Univ of Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest

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Ophtho222

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Univ of Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest: I'm hoping for feedback comparing the programs (surgical volume, didactics, fellowship match, environment). Due to scheduling conflicts I have to choose between the two programs. Thanks!

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Univ of Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest: I'm hoping for feedback comparing the programs (surgical volume, didactics, fellowship match, environment). Due to scheduling conflicts I have to choose between the two programs. Thanks!

Pitt, for sure. Not to bash Wake Forest in 2 threads, but it's apples and oranges when you compare programs like Pitt and UAB to Wake. Will you receive good training at Wake? Probably, but you simply will not have the same opportunities you would have at the larger programs.
 
I'd probably pick Pitt. Better name recognition in the ophthalmology world, larger program, more research oriented, bigger name faculty. Having said that, Wake is a really solid program. They see tons of patients and their strength is clinical training. Their residents have a high surgical caseload.
 
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You sound like you have a lot of insight into the different programs. Where does Wake Forest fall in terms of program strength? What about Alabama and Pitt? We all know about the top 10 programs and a few of the ones better to avoid...I also thought the middle were all about the same and that the programs you mentioned were all in the middle somewhere.
 
You sound like you have a lot of insight into the different programs. Where does Wake Forest fall in terms of program strength? What about Alabama and Pitt? We all know about the top 10 programs and a few of the ones better to avoid...I also thought the middle were all about the same and that the programs you mentioned were all in the middle somewhere.

Every program is unique, with different strengths & weaknesses. The most interesting dilemma I see medical students facing is choosing between programs that offer name recognition but lower surgical volumes vs programs with less prestige that offer better clinical training. Of course the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Programs like Bascom, UCLA, Duke, Emory for example are top programs that offer excellent clinical training. But in general some of the better known programs seem to be weaker in terms of surgical numbers.

Wake's strength is clinical training. Of the 3 programs you listed, it may have the highest surgical numbers. They see upwards of 80,000 patients per year but only have 3 residents per year. That's a very high ratio of patients : residents.

Pitt & UAB are bigger names in ophthalmology with more emphasis on research. They are larger programs with more residents & fellows. Their numbers are also good but maybe not as good as Wake's. It just really depends on which is more important to you.
 
Pitt, for sure. Not to bash Wake Forest in 2 threads, but it's apples and oranges when you compare programs like Pitt and UAB to Wake. Will you receive good training at Wake? Probably, but you simply will not have the same opportunities you would have at the larger programs.

What programs are on the level of Pitt and UAB?
Similarly, what programs are like Wake?

I've met a resident from Wake before and he really only had good things to say about the program. Likewise with UAB.
 
Not necessarily in order, but what programs would you guys list from #11-20?
 
Every program is unique, with different strengths & weaknesses. The most interesting dilemma I see medical students facing is choosing between programs that offer name recognition but lower surgical volumes vs programs with less prestige that offer better clinical training. Of course the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Programs like Bascom, UCLA, Duke, Emory for example are top programs that offer excellent clinical training. But in general some of the better known programs seem to be weaker in terms of surgical numbers.

Wake's strength is clinical training. Of the 3 programs you listed, it may have the highest surgical numbers. They see upwards of 80,000 patients per year but only have 3 residents per year. That's a very high ratio of patients : residents.

Pitt & UAB are bigger names in ophthalmology with more emphasis on research. They are larger programs with more residents & fellows. Their numbers are also good but maybe not as good as Wake's. It just really depends on which is more important to you.

Important points, speyeder. Your patient number is a little high for Wake, though. Even their web site only says 42k per year. Like I said, I don't want to come off as bashing Wake. Heck, I used to live in Winston-Salem!

Let me clarify. As a medical student, you definitely need to have some goals in mind as you consider programs. If you want to be a comprehensive ophthalmologist, a program like Wake will give you solid training and surgical numbers, such that you'll be ready to practice with confidence. If, on the other hand, you have eyes on fellowship training, you'll want to go to a larger program with more clinical and research opportunities, such as UAB or Pitt.

For similar reasons, none of us can really give you an "11-20" list. It would vary depending on what you're looking for. Even the annual "top 10" list is misleading. If you want to be a comprehensive ophthalmologist, don't go to Bascom or Wilmer, for crying out loud! The "top" programs almost exclusively churn out fellowship-bound residents. Have any of you met a comprehensive ophthalmologist who trained at one of those institutions? No? Bet you've met some program chairs, though. :D
 
What do you mean by clinical opportunities. Isn't that solid training and surgical numbers? It will be obvious when we interview which programs clearly have solid surgical numbers. Any tips on how to find out about the other things? (i.e. clinical and research opportunities). Every program will advertise the opportunities but as you pointed out, some mid level programs are still clearly stronger than others.

Important points, speyeder. Your patient number is a little high for Wake, though. Even their web site only says 42k per year. Like I said, I don't want to come off as bashing Wake. Heck, I used to live in Winston-Salem!

Let me clarify. As a medical student, you definitely need to have some goals in mind as you consider programs. If you want to be a comprehensive ophthalmologist, a program like Wake will give you solid training and surgical numbers, such that you'll be ready to practice with confidence. If, on the other hand, you have eyes on fellowship training, you'll want to go to a larger program with more clinical and research opportunities, such as UAB or Pitt.

For similar reasons, none of us can really give you an "11-20" list. It would vary depending on what you're looking for. Even the annual "top 10" list is misleading. If you want to be a comprehensive ophthalmologist, don't go to Bascom or Wilmer, for crying out loud! The "top" programs almost exclusively churn out fellowship-bound residents. Have any of you met a comprehensive ophthalmologist who trained at one of those institutions? No? Bet you've met some program chairs, though. :D
 
What do you mean by clinical opportunities. Isn't that solid training and surgical numbers? It will be obvious when we interview which programs clearly have solid surgical numbers. Any tips on how to find out about the other things? (i.e. clinical and research opportunities). Every program will advertise the opportunities but as you pointed out, some mid level programs are still clearly stronger than others.

By clinical opportunities, I was referring to those you tend to have when you are in a large department with most of the subspecialties represented. Such departments are typically tertiary referral centers; therefore, you are more likely to see a wider range of pathology, as well as more cutting edge clinical/surgical approaches. That's not a rule, mind you.

A lot of the specifics are hard to come by. If you talk to someone who trained at a certain institution, they will likely talk it up. If you talk to someone who didn't, how can you be sure they know what they're talking about? Even faculty have agendas, grudges, etc. You just have to accumulate the most information you can, and go with your gut.
 
Important points, speyeder. Your patient number is a little high for Wake, though. Even their web site only says 42k per year. Like I said, I don't want to come off as bashing Wake. Heck, I used to live in Winston-Salem!

Let me clarify. As a medical student, you definitely need to have some goals in mind as you consider programs. If you want to be a comprehensive ophthalmologist, a program like Wake will give you solid training and surgical numbers, such that you'll be ready to practice with confidence. If, on the other hand, you have eyes on fellowship training, you'll want to go to a larger program with more clinical and research opportunities, such as UAB or Pitt.

For similar reasons, none of us can really give you an "11-20" list. It would vary depending on what you're looking for. Even the annual "top 10" list is misleading. If you want to be a comprehensive ophthalmologist, don't go to Bascom or Wilmer, for crying out loud! The "top" programs almost exclusively churn out fellowship-bound residents. Have any of you met a comprehensive ophthalmologist who trained at one of those institutions? No? Bet you've met some program chairs, though. :D

I didn't believe those numbers myself but they come from a faculty member there who I've spoken to. Just out of curiosity I looked on their residency website and under the Resident Training section, it states that over 75,000 patients are seen each year. I've provided a link below. Whatever the number is, their residents receive good clinical training, and I did not take your post as bashing Wake in any way. I concur that UAB & Pitt are more recognized in the world of ophthalmology. I also agree with your point that going to a top program is advantageous for those who want to do fellowships, buy less so for those who want to do comprehensive.

http://www.wakehealth.edu/eye/education/residency.htm
 
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I didn't believe those numbers myself but they come from a faculty member there who I've spoken to. Just out of curiosity I looked on their residency website and under the Resident Training section, it states that over 75,000 patients are seen each year. I've provided a link below. Whatever the number is, their residents receive good clinical training, and I did not take your post as bashing Wake in any way. I concur that UAB & Pitt are more recognized in the world of ophthalmology. I also agree with your point that going to a top program is advantageous for those who want to do fellowships, buy less so for those who want to do comprehensive.

http://www.wakehealth.edu/eye/education/residency.htm

Interesting. I was actually looking at this page:

http://www.wakehealth.edu/School/Ophthalmology/Wake-Forest-University-Eye-Center.htm

That's where the 42k number came from. I wonder why the discrepancy. Oh, well.
 
Any thoughts about other specific programs? How does case western compare on the national scale? UTSW? George?

By clinical opportunities, I was referring to those you tend to have when you are in a large department with most of the subspecialties represented. Such departments are typically tertiary referral centers; therefore, you are more likely to see a wider range of pathology, as well as more cutting edge clinical/surgical approaches. That's not a rule, mind you.

A lot of the specifics are hard to come by. If you talk to someone who trained at a certain institution, they will likely talk it up. If you talk to someone who didn't, how can you be sure they know what they're talking about? Even faculty have agendas, grudges, etc. You just have to accumulate the most information you can, and go with your gut.
 
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