Saturday, October 17, 2009

Travel and training

A few days from finishing the first rotation of my fourth year, I feel I should pause and consider. I am finishing a month of family medicine clinic - which was really a lot of reading time and a little clinic - a schedule for which I am amazingly thankful. Because they allowed me some free days I have been able to study for boards, sleep, and go back to having a normal life.

I have also had the privilege of remembering why I really do love family medicine - the variety of ages, genders, family structures, pathologies. I can't get bored, which is good since I tend toward it anyway.

I continue to plan residency interviews - truly surprised at how many I have been offered. I admit to overwhelming underconfidence where this is concerned, but I didn't expect to hear so quickly. The first programs didn't wait for grades or all my letters of rec. I have scheduled at University of Minnesota (x3), Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Cincinnati, University of Pittsburgh, Tufts, Palmetto Health in SC and am waiting for dates at University of Louisville and Aurora Healthcare in Milwaukee.

Step 2 CK on Thursday and then I am free of exams until February (I think). One weeks until psychiatry AI. Looking forward to it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

And so it begins

I am now officially one week into fourth year which means, for anyone keeping track, that I am 75% doctor. What else does this mean? - Well, that I have eight rotations to finish in seven months, two boards exams to take in the next three weeks, residency to apply for, interview for, and try not to freak out about among other things in my non-medical school life.

First, third year. It's over. 'Nuff said. I am not going back to that, ever. I truly hated five months of it, the rest was actually fine. If I had to specialize in what I did those five months, I'd quit. Without regard for debt or self-worth. I would quit medicine. Without regret.

Luckily, I don't have to do either of them. Which brings us to residency applications. ERAS - the bane of fourth year existence. That which keeps fourth year from being quite the mythical promised land that classes before us have waved as taunts. I dutifully took time away from surgery studying to work through the application, find letter writers, write personal statements. Last weekend, I completed the mad dash through finishing it, so I could get the application posted. On Monday I submitted the application and on Wednesday morning I posted my personal statement (thanks to family and friends who obediently read not one, but two, drafts). Then I sat back to enjoy my family medicine clinic rotation and await November when my Dean's letter is submitted and the interview offers trickle in.

How laughably delusional and naive I apparently am. After submitting my personal statement at 10 am on Wednesday, I received an email about noon from one of my programs. I thought, how mice off them to let me know they got my stuff. WRONG! I mean, they did let me know, but then, THEY OFFERED ME AN INTERVIEW. Got that? Within three hours of finishing my application I had an offer. From a program I like. That has, by the way, been followed by five more since. I am stunned and completely excited. I have heard from three of my favorite programs. I can't believe it. Within four days of putting my application up. Wow.

The list so far (all categorical FM right now - I won't hear from the combined for a bit):

University of Cincinnati/Christ Hospital
Tufts University
Medical College of Wisconsin - St. Joseph's Hospital
University of Pittsburgh - St. Margaret's Hospital
Aurora Health - Milwaukee (I'm turning this one down - it's a funny subject for a later post)
University of Minnesota - I don't know which program yet