UT-Houston vs. UT-Southwestern

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Crypt Abscess

15+ Year Member
20+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2002
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I am interested in doing a Senior EM rotation this summer at either UTSW or UT-Houston. Where would I get a better experience? Where would I get better letters (ie big names)? What are the pros and cons of the two programs? Thanks, Crypt

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I cannot speak for the program in Houston, however I did a month at Southwestern. The month was very good (they are on a block schedule so I did 15 twelve hour shifts). The only limit on what you are allowed to do is how aggressive you are. I was allowed a couple of intubations, a couple of LP?s, numerous central lines, I&D?s and tons of suturing. When you are on the trauma side you can evaluate the high level traumas with the trauma team. Southwestern sees tons of pathology, on one shift I saw a probable MS and a hydrofluoric acid burn.

As for letters ? Paul Pepe is well known in the EM field. (designs protocols for dealing with the president) I didn?t see him very much, but I bet you can get a letter from him with a little bit of persistence.

Hope this helps
If you want good recs from big names, go for Parkland (Dallas). UT-Houston got the death penalty a few years back (it's since been revived to provisional accreditation) and has no ultrasound program.

That being said, the residents at UT-Houston are happy. The facility is beautiful, too, and the work-hours are reasonable.

But if you're just doing a month's rotation and want strong recs that could get you in anywhere, you can't go wrong with UTSW.
I can't speak for UT-Houston, but I think UT-Southwestern has a decent EM residency and doing a month there as a medical student would be a great experience. Parkland is an amazing hospital. I think a weakness to UTSW for EM is that it is a powerhouse for surgery and medicine, so EM tends to get squeezed out sometimes. For example, the surgeons run trauma hall and manage all major traumas. The EM residents will rotate a month, under the surgeons, on trauma but in the end, it is the surgeons in charge. I think this is a disadvantage to the EM residents, but it shouldn't affect a medical student doing a rotation there.