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  • UPMC vs Jefferson

    Posted by elisamisa20_144 on December 29, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    I interviewed at both of these programs recently and I’m having trouble ranking them. Residents from both programs seem happy and don’t have much complaints about their programs. Jefferson’s MSK is top notch, but UPMC seems like more balanced.
    I’m from PA so I don’t mind Pittsburgh, although Philly definitely seems like a more fun city. However, I hope to move out to the west coast, Texas, or somewhere warm after residency.
    Which program would better (1) set me up for to be a good general radiologist and (2) allow me to move out of PA later on?

    JENNIFERG09_691 replied 3 years, 5 months ago 7 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • Unknown Member

    Deleted User
    December 30, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    I trained at UPMC.  Diagnostic training was solid and well rounded. No opinion on Jefferson. Pittsburgh was a blast to live in. 

    • Unknown Member

      Deleted User
      December 30, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Jefferson is a top tier program. Residency is 4yrs long during the prime of your life so living in Philly would likely be a better experience(larger city, proximity to NYC,Baltimore/DC). MSK and IR are both amazing at Jefferson. Slightly overshadowed by UPENN. 

      • erasmopa

        December 30, 2020 at 3:43 pm

        Either program will prepare you well. If you have a desire to become an msk rad then Jeff is the right choice, but even so that really only matters if you want to do academic Msk. Otherwise I would choose based on which city you prefer. Philly is more interesting but Pittsburgh has its strong points and is cheaper to live in.

        • leann2001nl

          December 30, 2020 at 6:47 pm

          Pittsburgh is super underrated , way younger city than philly and safer too while not being significantly smaller . Pittsburgh way easier to live in

          Id pick Pitt over Philly all day personally . Both are elite institutions.

          • germano.scevola_177

            January 3, 2021 at 10:39 am

            You’ll be trained well at both and both have roughly equal “prestige” in the rads world, this is mainly a location play. I’ve lived in both cities and there are definite differences.

            Pittsburgh’s population is 1/5 of Philly’s (300k vs 1.5 million). That being said, plenty to do in Pittsburgh with a good amount of recent development. COL cheaper. Weather and accessibility (e.g. airport, proximity to other places) worse in Pittsburgh.

            Philly is a top 10 big city and has a strong advantage in terms of racial and ethnic diversity if those things are important to you. It’s generally more fun with more stuff to do and with a better dating scene if you’re single.

            I interviewed at both places as well. Got a workhorse vibe from UPMC. Jefferson has to go to a hospital Delaware for peds which seemed a pain.

            • Unknown Member

              Deleted User
              January 4, 2021 at 4:28 am

              I wouldn’t make any decisions based on fellowships. Fellowships are not that hard to come by. There are more fellowships than there are graduating residents who want them.
              These cities are both in PA but not that similar. Pittsburgh is more of what I would call Big 10 country, working class great lakes area more like Cleveland (only a few hours away by car) or Detroit. Philly is more of your more densely populated I-95 vibe, not that far from NYC.
              UPMC has one of those healthcare vibes with vertical integration of their health products which has disgruntled a few docs over the years re: corporate control of their practices. You may like Pittsburgh if you like football or baseball (great ballparks right next to teach other), and it is probably more affordable. I know 1 person who was a resident there (but not from there) and didn’t like it.
              You wanna go to Texas because it is warmer? I would look for other reasons. I am seeing this a lot–people think Texas is some kind of undiscovered radiology cash cow, but the big cities are commoditized just like any other big city.
              West coast? Do you have student loans? Good luck finding affordable housing in California 5 years from now.
              I know I sound like a negative Nelly, but I have lived and worked in both, and most people really aren’t doing their homework before choosing a home for weather reasons. There is a migration from California to Texas right now across multiple social classes, so saying either California or Texas is a curious position.

              • elisamisa20_144

                January 4, 2021 at 4:39 am

                I’ve been reflecting about the cost of living…Philly has that dense east city vibe that I like, but apartments+homes are much more affordable than NYC/Boston. What are your thoughts on Baltimore?
                Regarding housing affordability, my partner is a resident as well. So, while we do have a TON of student loan debt, we’ll also be >$600,000/year household in 6 years. We can certainly afford a house anywhere, and buying property in SoCal seems like a great way to reduce tax burden while also being a stable investment. Does living in SoCal still seem unsound financially while still having student loans?
                Admittedly, I haven’t spent any time in Texas (just California). I’d like to option to move anywhere in the country post-residency and want to maximize the chances of landing a PP contract I like. Currently, warm weather is enticing since I just spent the weekend shoveling snow out of my parents driveway, but warm weather isn’t so enticing that I’m willing to give up significant financial freedom.

                • Unknown Member

                  Deleted User
                  January 4, 2021 at 5:29 am

                  Baltimore? Nobody I know moves there for the city unless there is some family circumstance that favors it. If you are from PA, I assume that you have spent significant time in these cities and probably have a good idea of whether you like them or whether you see yourself living there.
                  I would not talk about reducing a tax burden and living in California in the same sentence. The applicant pool overmatches the demand for jobs, and they hire you at a significant discount inside a heavy tax climate with public assistance further causing wage depression. My advice is to try it and find out for yourself. A lot of those houses require 50 year mortgages due to cost, and I have heard tales of Stanford having to help their faculty buy homes. It’s more about bang for your buck than affordability.
                  California does not deserve the caliber of applicants it draws, either for residency or jobs, but they are going to continue drawing that interest because people don’t know better until they find themselves in a 2 million dollar home that would cost $500,000 in other cities and still have to deal with a 1-hour commute across terrible traffic.
                  However… you will have years to make that decision, and I would worry about where you are going to get the best education.
                  What you describe is common to most people at this stage–you want options that secure your future while getting what you want in the short term. That’s everybody. That’s why markets happen and describes the whole science of economics. It’s just like people asking for financial planning advice, but everyone has their own time horizon and preferences as to how they want to live their lives.
                  Unfortunately, most people find out a bunch of stuff that they don’t like about their residency programs after they start, but they don’t know how it would have turned out elsewhere either.
                  In my case, years ago, I made my decision based on dogma and advice files handed down to me, but I didn’t know how to find the answers to the important questions. Nobody does in medical school because they don’t really know what radiology residents really do, how call is managed, and what the differences are between programs. The cost of living and geographic fit was easy because I stayed in my region (I’m actually pretty happy about that part of it)–it really should be for you too, but there was no real way for me to assess the training experience in a meaningful way.
                  Today I practice in a place unrelated to my “goal” back in the day because life happened, the job market tanked (kinda unforeseeable 6 years in advance), and the fellowship I chose wasn’t initially on my radar.
                  The problem with residency is that everything favors the program. You are locked in by the match, so you can complain all you want, and there is nothing that forces the program to listen to you. You will stop complaining when you graduate and are forced to leave, and the new crop won’t even know what you complained about because whatever got taken away from you was never offered to the new people in the first place. If you are abused, you can complain to the ACGME, but then what? “Best” case is that your program is disciplined, and now you graduate from a disciplined or possibly non-accredited program.
                  I would just find a best fit based on the knowledge you have and roll the dice.

                  • leann2001nl

                    January 4, 2021 at 5:47 am

                    You should try to get in the general vicinity of where you want to live long term. I missed the part about warmer or Texas initially. Yes you can do fellowship in those places and it helps but if you want to be somewhere then why not be there

                    I never understand the people who say they want to do residency in nyc and then work in LA. If you like LA so much why not go there sooner.

                    Its kinda strange IMO to be debating Philly vs Pitt while saying you want to go somewhere else long term. Maybe you didnt apply there or get many interviews but Id still push to be there. Id rather do a less prestigious Texas residency than UPMC or Jefferson if you want to end up in Texas.

                    Radiology is a lot of self teaching. You can be as good as you want to be from any program. Obviously you will probably have better job offers from mgh than your local community program but Ive seen some badass rads from nowhere residencies just like Ive seen people from prestigious programs who are objectively bad at actual radiology and want to do research all day.

                    • leann2001nl

                      January 4, 2021 at 5:50 am

                      And obviously there are really good people who also come from mgh and bad people who come from community programs

                    • elisamisa20_144

                      January 4, 2021 at 9:16 am

                      I don’t have interviews from schools in Texas or California. Most of my interviews have been regional.
                      Regardless, I think the overall advice is that UPMC and Jefferson are fairly equivalent in training (minus peds) and to focus on the city instead.
                      Thank you all for your inputs!

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 4, 2021 at 2:39 pm

                      I looked it up out of curiosity, and indeed, Jefferson sends people to Nemours in Delaware 30 miles away for pedi even though CHOP, one of the “prestigious” children’s hospitals is only 2 miles away. That’s kind of strange. CHOP must be saturated.
                      Regardless, UPMC does have a larger pedi contingency, but I would not use this as much of a decision point. I looked at the ACGME directory, and UPMC is pretty spread out over several sites, though I am going to make the assumption that these are not that far apart from each other.
                      On glance of the Pennsylvania programs, these 2 look similar. I might throw Penn State in there. They have some good people (Don Flemming is a good guy), but it is probably not much of a “big city” feel, and they don’t always fill in the match. I don’t have any reason not to put Temple on par with these either.
                      I would focus on the city, as the cities are probably more different than the training. Just be sure that the call structures are not heavily in favor of one or the other.

                    • langfordtr_638

                      January 16, 2021 at 8:04 am

                      UPMC is a slightly stronger program overall but Philly is arguably the better city (depending on your preferences). That being said, cost of living is much lower in Pittsburgh, on top of UPMC having one of the strongest moonlighting setups in the country, so quality of life would likely higher as a resident.

                    • JENNIFERG09_691

                      January 22, 2021 at 4:39 pm

                      Trained in one of those institutions, then went to a fellowship in CA, now in private practice. A partner of mine with same subspecialty trained from the other residency. We are both happy about our position in current practice and training days.

                      You can split hair and see which one is better. Both are strong programs with unique strengths and potential challenges. But in the end, your education will depend far more on efforts you put in, especially when comparing programs of this caliber.

                      Choose a location where you and your spouse/partner will be happy.