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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.


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Old 09-10-2013
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Warning! Malignant Residency: Cook County/Stroger IM

This post reflects the collective views of a few Cook County/Stroger Internal Medicine residents. The reason for this is to increase awareness given our first hand experience in hopes to enforce change.

I, like many of my fellow foreign resident colleagues, came here looking for a positive American experience. But the culture and intolerant mentality of our Internal medicine department administration makes you regret setting foot here. The reasons for this are your ward attendings, firm ABC attendings, chief residents and program directors. Their primary goal here is to constantly butcher, terrorize and intimidate in order to maintain ownership over the residents. The environment is by default very accusational as everything is “your fault”. This place is strictly resident-run, so do not expect to sit for even a single second. Do not expect any appreciation for those long back-breaking hours you put in. But come morning-report, be ready to literally be fingered up the @$$ for what you did NOT do in the wee hours of your night-call while admitting, cross-covering, running Codes---all while you are functioning as the procedure service, RN, the phlebotomist, transport and sometimes janitor. Given these circumstances, you are going to make mistakes---Why else would you be in training? As expected with such a malignant program, nothing is confidential. A small dispute with a senior resident/attending will be magnified to such an extent that you will be subjected to work with those same abrasive people repeatedly. It is their sick and sadistic approach for some reality show entertainment, so bend over. Three residents did leave this year due to related issues.

Given that there are no research opportunities, one is better off going to any other community program where there is little to no scut work, a supportive environment and a decent work/life balance. Fellowship opportunities are just as limited because of funding and politics. County will boast about their commitments with Rush/UIC, but both of these hospitals have their own qualified IM residents going for these same fellowships. The attendings and directors at County have little to no power outside of this institution, however they will gladly go out of their way to sabotage your fellowship chances internally. Do not be fooled by the lovely smiles of our female directors, this is a very TOXIC program with lots of empty promises and shattered dreams.

Overall, a very hostile program in west Chicago with unhappy residents and faculty. The malignant administration/PDs do very little to improve these areas in order to make resident experiences rewarding. This is a resident-run program with way much time spent doing actual physical work. The didactics are good if you are caught up with your work by noon, however given the time-constraints and pressure to 'get things done' with little help from lazy seniors at times, you will most likely sign in and then page yourself out. Attendings contribute very little to patient care and usually are gone by 1pm. During night-calls, there is no attending coverage---good luck getting a hold of the sleepy specialty fellows. Given that there are limited slots available throughout, i.e. scheduling CTs, MRI, surgery, echo, etc---you are usually fighting like a hungry pitbull just to prioritize your patients. The staff throughout the hospital is unionized, so they have no motivation to work hard at all, meaning YOU must get everything done. This of course leads to very limited personal time outside of work, as you will be too exhausted to study, spend time with family or even go out with buddies to see Chicago.

Counting down the days until graduation! Cheers and good luck in the Match!!
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Old 09-10-2013
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Wow! Very interesting! This is why I rather be in a good residency program than be in a good city. Of course being in a great city like Chicago is nice, but if the residency program is crap then your life will be miserable.
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Old 09-10-2013
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looks like a troll to distract people from applying there for a match
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Old 09-10-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Albert View Post
looks like a troll to distract people from applying there for a match
Not a troll sir.
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Old 09-11-2013
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Thanks for sharing your experience with us! Could you please provide information about your interview and match process ??? How was the interview in this specific program? And how was your interaction with the residents? Did you ask them about it?

Best regards
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Default Finally the truth!

Good luck to you mate! The picture you described is not at all far from truth. This is the true picture of what I am seeing in the clinical rotations these days. Some Residents do not care, they would rather catch up on their beauty sleep or just disappear. Similar picture is described by few of my fellow friends who are in residency and have done rotations in those hospitals.
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Old 09-11-2013
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Inner city hospitals are usually like this. Not just in Chicago, but also in NY. This is especially true in depressed/poor areas of the city. I imagine it's a nightmare. But what can we do, those are the hospitals that are IMG-friendly.
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Yes, this is how malignant programs are. And Cook County is known for this. There are similar programs in the North East as well. So beware!
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I think strogers cook county is the worst place to do residency in term of being unfriendly towards their residents. The politics there is terrible and you can easily be laid off even when you have less than a year to finish your program.

The only good part is that if you can survive their hatred & can stand working 16hrs dly, you will surely be a great physician and fellowship will be easier to get. They see all kinds of horrible cases dly but honestly, I live about 6 miles from it but I'm not even applying there.
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Old 09-11-2013
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Honestly I thought the only malignant residency program out there in Chicago was family med at Jackson Park Hospital. Sounds like IM at Stroger is nothing different.
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Old 09-11-2013
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So out of the different programs we get IVs to, how exactly do we find out which ones are malignant?
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My interview experience was pretty on-par with most malignant programs: i.e. limited resident exposure, residents mainly showing up to stuff their faces and bounce. When asked questions regarding scutwork/atmosphere/co-resident relations, they tended to ditch and dodge them like bullets . During interview with PDs/attgs, got asked some medical questions (typical of malignant programs).
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Old 09-13-2013
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Default IM cook county

Oh thats terrible to hear ferano
I know someone who graduated and that person gave me a nice picture about the program. It seems the interns are very protected with time, I dont know if you are talking about 2/3rd year residents being treated this way.. I had such a different opinion.
Now I am confused if I should apply there.
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Old 09-13-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GamX View Post
Not a troll sir.
how can you say its not a troll?
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Old 09-13-2013
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Default Hmm

This person has also posted on SDN forums about this malignant experience. So I don't know if he's just venting out his possibly 'temporary' grudge with the program, or whether it really is like this for even the other residents throughout the year.
Open to interpretation*
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Old 09-13-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khatan98 View Post
how can you say its not a troll?
If it looks like a troll , swims like a troll, and quacks like a troll, then it probably is a troll.
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Old 09-14-2013
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Default county IM

I spoke again to my contact (a very close friend) at county and that person gave me a very different picture than yours. It seems to be a busy program but a great learning experience and according to my contact, the only people who end up not liking training are ones who are 'lazy'. So I guess you need to gear up your work ethics and if you have problem with administration, bring it up to them instead of venting on applicants like us. I hope I get interview and get to meet you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferano View Post
This post reflects the collective views of a few Cook County/Stroger Internal Medicine residents. The reason for this is to increase awareness given our first hand experience in hopes to enforce change.

I, like many of my fellow foreign resident colleagues, came here looking for a positive American experience. But the culture and intolerant mentality of our Internal medicine department administration makes you regret setting foot here. The reasons for this are your ward attendings, firm ABC attendings, chief residents and program directors. Their primary goal here is to constantly butcher, terrorize and intimidate in order to maintain ownership over the residents. The environment is by default very accusational as everything is “your fault”. This place is strictly resident-run, so do not expect to sit for even a single second. Do not expect any appreciation for those long back-breaking hours you put in. But come morning-report, be ready to literally be fingered up the @$$ for what you did NOT do in the wee hours of your night-call while admitting, cross-covering, running Codes---all while you are functioning as the procedure service, RN, the phlebotomist, transport and sometimes janitor. Given these circumstances, you are going to make mistakes---Why else would you be in training? As expected with such a malignant program, nothing is confidential. A small dispute with a senior resident/attending will be magnified to such an extent that you will be subjected to work with those same abrasive people repeatedly. It is their sick and sadistic approach for some reality show entertainment, so bend over. Three residents did leave this year due to related issues.

Given that there are no research opportunities, one is better off going to any other community program where there is little to no scut work, a supportive environment and a decent work/life balance. Fellowship opportunities are just as limited because of funding and politics. County will boast about their commitments with Rush/UIC, but both of these hospitals have their own qualified IM residents going for these same fellowships. The attendings and directors at County have little to no power outside of this institution, however they will gladly go out of their way to sabotage your fellowship chances internally. Do not be fooled by the lovely smiles of our female directors, this is a very TOXIC program with lots of empty promises and shattered dreams.

Overall, a very hostile program in west Chicago with unhappy residents and faculty. The malignant administration/PDs do very little to improve these areas in order to make resident experiences rewarding. This is a resident-run program with way much time spent doing actual physical work. The didactics are good if you are caught up with your work by noon, however given the time-constraints and pressure to 'get things done' with little help from lazy seniors at times, you will most likely sign in and then page yourself out. Attendings contribute very little to patient care and usually are gone by 1pm. During night-calls, there is no attending coverage---good luck getting a hold of the sleepy specialty fellows. Given that there are limited slots available throughout, i.e. scheduling CTs, MRI, surgery, echo, etc---you are usually fighting like a hungry pitbull just to prioritize your patients. The staff throughout the hospital is unionized, so they have no motivation to work hard at all, meaning YOU must get everything done. This of course leads to very limited personal time outside of work, as you will be too exhausted to study, spend time with family or even go out with buddies to see Chicago.

Counting down the days until graduation! Cheers and good luck in the Match!!
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Old 09-14-2013
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Default Cook County Internal Medicine

Folks, take it for what it is---you do not have to agree with me. Not all views and experiences are alike. And NO, I'm not the 'lazy' one you're referring to. I'm actually speaking up AGAINST the lazy ones. You gotta put on your man-pants and work like a dog at this place, which I actually enjoy. Wait til you see the folks that just vanishhh after rounds to catch up on some beauty sleep while on wards and leave the interns/rest of the team taking on the burden. Take it for what it is man, but do your homework before you show up to the interview. Ask questions and watch the PDs stutter

Peace!!
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Old 09-14-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferano View Post
Folks, take it for what it is---you do not have to agree with me. Not all views and experiences are alike. And NO, I'm not the 'lazy' one you're referring to. I'm actually speaking up AGAINST the lazy ones. You gotta put on your man-pants and work like a dog at this place, which I actually enjoy. Wait til you see the folks that just vanishhh after rounds to catch up on some beauty sleep while on wards and leave the interns/rest of the team taking on the burden. Take it for what it is man, but do your homework before you show up to the interview. Ask questions and watch the PDs stutter

Peace!!
Out of curiosity, what is the USMG: IMG ratio in this residency program?
I came across a blog entry today that claimed it was 100% IMGs, but I highly doubt that.
That said, I would be dubious of any residency program where the overwhelming majority of PGY1s are IMGs.
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Old 09-14-2013
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Default Cook County Internal Medicine

Great question ---> This is a program designed BY IMGs and geared FOR IMGs

The IM program is all IMGs---yes, close to 100% IMGs mainly from India and only a handful from select South America or Nigeria. Not at all diverse to be honest. However, they prefer it this way because they need people with previous experience that they can push around, pretty much let loose, not require monitoring at night as there is no attending coverage later in the day and well into the night. I did tell my AMG buddies who were inquiring about the breakdown of our categorical IM program and had to tell the truth----save your application money as they only prefer IMGs. A few American attendings on the resident committee board are actually bothered by this, but are unable to say anything because of the politics.

Hope that helps.
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Old 09-14-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferano View Post
Great question ---> This is a program designed BY IMGs and geared FOR IMGs

The IM program is all IMGs---yes, close to 100% IMGs mainly from India and only a handful from select South America or Nigeria. Not at all diverse to be honest. However, they prefer it this way because they need people with previous experience that they can push around, pretty much let loose, not require monitoring at night as there is no attending coverage later in the day and well into the night. I did tell my AMG buddies who were inquiring about the breakdown of our categorical IM program and had to tell the truth----save your application money as they only prefer IMGs. A few American attendings on the resident committee board are actually bothered by this, but are unable to say anything because of the politics.

Hope that helps.
Well, I think most people will agree that any program that recruits primarily IMGs has issues. And believe, me I'm not stating that flippantly: I'm an IMG and I acknowledge that I need to apply to IMG-friendly programs.

If USMGs are not being recruited to an appreciable degree into community hospitals associated with a university (like this program), it is most likely due to one or both of the following problems:
1. Training opportunities and fellowship prospects after residency are lacking.
2. Working conditions and morale in the residency (tasks asked of the residents, hours, verbal and non-verbal abuse, etc.).

That said, remember that there is a way to address confrontational seniors without portraying yourself as being insubordinate: In private, you tell them that you appreciate any and all CONSTRUCTIVE criticism that will make you a better physician. Should that approach fail, it is also perfectly acceptable to request that you not be berated in public.
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Old 09-14-2013
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Hi Ferano,

So I went to the program web site and they have the following information. And also I found that Cook county itself have several in house fellowships.

OUR RESIDENCY GRADUATES:
40% of our graduate pursue careers in General Medicine (50% of these into Hospital Medicine)
60% of our graduate pursue fellowship opportunities
80% of those applying to fellowship match into the top programs of their choice


A Sample of Where Our Graduates Matched (2011-2012 Academic Year):
Cardiology: Cook County, Johns Hopkins, University of Tennessee, Lehigh Valley, Advocate Illinois Masonic
Gastroenterology: Stanford, University of Iowa, Indiana University, University of Arizona, Stroger
Hematology/Oncology: Cook County
Nephrology: University of Alabama-Birmingham, University of Florida, University of Chicago, Cook County/UIC, Tufts University, University of Texas Southwestern, University of Vermont
Infectious Disease: Cedars-Sinai
Endocrinology: Mayo Clinic (Rochester), Cleveland Clinic
Pulmonary/Critical Care: St. Louis University, Case Western Metrohealth


So are they lying?
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Old 09-14-2013
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Default Cook county internal medicine residency

Have you been through the entire post? Did I mention anything about them NOT having fellowships or people not getting into fellowships? No IMG would work here if there were no chances of specialization. This review is strictly about the IM experience. Quit going off on a tangent, thanks
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