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Baylor at Houston,
The Methodist at Houston,
UT Southwestern,
Vandy,
Emory,
UAB,
U of Chicago,
Northwestern U,
U of Arizona,
U of Wash,
Wash U.

Just need a rough comment, no location or training type preference.
 

2121115

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Not really sure what you want to hear. How would you rank them? Overall, I don't think any of them are bad programs. It all comes down to what location you want (during and after residency) and the training type that fits you best.
 

Sulfinator

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Baylor at Houston,
The Methodist at Houston,
UT Southwestern,
Vandy,
Emory,
UAB,
U of Chicago,
Northwestern U,
U of Arizona,
U of Wash,
Wash U.

Just need a rough comment, no location or training type preference.
"Only you can prevent forest fires" . . . er, I mean . . .Only you can rank these programs in the order that they best fit you.
 

pathstudent

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Only three if those programs are ranked in the PCS top twenty.

University of Washington
utsw
Baylor
 

gbwillner

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Baylor at Houston,
The Methodist at Houston,
UT Southwestern,
Vandy,
Emory,
UAB,
U of Chicago,
Northwestern U,
U of Arizona,
U of Wash,
Wash U.

Just need a rough comment, no location or training type preference.
You're not going to get a lot of straight answers because there is no sound way of directly comparing programs. I will try to help the only way I can- from my experience. Based on reputation alone, the best programs on your list are:

WashU
U of Chicago
U Washington
Emory
UTSW

In terms of up-and-coming programs, I would say that Vandy and Methodist would come next, then maybe Baylor. The remaining programs don't have a reputation as good programs as far as I know. Of course, there are lots of ways to look at programs. Some people consider location as more important that reputation or the quality of the training. So to each his/her own.
 

pathstudent

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[citation needed]
The PCS is a controversial and complex formula that ranks the best pathology programs based on academic emminence of the faculty, prowness of the medical center, reputation of the medical school, the climate and desirability of the location to young urban professionals, and other intangibles.
 
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I got the point. Thank everyone, personally I like Chicago a lot. But people said Northwestern has been a tough competitor for U of C because of better location in town.
 

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I'm a first year at Northwestern and can offer some thoughts on the strengths and weakness of the program, either publicly or over PM if you're interested.
 
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I'm a first year at Northwestern and can offer some thoughts on the strengths and weakness of the program, either publicly or over PM if you're interested.
Thanks a lot. I think there are a lot of new guys here who are interested in your comments on your program. So it would be a great idea to let us share this information. By the way, I have heard that Chicago downtown is the best downtown among all the big cities and Northwestern program is located in the best area of Chicago downtown.
 

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See this thread: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=574310
I know from someone that was there that in the past the residents often had no preview time and the first time they often saw the cases was when they sat down to signout with the attending.
I also know that their unknown conference in the past was not really a classic unknowns conference as the cases had the surgical number marked on them and the residents got to see them prior to the conference and could just look up the diagnoses prior to the conference.
It also seemed in the prior thread that they did a lot of grossing.
I do not know if they have made changes or not.
The NW dermpath fellowship is not run by the path department but is run by the derm department. I have heard they have a track record of rarely selecting NW path residents for the fellowship.
 
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exPCM

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UAB should definitely be in the top 3 out of your list. They have a solid program with some excellent in house fellowships. I think they might only be behind Wash U and U Washington on that list in terms of quality of training and the cost of living there makes a resident salary go further than many other places.
 
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gbwillner

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The PCS is a controversial and complex formula that ranks the best pathology programs based on academic emminence of the faculty, prowness of the medical center, reputation of the medical school, the climate and desirability of the location to young urban professionals, and other intangibles.
By all means, please show us the methodology and list.
 
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The Univ of Rochester Path Program just received full accreditation by ACGME. I hear that's a strong pgm. Any thoughts?
 
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Why would anyone trust or pay any attention to arbitrary rankings of pathology programs? Are these the same people who pay attention to US News med school rankings as if they have any bearing on reality?

If you are interested in a program, apply to it, look into it, interview there, and talk to people who trained there. Don't pay attention to whether someone says it's ranked 4th on a random list.
 

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Why would anyone trust or pay any attention to arbitrary rankings of pathology programs? Are these the same people who pay attention to US News med school rankings as if they have any bearing on reality?

If you are interested in a program, apply to it, look into it, interview there, and talk to people who trained there. Don't pay attention to whether someone says it's ranked 4th on a random list.
I've never heard of this before, and "arbitrary" seems like the right word once you get factors like "other intangibles" and "climate and desirability of the location to young urban professionals" to factor into ranking. I'm sure being in close proximity to a bagel shop is counted as one of the criteria. Why not base programs solely on their reputation, quality of the faculty, and quality of the training? I could understand factoring in how well the residents do in terms of employment, if such a thing could be tracked, but everything else mentioned is just ******ed.

As far as why rank programs at all- I don't have a problem with that. I knew I wanted to go to a great program- where do I start looking? Do I have to apply to every program i heard good things about?

A few months ago, some one listed all the best programs by region. To date, it was the best list I've seen. It is impossible to say what the best program is, or the "top 5" or whatever, but most people seem to agree on what the best progams are for every region.
 

pathstudent

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Sure location and desirability of a city matter in terms of drawing a larger pool of applicants

pn
I've never heard of th before, and "arbitrary" seems like the right word once you get factors like "other intangibles" and "climate and desirability of the location to young urban professionals" to factor into ranking. I'm sure being in close proximity to a bagel shop is counted as one of the criteria. Why not base programs solely on their reputation, quality of the faculty, and quality of the training? I could understand factoring in how well the residents do in terms of employment, if such a thing could be tracked, but everything else mentioned is just ******ed.

As far as why rank programs at all- I don't have a problem with that. I knew I wanted to go to a great program- where do I start looking? Do I have to apply to every program i heard good things about?

A few months ago, some one listed all the best programs by region. To date, it was the best list I've seen. It is impossible to say what the best program is, or the "top 5" or whatever, but most people seem to agree on what the best progams are for every region.
 
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Thanks a lot. I think there are a lot of new guys here who are interested in your comments on your program. So it would be a great idea to let us share this information. By the way, I have heard that Chicago downtown is the best downtown among all the big cities and Northwestern program is located in the best area of Chicago downtown.
Sure, I can summarize some of my thoughts on the program:

Strengths: Teaching second to none. Drs. Rao and Laskin are great teachers, and we have daily conferences at the multiheaded scope geared towards board prep (conferences are optional, but well attended). Most of the attendings take teaching pretty seriously.
-Great diversity of pathologic specimens, especially the more unusual stuff (soft tissue, neuro, endocrine, renal, cardiac).
-Very resident-friendly program director, who genuinely cares about your wellbeing and career goals.
-Great location, right off the magnificent mile in downtown Chicago. Despite being in an expensive area, there are affordable housing options nearby if you dont want to commute. I'm living in a pretty spacious 1 bedroom in a highrise, right on Lake Michigan, for $1150 a month...much more affordable than NY/Boston/LA/San Fran.
-Facilities are good...Northwestern is a filthy rich hospital and the path department is well taken care of. They just redid the grossing room and each resident has a nice space to work in.
-The scheduling is good..they do a good job intermixing AP/CP rotations, and the CP rotations are pretty light so you have some time to study.
-Everyone passes the boards. Most people go on to get the fellowships they want, including derm. Northwestern offers many (hemepath, cytopath, neuro, etc).
-Pretty normal, down to earth residents, who really step up to help each other out, and are fun to hang out with outside of work.

Weaknesses:
-Currently we're on a 2-day grossing schedule (ie, gross one day, sign out the next, gross the next day, etc). This is not ideal because you don't have any dedicated preview time to go through your cases, which should really be emphasized in residency. It is a major weakness of the program. Having said that, we're set to switch over to 3-day cycle in January, pending the hiring of an extra PA or two to help in the gross room.
-Busy surgpath service, and the hours can be long. First year residents stay till 8 or 9 sometimes. Once you get your feet wet, your typical grossing day will be more like 6-7. My latest night has been 9:00, and I'm a slow, clueless first year. I think you'll find that the hours are comparable at most busy academic medical centers.
-Not enough elective time. We only get a few months; most programs get more.
-Chicago weather sucks.

Strength or Weakness, depending on your point of view:
-Very academic environment. Conferences are pretty formal, and most residents get involved in research and present at local/national conferences, especially in the upper years. Dr. Muller, the program director, has a strong research background and likes residents to get involved. Still, there's a pretty good split between residents who choose careers in academics vs. private practice.
-Generalized signout, which means that on any given day, you'll gross (or sign out) all sorts of different specimens, but you won't get to focus on one particular area at a time. Ask around, people have different thoughts on generalized vs. subspecialty signout; I can't comment on it too much since I'm still just starting out.

Let me know if you've got any more specific questions -- Brian
 

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So now we have this:
Sure, I can summarize some of my thoughts on the program:
-Facilities are good...Northwestern is a filthy rich hospital and the path department is well taken care of. They just redid the grossing room and each resident has a nice space to work in.

Weaknesses:
-Currently we're on a 2-day grossing schedule (ie, gross one day, sign out the next, gross the next day, etc). This is not ideal because you don't have any dedicated preview time to go through your cases, which should really be emphasized in residency. It is a major weakness of the program. Having said that, we're set to switch over to 3-day cycle in January, pending the hiring of an extra PA or two to help in the gross room.
-Busy surgpath service, and the hours can be long. First year residents stay till 8 or 9 sometimes. Once you get your feet wet, your typical grossing day will be more like 6-7. My latest night has been 9:00, and I'm a slow, clueless first year. I think you'll find that the hours are comparable at most busy academic medical centers.
-Not enough elective time. We only get a few months; most programs get more.
A year ago we had this in the old thread:
But I am glad to tell you that Dr. Nelson is a breath of fresh air among the residents and she is very concerned about our complaints and is very aggressive and innovative in her approach to finding solutions to these problems. As a result, there have been some pleasant changes that have occurred and more are in the works!

The grossing situation has improved significantly. We now have 3 residents dedicated to grossing at one time and it has helped decrease the load without affecting our learning from the signout standpoint. It's not perfect but on most grossing days you are done by 6 to 7pm.

As a bonus, Dr. Rao holds multiple teaching conferences throughout the week, including a daily 5pm teaching conference where he reviews interesting unknown lesions. He even comes in every Saturday morning to signout biopsies and welcomes residents to join him (it's voluntary and you are not forced to do it, plus he buys you coffee!). Many agree that he is one of the best teachers in the field of pathology and he sacrifices so much of his own time for your benefit. Learning from him for four years is an invaluable asset and we are lucky to have him. And don't worry, he is not retiring anytime soon!

We have recruited several new great faculty and the flow of signout has been great and the attendings seem happy. We are still actively recruiting faculty and it is important to remember that there is always going to be turnover in academic medicine. Overall, I think the state of our department is excellent and continually seems to be heading in a positive direction. Don't forget, NW is one of the richest hospitals in the world and it is unlikely that the hospital would allow its pathology department to fall below standards. It is a department that is at the core of what makes the hospital run, become profitable, and provide exceptional patient care.

We are expecting other exciting changes soon. Construction will begin in a few months on a new grossing area that is slated to be state of the art and will triple the size of our current grossing room. We hope that this will give the department more flexibility in hiring additional techs and PA's to help with the surgical load...which will translate into an even better quality of life for the residents!!!

I reiterate, the bottom line at the end is how well you are trained and being able to obtain the fellowship you want. There are going to be days when residency becomes exhausting. But there are no free lunches in life. If you are dedicated, hardworking, focused, and a team player you will appreciate the value of the training you will receive at NW and I am confident you will have a bright future in the field of pathology!
My comment: So the changes consist of assigning three residents every day to be grossing horses (yet first years are still staying as late as 9 PM grossing). They are still on a 2 day schedule. The PAs have still not arrived and the three day grossing schedule has not arrived. Whenever I read about being a team player I can read between the lines that it really means being someone who is willing to get crapped on and not complain. There are many red flags in this program IMO. IMO it is not even in the top 3 programs in Chicago. Here is an excellent quote from last year's thread: "NW isn't even necessarily in the top 3 for Chicago, let alone the midwest. Brand name of school does not always equal brand name of program and as has been mentioned, there are many outstanding programs in the midwest, and it should be noted that there are several strong programs in Chicago.
I've heard from local attendings (even some NW attendings), that Rush, UIC, Loyola (and obviously UChicago) offer better quality of training currently."
I now expect more postings from NW residents who will try to explain why nothing much of importance in the grossing/preview schedule seems to have changed since the new program director started in July 2008 and how things will now be getting better in January after the interview season. IMO we may have NW residents who are worried about another lousy NW match and are trying to do some positive spin.
 

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So now we have this:

A year ago we had this in the old thread:


My comment: So the changes consist of assigning three residents every day to be grossing horses (yet first years are still staying as late as 9 PM grossing). They are still on a 2 day schedule. The PAs have still not arrived and the three day grossing schedule has not arrived. Whenever I read about being a team player I can read between the lines that it really means being someone who is willing to get crapped on and not complain. There are many red flags in this program IMO. IMO it is not even in the top 3 programs in Chicago. Here is an excellent quote from last year's thread: "NW isn't even necessarily in the top 3 for Chicago, let alone the midwest. Brand name of school does not always equal brand name of program and as has been mentioned, there are many outstanding programs in the midwest, and it should be noted that there are several strong programs in Chicago.
I've heard from local attendings (even some NW attendings), that Rush, UIC, Loyola (and obviously UChicago) offer better quality of training currently."
I now expect more postings from NW residents who will try to explain why nothing much of importance in the grossing/preview schedule seems to have changed since the new program director started in July 2008 and how things will now be getting better in January after the interview season. IMO we may have NW residents who are worried about another lousy NW match and are trying to do some positive spin.
exPCM, just wondering...why do you have so much ill feelings toward this program? Were you a resident there? How do you know so much about the program?

I was just curious since I've seen many of your posts bashing this program. I'm not a Northwestern resident btw.
 

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IMO we may have NW residents who are worried about another lousy NW match and are trying to do some positive spin.
Last year NW filled 7/7 spots in the match with people from good med schools, mostly in the U.S. I don't think my post was "positive spin"; I was trying to give a fair assessment of my opinion on the strengths/weaknesses of the program.
 

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exPCM, just wondering...why do you have so much ill feelings toward this program? Were you a resident there? How do you know so much about the program?

I was just curious since I've seen many of your posts bashing this program. I'm not a Northwestern resident btw.
I do not have ill feelings toward this program in particular and I have never been there. The original NW thread was started by a resident who posted how they had multiple openinigs there and IMO tried to paper over the reasons why there were so many openings. I then received messages on this site describing the situation there and my knowledge is based on these messages and postings here.
I do feel I was mislead as a medical student when I interviewed at the program I attended (not NW) and I feel it is important for med students to critically analyze programs so they won't repeat my mistake. I do have ill feelings toward residents who so want to get new residents on board to share the load at their programs that they do not give the interviewees accurate information.
IMO there are certain issues in this and the old thread that should be clarified. I do not consider searching for the truth to be bashing.
I think that some who are or have been residents at a particular program may often be reluctant to post about negatives at their programs for fear that their statements may give away their identities and that they will be blackballed by the program when the program is called for refernces about the resident or a previous graduate. Since I have never had any association with NW I do not need to worry about NW blackballing me.
 
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gbwillner

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Sure location and desirability of a city matter in terms of drawing a larger pool of applicants

pn
Perhaps then you should not be posting rankings of programs in terms of perceived quality but instead solely on perceived competitiveness. Those are clearly different. If a student wants to know what the best programs are, your rankings are meaningless- the applicant can decide for themselves what the "intangibles" and desirability of the city are. I'm sure UCLA Bayview is more competitive than Mayo. I don't think too many people will argue that the quality of training is better.
 
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I do not have ill feelings toward this program in particular and I have never been there. The original NW thread was started by a resident who posted how they had multiple openinigs there and IMO tried to paper over the reasons why there were so many openings. I then received messages on this site describing the situation there and my knowledge is based on these messages and postings here.
I do feel I was mislead as a medical student when I interviewed at the program I attended (not NW) and I feel it is important for med students to critically analyze programs so they won't repeat my mistake. I do have ill feelings toward residents who so want to get new residents on board to share the load at their programs that they do not give the interviewees accurate information.
IMO there are certain issues in this and the old thread that should be clarified. I do not consider searching for the truth to be bashing.
I think that some who are or have been residents at a particular program may often be reluctant to post about negatives at their programs for fear that their statements may give away their identities and that they will be blackballed by the program when the program is called for refernces about the resident or a previous graduate. Since I have never had any association with NW I do not need to worry about NW blackballing me.
Personally, I know of numerous issues that the NW program had up to a couple years ago. I think it encompassed the time when one program director was being phased out and a new one was appointed who was a disaster, and it was accompanied by a lot of other faculty changes. Things seem to be on the up and up now - I wouldn't discourage anyone from applying there. I would encourage them to see for themselves what it actually was like and to ask hard questions, but not to be surprised if things are actually better.

From my experience, sometimes these changes for the bad really don't last. A program with the pedigree of NW sometimes goes through brutal stretches but then returns to being a good program. I think they are more stablilized now but I don't really have many connections with it anymore.

I would really caution you about jumping to conclusions about people who come on here and post constructive, favorable remarks while at the same time jumping full bore onto the negative rumors. You never know the reason for disgruntled residents. When I trained (not at NW, by the way) we had one resident who frankly sucked. And if you listened to this resident, you would think our program sucked and made us stay way too late grossing all the time. But in actuality the resident sucked and was lazy and screwed up specimens and cases constantly. The resident stayed late because he/she went home for several hours before returning to finish grossing.

It is ALWAYS important to evaluate critical statements and red flag statements, just as it is always important to make sure that someone isn't blowing smoke when they say something complimentary. But to get hypercritical because two different posts a year apart say moderately different things is a bit silly.

Is it really bad, by the way, to have to stay until AS LATE AS 9pm occasionally to gross? I'd think it was a red flag if first years were always gone by 5pm having finished their grossing. I know of programs like that - the residents finish the program not knowing how to gross - but they sure do have a nice lifestyle during residency!
 

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"I think it encompassed the time when one program director was being phased out and a new one was appointed who was a disaster, and it was accompanied by a lot of other faculty changes."

The "distaster" you are referring to is not the program director any longer. She hasn't been the program director in over a year. This is one point that needs to be stressed. The current PD is very professional and a true resident advocate.
 

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"They are still on a 2 day schedule. The PAs have still not arrived and the three day grossing schedule has not arrived."


You do have to understand that going from a 2-day cycle to a 3-day cycle cannot happen overnight and involves multiple layers of administrative gymnastics. The Department of Pathology does not operate in a vacuum. It cannot unanimously declare it is extending the turnaround time tomorrow, for example, for certain specimens without consulting with their medicine and surgery colleagues and taking into account patient care issues. Some specimens do require a 24 hour TAT; others do not. The key is to reach a consensus as to which they are. There will be workflow issues too and, in order to improve resident education, (which is the whole point of this exercise) more bodies need to hired.
 

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I would really caution you about jumping to conclusions about people who come on here and post constructive, favorable remarks while at the same time jumping full bore onto the negative rumors. You never know the reason for disgruntled residents. When I trained (not at NW, by the way) we had one resident who frankly sucked. And if you listened to this resident, you would think our program sucked and made us stay way too late grossing all the time. But in actuality the resident sucked and was lazy and screwed up specimens and cases constantly. The resident stayed late because he/she went home for several hours before returning to finish grossing.

It is ALWAYS important to evaluate critical statements and red flag statements, just as it is always important to make sure that someone isn't blowing smoke when they say something complimentary. But to get hypercritical because two different posts a year apart say moderately different things is a bit silly.
I think this is a very important point - unhappy residents can be unhappy for many reasons. While it is important to evaluate critical statements and consider them, it is critical that you consider the source and seek other opinions. My program also had a couple of unhappy residents (one ended up leaving the program, one ended up becoming happier once they got more comfortable with things). Their experiences were not representative of the residency class. Nor were many of their concerns really valid for other residents who did not have the same issues they had. This does not mean that the program always treated them appropriately or couldn't do things better either - it just means that things are never as simple as they sound.

And the work hours vary so dramatically from resident to resident that to base work hours on one person's experience is laughable.
 

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I do feel I was mislead as a medical student when I interviewed at the program I attended (not NW) and I feel it is important for med students to critically analyze programs so they won't repeat my mistake. I do have ill feelings toward residents who so want to get new residents on board to share the load at their programs that they do not give the interviewees accurate information.
This is also a fair point. However, why is a resident giving inaccurate information more problematic if they are trying to encourage someone to come, versus someone who is trying to discourage someone from coming? A lot of this comes from the "grass is always greener on the other side" syndrome, where disgruntled residents pick apart the failings in their program while hyping the good parts of a different program.

It is not inappropriate for residents to come on here and post that major deficiencies in a program are being corrected, if those deficiencies are preventing good candidates from considering their program.

You talk a lot about "positive spin" but neglect to consider "negative spin" which can be equally misleading.
 

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This is also a fair point. However, why is a resident giving inaccurate information more problematic if they are trying to encourage someone to come, versus someone who is trying to discourage someone from coming? A lot of this comes from the "grass is always greener on the other side" syndrome, where disgruntled residents pick apart the failings in their program while hyping the good parts of a different program.

It is not inappropriate for residents to come on here and post that major deficiencies in a program are being corrected, if those deficiencies are preventing good candidates from considering their program.

You talk a lot about "positive spin" but neglect to consider "negative spin" which can be equally misleading.
Actually I do consider negative spin but in my judgment the negatives about NW raise many red flags.
Positives:
Have had a new program director for over a year who is reportedly a resident advocate.
Negatives:
There seems to have been no substantive changes other than having three residents gross every day.
The preview time does not seem to have been improved and the 3 day cycle has not been implemented - I realize that this can not happen overnight but the new PD resident advocate took over in July 2008 so does it take years or decades to make changes at NW.

Overall: If a residency program wants to train residents it is important that education should not be sacrificed in favor of turnaround time.
The ACGME Pathlogy RRC requirements state: Residents should formulate a
microscopic diagnosis for cases they have examined grossly. Residents should preview their cases prior to sign out with an attending pathologist.
http://www.acgme.org/acWebsite/downloads/RRC_progReq/300pathology_07012007.pdf
Many of the other services at NW will also have residents and they should be understanding of a minor increase (less than a day) in turnaround time (TAT) to support education. If the resident previews and dictates one day and signs out with an attending early the next day the effect on TAT is usually not consequential. Exceptions of course can be made for stat cases.

Any program that sacrifices education for TAT does not deserve to train residents IMHO. 15-20 years ago TAT was often 7-10 days in academic pathology departments for routine cases and somehow people got by. One problem now is that academic departments are in competition with POD labs and megalabs in many locales and they have decided they must sacrifice education to compete for specimens. This is related again to the pathlogist oversupply issue.
 

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The PCS is a controversial and complex formula that ranks the best pathology programs based on academic emminence of the faculty, prowness of the medical center, reputation of the medical school, the climate and desirability of the location to young urban professionals, and other intangibles.
Pray tell, what is the meaning of PCS?
Where can this information be obtained (controversial or not!)?
 

TMZ2007

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I would imagine PCS is Pathology Championship Series, which is a play on the current system used by college football to determine the national champion, the Bowl Championship Series. Both systems use an obscure formula to rank programs.

I really feel like an idiot now that I've typed that all out.
 

pathstudent

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I would imagine PCS is Pathology Championship Series, which is a play on the current system used by college football to determine the national champion, the Bowl Championship Series. Both systems use an obscure formula to rank programs.

I really feel like an idiot now that I've typed that all out.
Indeed. Currently bwh is ranked number 1 due to its location even thoigh jhu is slightly better in the other catgories.
 

Absidia

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Indeed. Currently bwh is ranked number 1 due to its location even thoigh jhu is slightly better in the other catgories.
That's only because one of the Boston voters left JHU off their ballot entirely!
 

pathstudent

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Perhaps then you should not be posting rankings of programs in terms of perceived quality but instead solely on perceived competitiveness. Those are clearly different. If a student wants to know what the best programs are, your rankings are meaningless- the applicant can decide for themselves what the "intangibles" and desirability of the city are. I'm sure UCLA Bayview is more competitive than Mayo. I don't think too many people will argue that the quality of training is better.
Perhaps that is true for UCLA bayview but it isn't true for ucsf and stanford.
 
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pathstudent

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That's only because one of the Boston voters left JHU off their ballot entirely!
I demand a tournament sort of like they have in college basketball so we can have the number one program determined in the lab and not based on politics or perception.
 

gbwillner

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Indeed. Currently bwh is ranked number 1 due to its location even thoigh jhu is slightly better in the other catgories.
PAthstudent, we are still waiting for a link with results and methodology.

BTW- Having BWH #1 doesn't make any sense. It's cold in Boston. Since climate is part of the equation, anything north of the Mason-Dixon line should theoretically be eliminated.
 

yaah

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BTW- Having BWH #1 doesn't make any sense. It's cold in Boston. Since climate is part of the equation, anything north of the Mason-Dixon line should theoretically be eliminated.
Not necessarily. If you have someone like me involved in the rankings, I would automatically rank down any program without a winter. Florida programs, texas programs, southern cal programs, etc, would all get poor grades for weather.
 
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Isa2010

Not necessarily. If you have someone like me involved in the rankings, I would automatically rank down any program without a winter. Florida programs, texas programs, southern cal programs, etc, would all get poor grades for weather.
Why?
Is it 'cos cold weather is better for your brain?
 

gbwillner

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That's part of it. I also like seasons. I mostly just don't like hot weather.
I'm with you on the hot weather thing... but southern CA is like 75 degrees year round... not exactly "hot". Although they do have earthquakes, mudslides, and fires. Come to think of it, Southern CA is probably dangerous and should be ranked low.
 
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I'm with you on the hot weather thing... but southern CA is like 75 degrees year round... not exactly "hot". Although they do have earthquakes, mudslides, and fires. Come to think of it, Southern CA is probably dangerous and should be ranked low.
I don't think Southern Calif really got to *that* hot now that I think about it in retrospect. Plus it is relatively dry year-round, so you don't need to have the AC on all the time during summer. People there do have a low tolerance for change in weather: a dip to the 50's-60's would be considered pretty cold, and when it rains, people don't know how to drive anymore
 
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I don't think Southern Calif really got to *that* hot now that I think about it in retrospect. Plus it is relatively dry year-round, so you don't need to have the AC on all the time during summer. People there do have a low tolerance for change in weather: a dip to the 50's-60's would be considered pretty cold, and when it rains, people don't know how to drive anymore
Southern Cal? really? You spend like 8 hours a day in your car if you want to go anywhere. And everything is expensive if you want to try to reduce your commute. You may not have to use AC or heat but since the premium on living there far exceeds the cost of heating, that isn't really relevant. If I wanted to live without air conditioning I would live in the pacific northwest. Plus, the concentration of superior egos in the area is a close second to the density of superior egos in the NY/NJ metro area. That isn't paradise. Weather isn't everything. Neither is being around attractive people (many of whom are fake anyway). I have a cousin who lives near LA. Everytime I go there to visit I get depressed that real people actually have to live in that environment.
 
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PAthstudent, we are still waiting for a link with results and methodology.

BTW- Having BWH #1 doesn't make any sense. It's cold in Boston. Since climate is part of the equation, anything north of the Mason-Dixon line should theoretically be eliminated.
Also there is the horrendous hudmidity endemic in Louisiana. But the south does get winter - we get about 3-5 days of 20-30 degrees a year on avg (at least my area) but it comes interspersed in days of 50-80 and usually with rain. We also never get snow (last real snow was in '86 in my area) yet get ice occasionally.

I would definitely rank the north as better climate- 4 seasons, lack of Louisiana type humidity and bugs. Also, you can always put more clothes on. But the reverse is not true; at some point you will just be naked and sweaty.
 

pathchick09

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Just to add: we have preview time just not an entire day. 2nd-4th years tend to dictate the cases including our diagnoses before even sitting with an attending. I think it's useful to sit with the attending at the scope as a first year because how the hell are you going to formulate a diagnosis when you don't even know what you're looking at when you're just starting out? I know several people at other programs that have a full preview day but they don't preview everything they gross. They just sign out 50% or so of the cases that they grossed. We get to sign out almost everything that we gross. You just have to go to a program that's a best fit for you. Different things work for different people.
By the way ExPCM what kind of laid back job do you have? You seem to have an awful lot of time to spend on these forums. Just wondering....

Actually I do consider negative spin but in my judgment the negatives about NW raise many red flags.
Positives:
Have had a new program director for over a year who is reportedly a resident advocate.
Negatives:
There seems to have been no substantive changes other than having three residents gross every day.
The preview time does not seem to have been improved and the 3 day cycle has not been implemented - I realize that this can not happen overnight but the new PD resident advocate took over in July 2008 so does it take years or decades to make changes at NW.

Overall: If a residency program wants to train residents it is important that education should not be sacrificed in favor of turnaround time.
The ACGME Pathlogy RRC requirements state: Residents should formulate a
microscopic diagnosis for cases they have examined grossly. Residents should preview their cases prior to sign out with an attending pathologist.
http://www.acgme.org/acWebsite/downloads/RRC_progReq/300pathology_07012007.pdf
Many of the other services at NW will also have residents and they should be understanding of a minor increase (less than a day) in turnaround time (TAT) to support education. If the resident previews and dictates one day and signs out with an attending early the next day the effect on TAT is usually not consequential. Exceptions of course can be made for stat cases.

Any program that sacrifices education for TAT does not deserve to train residents IMHO. 15-20 years ago TAT was often 7-10 days in academic pathology departments for routine cases and somehow people got by. One problem now is that academic departments are in competition with POD labs and megalabs in many locales and they have decided they must sacrifice education to compete for specimens. This is related again to the pathlogist oversupply issue.
 

gbwillner

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I would imagine PCS is Pathology Championship Series, which is a play on the current system used by college football to determine the national champion, the Bowl Championship Series. Both systems use an obscure formula to rank programs.

I really feel like an idiot now that I've typed that all out.
BTW, for those of you still wondering what it was all about- it is a joke thought up by Pathstudent... but he keeps repeating it hoping the idea would catch on.