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What's life like at Penn these days?

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by King Arthur, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. King Arthur

    King Arthur Member 5+ Year Member

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    Mar 26, 2005
    Hello,
    I've read what's been posted on Penn's program in the past, but most of it is a bit old. At that time, pple described something of a transitional period. I was wondering if anyone who's training there now would be willing to update future applicants as to how things are going. Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 15, 2003
    Canada
    good question King Arthur - this is something i'm interested as well. if i'm remember my scramble list for 2007 correctly, Penn didn't fill their AP/CP slots this year, but i've been told it's a solid program by multiple people i respect, so let's hope a few senior members of the forum share their thoughts with us c/o 2008 applicants.
     
  4. Tiki

    Tiki Girl named after a Giant 10+ Year Member

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    Jan 6, 2004
    East Coast
    I'm also interested in this as well. I'm in the process of setting up an away elective there, Penn is one of my top choices due to its proximity to my family.
     
  5. danaphosaurus

    danaphosaurus 2+ Year Member

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    Aug 28, 2006
    There was a thread a couple of months ago where there was a discussion about previewing slides until 1 AM. Basically this person was working long hours doing paperwork and secretarial stuff. I think this person was from Penn though I am not sure.
     
  6. Villin

    Villin 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 30, 2006
    you're correct.

    i wrote a tidbit on penn a while back...do a search OP. they have a new surg path director and are going through a transitional period. overall, the residents were not the most sanguine in their mood...but i leave that up to you to decide if and when you interview there.
     
  7. King Arthur

    King Arthur Member 5+ Year Member

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    Mar 26, 2005

    thanks, i did find that thread here:
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=361548&highlight=penn

    If anyone else would care to share their opinions, especially current residents, I would very much like to hear it. Thanks.
     
  8. sleeping beauty

    sleeping beauty 5+ Year Member

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    Mar 17, 2007
    medically it is good. there are lot of opportunities to learn. research is good although it is not that great. high % of residents are Phd, MD.
     
  9. sickofit

    sickofit and i'm spent 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 4, 2003
    Any news from current residents? Thanks!
     
  10. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 15, 2003
    Canada
    or news from applicants?
     
  11. sickofit

    sickofit and i'm spent 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 4, 2003
  12. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    You don't have to bump a thread that's only 36 hours from being recent.
     
  13. sickofit

    sickofit and i'm spent 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 4, 2003
    How about 5 minutes?

    BUMP! :D
     
  14. docbiohazard

    docbiohazard Highly ranked amateur 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 22, 2007
    Biocontainment
    I had a good interview there, the residents that I met seemed happy, program director was very cool, faculty I interviewed with seemed non-malignant.

    Got a better "gut" feeling off of Penn than I did at Hopkins, and it would seem the workload is somewhat less, but other than random details / variances between programs, it seems a lot of my personal decisions are coming down to my "gut".

    Would be nice to hear from some current residents. They are 40% MD/PhD, 100% board pass rate for the past 5 years or so, and it seems the vast majority of their graduates go into academics. They also paid for my hotel, which is about the nicest one I've stayed in on my interview trail.

    BH
     
  15. sentinelLN

    sentinelLN

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    Dec 6, 2007
    I'd be willing to bet you aren't gonna hear from anyone at Penn. Goodluck.
     
  16. magician

    magician 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 8, 2006
    neverland
    it is interesting that no one from penn has ever come out defending the program or if someone from this program said something, it is negative. how come other programs, no matter it is good or not, malignant or not, always have someone defending themselves.

    i do believe penn is great program.
     
  17. Tiki

    Tiki Girl named after a Giant 10+ Year Member

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    Jan 6, 2004
    East Coast
    I enjoyed my interview at Penn as well. And I also agree with the hotel assessment, that place was quite swanky!
     
  18. gbwillner

    gbwillner Pastafarian Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Interestingly, I know several Penn path residents that frequent this forum....
     
  19. superkeith

    superkeith Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 1, 2004
    trust the gut!
     
  20. sentinelLN

    sentinelLN

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    Dec 6, 2007
    So if there are all these Penn residents on this forum, why don't they comment on their own program? Everyone that has anything good to say about Penn isn't actually a resident there. It's usually "I got a good vibe interviewing there," or "the residency director is nice" or "I believe it's a great program." Ever wonder about that?
     
  21. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Some people just don't like to comment. I wouldn't assume things either way.
     
  22. docbiohazard

    docbiohazard Highly ranked amateur 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 22, 2007
    Biocontainment
    No.
     
  23. gschl1234

    gschl1234 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 8, 2003
    When I interviewed there they told me how they re-vamped surg path this year. As I understand it, they have 2ce as many ppl on service now by extending the number of months required for surg path. The residents I met seemed very happy with the new system. Overall I was very impressed with the program.
     
  24. pathres1

    pathres1

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    Dec 11, 2007
    I'm a senior Penn resident. This program is great, it was my first choice and would be again.

    The obvious highlights:
    1. great programs in both AP and CP.
    2. A constant dialogue between AP and CP. (So, for those of you out there that are leaning one way or the other, there are ways to overlap the two.)
    3. An emphasis on didactic education (at the continual request of the residents). We have protected time (on all rotations) for core conferences dedicated to CP, AP, autopsy and management.
    4. Large number of residents (great for spreading out call, finding vacation/conference coverage, and generally finding people with similar academic and personal interests)
    5. Lots of encouragement (financial and intellectual) for research (clinical and basic science)

    My reason for choosing penn:
    I really wanted a place where the residents are motivated to learn and explore pathology in all aspects. I have always felt that Pathologists should be leading the way in the future of diagnostics. This is greatly facilitated by an environment that challenges residents to think about their diagnosis and how they could improve their diagnosis. Penn residents and faculty do this on a continual basis. There is a constant energy here, which is both motivating and exciting.

    While I wanted an intense and motivating program in pathology, I also wanted time for my family. Penn was the only place that I interviewed where I could have both. In the end, I chose Penn because of the balance between hardworking, academically motivated people and a general understanding of the importance of a personal life. I still find this true, people here (both residents and attendings) have both and have a great amount of respect for both.
     
  25. nycsicko

    nycsicko 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 29, 2007
    well repected everywhere! Can't go wrong. Lots of the attendings have consult parctices so you'll see all the common stuff and all the uncommon stuff.
     
  26. EvilTaz

    EvilTaz Junior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Oct 5, 2004
    Things used to be pretty bad here at Penn. I work very, very fast but still had some very late nights. Midnight was a common occurance. Now that I'm basically finishing up, I'm a bit jealous of the residents who joined us more recently. The days of working until midnight are over. All of the first year residents this year are handling the workload without any problem. From when I started, they doubled the number of residents in surgpath and added another PA. They are going to get additional fellows in the future as well. The effect of this is that on your cut day - we are responsible for half the specimens we used to cut, and the preview day is similarly decompressed. Our program director is explicit in saying that if there are any work hour violations, we must report them and address them immediately, and that there is no tolerance for excessive work hours. My feeling is that work hours are no longer a problem, and everyone is much happier now.

    Two years ago - I actually did not want to meet applicants because I felt like I had to be honest, and at that time being honest wouldn't have been the best recruiting tool. I couldn't in good faith not warn people that Penn was an intense program. Now, I have no qualms about selling our residency program, so I'm happy to meet the applicants.

    We do have fellows here who did their residency at other programs - and my advice is to get the real inside scoop on how good or bad things are. There are still programs out there that are pretty rough. I hear there is one "top" program where residents spend part of their time at a table of slides trying find which ones correspond to the cases they're responsible for, and putting them into slide folders. Doesn't sound like a good use of one's time as a resident. There are still places with a lot of pressure not to report duty hour violations. Get into the details as much as you can.

    Also, the selection process at Penn highly values good people. By that I mean people who are decent, not arrogant, can carry a normal conversation, etc., etc. Although there is a lot of MD, PhD's here - we will not rank the Science/Nature author if their attitude sucks. So out of 40 or so residents in our program, I genuinely like everyone except maybe two - and even they aren't that bad.

    Hope this helps.
     
  27. Haha...yeah I heard this too from one of the first years who did a one month rotation at that program. And yes, I put that program in the "top" program category as well...somewhere on the east coast...will not say any further. That's a total bullsheeaaaaat waste of time.
     
  28. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Sounds like not only a wonderful opportunity for wasted effort and time, but a WONDERFUL opportunity for mislabeling, losing slides, and otherwise messing up cases and diagnosis. If our AP director saw that procedure in action I think his head might explode.
     
  29. hurthlecell

    hurthlecell

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    Dec 10, 2007
    12 months ago at this time, one resident from penn posted here that he was still grossing. it's 2am in the morning. some others also complained in the same thread. hard to believe the so-called recent change.
     
  30. hurthlecell

    hurthlecell

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    Dec 10, 2007
    can you post first letter of the PROGRAM OR STATE?
     
  31. EvilTaz

    EvilTaz Junior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Oct 5, 2004
    Just to clarify, about two years ago, they changed the surgpath rotation to try to help us out. This helped a little but not a lot. A little under a year ago, they changed the rotation again which helped significantly by adding specimen caps and having moonlighters come in and cut the excess specimens. This change was a temporary bridge to the new system which was put into place less than 6 months ago. Surgpath at Penn has changed dramatically from a generalist signout to a subspecialty model. The number of residents has gone from four residents (plus one senior resident who only did biopsies) to eight residents. There is another PA, and they are trying to hire another PA. Penn 12 months ago was a very different place.

    As for the first letter of the program or state, how about if I give you the first letter of the program, state or city - but I won't tell you which one. "B" :D
     
  32. Not on this public forum....sorry. EvilTaz says "B". Knowing that EvilTaz was a strong MD/PhD candidate (we applied the same year and we were looking at a lot of the same programs), I can imagine that he implies that this "B" program could the program I am at (Brigham) or that he refers to a city (such as Baltimore)...it can't be my program though since we get slides for our cases delivered to our mailboxes and we don't waste our bloody time sorting through slides to pick which ones belong to us. Now "B" could simply signify Boston...fine but I have not heard such a thing happening at MGH or BIDMC. I've compared notes with friends at both institutions. So I'm out of other ideas as to what "B" may signify.

    Anyways, seeing how people are so ancy to solve this puzzle is just too funny...I've gotten 4 PMs about this already! :laugh:
     
  33. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    The easy way to figure it out is to just ask programs when you interview there. Just say, "I heard some programs make residents sort slides," or something like that.

    For all I know, it may not even be true, just a rumor that developed based on a temporary experience that may be corrected now. I don't know. I don't know what program they are talking about. But I would hope that any program that did do this would have fixed it already, because as I said it's dangerous for many reasons.
     
  34. Initially my info was a year old; however, I recently heard from someone who visited there that this is still the case. I agree with you though...slide distribution in this fashion is quite dangerous.
     

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