RochesterThe second of my top three residency choices is the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. I absolutely loved this place when I went to interview. It was the week of Thanksgiving and I hadn't been home in over a month and thought about cancelling it, but since the program directot called me to invite me to interview I felt bad. So I went. I got into town early and spent the day walking around Rochester, wandering in and out of little shops and having coffee. Passed by a little independent movie theater showing Bee Season but I didn't have time to see it. I liked the city a lot, though I was cold all day. Then it was time for the pre-interview dinner. Instead of taking us to a local restaurant like most places do, we went to a resident's house where at least a dozen residents were waiting for us. We all gathered in front of a fire and had dinner and just chatted about the program and the city. I just felt so at ease almost immediately. By the end to the evening we were debating which Harry Potter book is the best and whether the movies are any good. Such a great night.
The interview day itself was kinda grueling, or at least long. We were picked up at the hotel at 6:15 and taken to the hospital where we met with the program director and had breakfast. We then met the chief resident who answered our questions about the program. Then we went to Medicine and Pediatrics morning reports. I was so impressed. The Medicine morning report was a presentation on EBM from one of the Med-Peds residents. It was well thought out and inspired some great conversation between residents and attendings. Pediatrics morning report was the usual case presentation, but just done so well. There were a ton of attendings there and they really added to the dicussion of differential diagnosis. The thing that really struck me during the day was how happy the residents were. The program is the oldest Med-Peds program in the country and provides excellent trainint, but it isn't stagnant. It really responds to the residents and takes their criticisms and suggestions seriously. The program director is awesome -- I really felt like he cares about his residents and wants to make the environment comfortable so that they can learn.
Negatives about Rochester? Location. Winter is so long and cold. It started snowing during the interview day and continued into the night. It snows an average of 120 inches per year up there... yikes! There is houseing (the so-called "White Coat Getto") really close to the hospital, so it wouldn't be like the 20 mile commute at Baystate. But it gets dark at 4pm and is FREEZING! And it's 1000 miles from home. I'm trying not to think too much about the far away thing, but I'm just such a family person that I don't know if I could handle seeing my parents once a year. Esp during the hell of residency.