AMA – Selecting Your Residency Programs

Our 4th year medical students are now applying for residency programs .. which means my role as an advisor to medical students shifts up a notch for at least a few months … where to go .. what's a "good" residency .. etc.

Today a student e-mailed me a link to this article on the AMA's website.  Overall, it's a good article … but … (there's alwasy a but) …  here's my response to her:

… interesting and useful .. but I would read this with one big caveat .. this article makes the common mistake of assuming that a "university" program is "academic" and "community" programs are not.

I am always careful not to use the term "academic" in this way.

Academic is an adjective that describes the level of "Academic" interest in the program .. it imples research, thoughtful grand-rounds meetings, faculty who are interested in teaching and learning …  a true LEARNING ENVIRONMENT .. rather than a practical hands-on trade-school environment.

The best residencies combine both .. but there are certainly shades of grey …

There are some programs in university settings that are not at all "academic" as I define it above .. and community programs that are VERY academic.

Of course, my bias is clear.  Though I'm on the faculty in a program that's affiliated with a medical school, I was educated at a residency in a small community hospital.  Those in the ivory towers don't think much of the community programs.  Indeed, I was counseled not to go to the program I attended by people I respected.  But their advice was based on their ignorance  — not a good knowledge of what was available.  "You like what you know"