Armadillos

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So I'm starting the long process of thinking about psych programs. The most important metric for me after "quality training" would be happy residents and happy/friendly faculty, but sadly I can't find that on websites : )

Overall I know I'm most likely to stay at my home program because its a great program and would make things easiest for me and significant other.

But we also like the idea of maybe moving to another place, so looking to do my due diligence and the whole country is on the radar.

I have 250+ board scores and am interested in academics, more the teaching/clinical aspect with some research on the side, but maybe not being full time researcher.

Things we want to avoid are 1. Bad commutes and 2. Stressed/unhappy residents

I have no specific area of psych in sold on yet so probably won't choose somewhere based on one specific aspect of their program. We both enjoy outdoor activities and having a yard, so some of the huge city programs might not be best match for us.

Any thoughts? (Please not the generic geography response, I'm trying to expand my horizons here)
 
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Armadillos

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A goal of academics and research will, I think, tend to push you toward larger programs in usually larger or more densely populated cities, and thus towards all the things that go along with that
Good point, so what are some of the more respected places outside of the really big cities?
Just thinking offhand- Duke, Mayo, Yale, Brown ? Im sure there are a ton more im not immediately thinking of
 
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SmallBird

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Good point, so what are some of the more respected places outside of the really big cities?
Just thinking offhand- Duke, Mayo, Yale, Brown ? Im sure there are a ton more im not immediately thinking of
As you point out Yale is not in a big city, and most residents are able to walk to work. More importantly, the department values and accommodates people with academic interests that don't intend to make this the most prominent part of their career - for example, by having a clinician educator track, which provides significant space for academic pursuits without specific requirements for external funding, etc. As a resident who really enjoys qualitative and education research this was the single most important factor in me choosing this program.
 

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...Michigan, Dartmouth, MUSC, Iowa...

Some might even include Pittsburgh as a "not very big" city--hard to get more respected & academic than WPIC.
 

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Don't forget WashU. It's in a nice part of the city, but most certainly not an expensive city - as an intern, I was able to buy a 3-bedroom townhouse with a frontyard, a backyard, a garage, and a basement. And of course, the academic rigor is strong. I wrote a bunch about it in this thread:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/wash-u-in-st-louis.1032488/#post-14502259

For psych, I wouldn't put Mayo on the same list as Duke, Yale, and Brown.
 
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Armadillos

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Thanks for the all the ideas so far everyone
As you point out Yale is not in a big city, and most residents are able to walk to work. More importantly, the department values and accommodates people with academic interests that don't intend to make this the most prominent part of their career - for example, by having a clinician educator track, which provides significant space for academic pursuits without specific requirements for external funding, etc. As a resident who really enjoys qualitative and education research this was the single most important factor in me choosing this program.
Thanks for the post, I will definitely have to look into this. I'm the type who is interested in research in general, but don't already have a specific area of research in mind. Looking at some of these websites makes some programs look almost like applying to a PhD program in that it looks like a lot of applicants may already have specific research mentors and projects in mind.

I'm much more interested in starting residency and then seeing where my interests take me.
 
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Armadillos

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...Michigan, Dartmouth, MUSC, Iowa...

Some might even include Pittsburgh as a "not very big" city--hard to get more respected & academic than WPIC.
Thanks for the thoughts, any more programs you have in mind to fill in your ellipses?

So in summary for my Armadillos completely unofficial, based on what Im reading here, list of academically respected programs outside of big cities I have: Duke, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, Michigan, Iowa, MUSC, UNC.

Then some programs more borderline on the "big city" aspect: WashU, Pitt
 

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Thanks for the thoughts, any more programs you have in mind to fill in your ellipses?

So in summary for my Armadillos completely unofficial, based on what Im reading here, list of academically respected programs outside of big cities I have: Duke, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, Michigan, Iowa, MUSC, UNC.

Then some programs more borderline on the "big city" aspect: WashU, Pitt
Not sure Dartmouth belongs on that list for academics/research (perfectly OK training program otherwise), but the rest of them, sure.
 

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Thanks for the thoughts, any more programs you have in mind to fill in your ellipses?

So in summary for my Armadillos completely unofficial, based on what Im reading here, list of academically respected programs outside of big cities I have: Duke, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, Michigan, Iowa, MUSC, UNC.

Then some programs more borderline on the "big city" aspect: WashU, Pitt
I think that's a very good list. If you want to go to "second-tier" in terms of respect, you may also consider Indiana, Florida, and Wisconsin. And if you want to consider other programs that are borderline on the "big city" aspect, you may want to think about Vanderbilt.

But definitely come and interview at WashU. Considering what you want out of a city, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by St. Louis. And considering what you want out of a program, I think it's perfect - one of the biggest selling points of the program is the extensive exposure to a diverse range of subspecialties (look at the second year rotations on the program website, and I think you'll find that it's as broad as you'll find anywhere), and the exposure to just as diverse of a range of research opportunities without the pressure to participate if you don't want to... but there's so much demand for more MDs to participate in research in psychiatry that no matter what you want to do, somebody will be there to encourage you to do it... and they'll either already have funding for you (since there tend to be more opportunities than qualified people), or they'll actively support you in getting funding.
 

SmallBird

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but there's so much demand for more MDs to participate in research in psychiatry that no matter what you want to do, somebody will be there to encourage you to do it... and they'll either already have funding for you (since there tend to be more opportunities than qualified people), or they'll actively support you in getting funding.
I'm sure we agree, but it is worth pointing out that even MD's are experiencing considerable difficulty in getting enough funding to pursue full-time research careers. It sounds like at your program you have enjoyed working with accessible research faculty who are happy to involve residents and support junior faculty, and thats great. But ultimately, the number of people who might hope to fund all, or even a large part of their time by doing research unfortunately far exceeds the amount of funding that is available.
 
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I'd second that SmallBird. There may be a high theoretical "demand" for MDs interested in research in psychiatry, but the opportunities for a fully funded research career continue to dwindle year after year. My interview trail included more than a few former research MD's who are now taking on additional clinical duties as part of their academic appointment.
 

Psychotic

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I'd second that SmallBird. There may be a high theoretical "demand" for MDs interested in research in psychiatry, but the opportunities for a fully funded research career continue to dwindle year after year. My interview trail included more than a few former research MD's who are now taking on additional clinical duties as part of their academic appointment.
Another way to confirm this downward trend is to note where I interviewed at programs that are known for research that do not really push research on applicants - it is more of a "it is here if you want to be involved...or not" sort of a thing, a program selling point for applicants who express interest in research, but not something they expect or even want all applicants to be involved with.
 
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Not sure Dartmouth belongs on that list for academics/research (perfectly OK training program otherwise), but the rest of them, sure.
I agree. That's been my impression as well.

And, to the OP, it's understandable that you are looking to expand your horizons, but are you sure you can live in a place like New Haven for four years just because the education is good? I interviewed at Yale recently and while I thought the program was above average while not being spectacular in anything, I can never see myself living so far out and in such terrible weather for four long years.

Remember that the residency is a long time and will feel even longer if you are not going to be happy. The city is an important part of that happiness equation, so do try to keep that in mind when making such crucial decisions.
 
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Armadillos

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Just curious (never been there), whats so terrible about new haven? I know people say its dangerous, but is it really that much worse than every other city where there are some streets you would never walk down, but then other pockets of town are really nice.

I would assume having Yale in town would make for enough professors and affluent students in the area that there would be some pretty decent areas to live?
 

vistaril

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So I'm starting the long process of thinking about psych programs. The most important metric for me after "quality training" would be happy residents and happy/friendly faculty, but sadly I can't find that on websites : )

Overall I know I'm most likely to stay at my home program because its a great program and would make things easiest for me and significant other.

But we also like the idea of maybe moving to another place, so looking to do my due diligence and the whole country is on the radar.

I have 250+ board scores and am interested in academics, more the teaching/clinical aspect with some research on the side, but maybe not being full time researcher.

Things we want to avoid are 1. Bad commutes and 2. Stressed/unhappy residents

I have no specific area of psych in sold on yet so probably won't choose somewhere based on one specific aspect of their program. We both enjoy outdoor activities and having a yard, so some of the huge city programs might not be best match for us.

Any thoughts? (Please not the generic geography response, I'm trying to expand my horizons here)

there are probably literally 40 programs that could fall in those parameters....you'll have to be a bit more specific.
 
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Armadillos

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there are probably literally 40 programs that could fall in those parameters....you'll have to be a bit more specific.
Any specific ones on your mind besides the 10-15 or so we have mentioned so far?

Ideally I would like to have like 25ish programs that I research pretty well so that I can then be more judicious in where I apply/interview so that I don't just randomly send applications everywhere. Ideally I would like to eventually minimize the number of interviews I go on, seems like such a huge waste of resources/time to go on a million interviews
 
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Armadillos

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Figure out your geographic interests (climate, cost of living, outdoor activities, etc) and apply to as many programs as possible in that region, then spread a few apps around the country for programs that seem extra special, on paper, and could possibly make you look beyond geography.
Thanks for the advice, as you mention I already have my 5ish "geography" programs nailed down so this thread is looking more for those "extra special on paper" programs I would never have considered otherwise
 
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I'm surprised no one's mentioned UNM so far. I've never been to the place or the program, but I've heard nothing but good things about the program throughout my interview trail.
 

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Nasrudamus says you'll be at your home program. If you want to. Otherwise, like others have said, your criteria is not specific enough to yield a list.

Friendliness, good clinical training, A yard, small commute, academically oriented, a bit of research--these can be had a many, many programs.

Geography is the easiest way to specify from these.
 

primadonna22274

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Is MUSC a well-respected psych program? I have an interview there in 2 weeks (late, I know) for Med-Psych. The only psych interview I'm going to (otherwise medicine). My thing is Geri psych so Med-Psych makes sense to me--and I love medicine. Not quite sure about a 5-yr residency (I'm a young almost-40 now, but certainly not as young as I was when I started med school at 37) and double boards though.
 

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Nasrudamus says you'll be at your home program. If you want to. Otherwise, like others have said, your criteria is not specific enough to yield a list.

Friendliness, good clinical training, A yard, small commute, academically oriented, a bit of research--these can be had a many, many programs.

Geography is the easiest way to specify from these.
I would tell someone who has a home program where they want to stay to save their $ and avoid traipsing all over the country (like I did). No regrets, really, but I went overboard, wore myself out, and spent a lot more money than I had to spend to achieve what I think will end up happening for me in the match. With the OP's stats, and assuming the rest of his app is top drawer, he does not 'need' to apply all over the map - he will have his pick of programs come the match. Sure, attend enough interviews to feel comfortable, but for someone like him, that could be, what - 8 progs, tops? Find a couple of those "too good to be true on paper" type places and apply to them, but don't fall for the "grass is greener" mentality - there are perfectly good/great programs in every region, no need to look elsewhere unless you have a specific reason to do so.
 

Nasrudin

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Is MUSC a well-respected psych program? I have an interview there in 2 weeks (late, I know) for Med-Psych. The only psych interview I'm going to (otherwise medicine). My thing is Geri psych so Med-Psych makes sense to me--and I love medicine. Not quite sure about a 5-yr residency (I'm a young almost-40 now, but certainly not as young as I was when I started med school at 37) and double boards though.
I've heard great things. And by heard I mean I read all the reviews on this board at one time or another and people say great things about it. So.....? Whatever that means. Myself, I'm good for a 1 year fellowship tops and then making paper. Double boarding makes no sense to me. But it's you for you, so, go for it.
 

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Is MUSC a well-respected psych program? I have an interview there in 2 weeks (late, I know) for Med-Psych. The only psych interview I'm going to (otherwise medicine). My thing is Geri psych so Med-Psych makes sense to me--and I love medicine. Not quite sure about a 5-yr residency (I'm a young almost-40 now, but certainly not as young as I was when I started med school at 37) and double boards though.
Yes, MUSC is a very good psych program. Especially if you're interested in biological/medical psych. They are essentially leading the charge in the attempt to create a more robust interventional psychiatry subspecialty, which would be a great potential area for practice for a combined med/psych doctor.
 

primadonna22274

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Yes, MUSC is a very good psych program. Especially if you're interested in biological/medical psych. They are essentially leading the charge in the attempt to create a more robust interventional psychiatry subspecialty, which would be a great potential area for practice for a combined med/psych doctor.
Hmmmm...lots to think about. I like this. Thanks :)
Also, does anyone know if I would need to do a Geri psych fellowship to be program director or medical director at an inpatient Geri psych unit? 5 years is already pretty long.
 

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I'm curious about what you mean exactly. Do you mean that as a medicine/psych double trained person could you be director of a Geri psych unit? Without the fellowship?

It seems you would be well positioned for this given the level of medical comorbidity in the elderly. It seems like one of those roles you just go after and start working in. Although psych + gerispych seems to be the more direct route for a specialized unit, there's not a whole lot of Geri-psychs out there. And with the avalanche of elderly baby boomers looming, it seems like a hot market for anyone who wants the work from whatever angle they're coming from. I can't imagine you not being able to do what you want with your training goals. Neither psychs nor medicine people are clamoring for this type of work. In fact there's a dark, hilarious comedy show on showtime, I think?, about the very real labor pool shortage for these areas such that all it's inhabitants are maladapted burnouts.

Hopefully somebody qualified will weigh in. I actually am not familiar with any Geri psych people on this board. The only one I know is my adviser. And he's a Dean at a medical school. So?
 
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primadonna22274

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Thanks Nasrudin. That's exactly what I mean. The rotations I've enjoyed the most are Geri psych (inpatient unit), inpatient hospice, and inpatient medicine (see a theme? Lol). I'm coming into this from a 13-yr background as a PA in EM and FM and have a decidedly academic bent (I taught PAs and would like to teach residents). Appreciate your input very much.
 

Nasrudin

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Thanks Nasrudin. That's exactly what I mean. The rotations I've enjoyed the most are Geri psych (inpatient unit), inpatient hospice, and inpatient medicine (see a theme? Lol). I'm coming into this from a 13-yr background as a PA in EM and FM and have a decidedly academic bent (I taught PAs and would like to teach residents). Appreciate your input very much.
I share a lot of these interests too, so I can dig where you're coming from. I just have them in proportions that allow to me to focus on one side of the fence--more or less heading towards emergency psych and forenics or at best somewhere vaguely on the border zone of psych and medicine. Palliative medicine was something I was always considering as well but let it go when I realized the level of complexity of the medicine therein.

You'll have an incredible skill set. Although directors of stuff sometimes also come with the MBA, MHA side of things too.

It sounds like a difficult but very interesting path. Keep in touch with us to let us know how it goes. I'm very curious to see where you go with it and wish you the best.
 
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shan564

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If you want to be a director of a geri psych unit, I think you'd be better off spending 5 years doing psych residency + geri fellowship rather than IM/psych residency. IM will help you when taking care of geri patients, but as the director of the unit, you'll be handling psychiatry-related issues, not medicine-related issues. The doctors and staff working on the unit will be psych-trained and not IM-trained, so you won't be able to take patients with active serious medical problems. That is, unless you make it a med/psych unit... in that case, I think that med/psych combined training is perfectly reasonable.