June 2010 match have three people in Cardiology (2 at UMass, 1 at UCLA), 2 in GI (Dartmough and UC-Irvine), 2 Heme/Onc (Northwestern and UMass), 2 ID (Rochester and Beth Israel), 2 Pulm/CC (Brown and UMass), 2 Rheumatology (BosU and UMass) and 1 Geriatrics (MGH)

    Residents I met were very nice and happy and the PD is very nice and is always thinking of ways to make the program better. The two faculty I interviewed with were very approachable and we talked about things other than medicine like sports. I think it's a good program.
    Just my 2 cents
     
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  17. semsom

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    helllo
    so i am hoping i can get a response as i am extremelyyyyyyy interested in the program at umass (i live in worcester for the past yr and a half ) i am an img , , i read in the post (the 1st one) that if i was that interested i should let the program know ! how do i do that ???:(( i have no connections and i don't know any residents there!!! i really really wanna match there
     
  18. dcwm

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    Any recent info on this program? This program is one of the top on my list. Interested in cards fellowship and wondering how residents do in general, do they all match? I know the program has a history of not taking more than one UMass resident per year into Cards and rarely ever an IMG...so would an IMG like me suffer if they wanted cards?

    Secondly, Residents seemed a overworked and exhausted, is this true?

    Thanks.
     
  19. dcwm

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    Sorry to bump this up again but anyone from UMass can comment on the above post?
     
  20. DrKhan1

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    Anyone with any new info. on the Umass program? I am a South Asian IMG interested in cards fellowship too. I was wondering whether the IMG populations at Umass is made up mostly of Latin Americans and Carribean graduates?
     
  21. bashwell

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    http://www.umassmed.edu/internal-medicine-residency/current-residents/intern-roster
    http://www.umassmed.edu/internal-medicine-residency/current-residents/pgy2-roster
    http://www.umassmed.edu/internal-medicine-residency/current-residents/pgy3-roster
    http://www.umassmed.edu/internal-medicine-residency/general-information/graduate-to-fellowship-data
     
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