Tag Archives: Medical School

So, in case you were wondering…

…I didn’t match.

There are probably many reasons why. I was geographically limited in two ways: my custody agreement limited me to the Southeast, and I only applied in cities where I knew people. I am an osteopathic student who was competing in the MD match. Obstetrics has been a very competitive match recently. I had excellent board scores, a research fellowship, and great extracurricular and leadership activities, but my grades were very middle of the road.

So, now what? I will be doing what is known as a traditional rotating internship at a local hospital, then reapplying for obstetrics residency. It will be much harder to interview as an intern with increased responsibilities. It will be harder to transition to my new residency, if I get one, with only days or weeks off at the end of the year, as opposed to the months I will have to ponder my temporary failure this year before starting as an intern.

Sigh.

I am tired of well meaning people asking me where I will be next year. I am tired of people telling me this was meant to happen. I am jealous, painfully jealous with a pit of hurt in my insides, of my classmates who are joyfully planning their futures. Of my former classmates (I graduated a year behind my original class because of my fellowship) who already have almost a year of residency under their belts. Of people in my profession who are my age and are well into their careers.

I didn’t post about it for a while because it was too raw, too painful. And, honestly, I don’t really want to talk about it. There isn’t much to say. It’s hard enough to deal with people I work with, people in my family, and people in my life who genuinely care asking me about it in a time released fashion. I know they’re asking because they want to share in what they think will be my good news. But, it forces me to rehash my pain over and over again, like someone with a new bandage being asked what happened by every new person they see. And, then I have to nod grimly and politely when they tell me that somehow, it was meant to be.

Please allow me to be self indulgently angry and defeated on my blog. This is not how my life was supposed to be at this point. I wasn’t supposed to be staring down the barrel of forty years old, not an obstetrician, just a single mom who is wondering if I can even keep my tiny 1000 sq ft house next year on an intern’s salary. Oh, and I just got diagnosed with a chronic disease that I am managing very well, but has a small chance of crippling me. I know I am extremely lucky to be (mostly) healthy and able bodied, with good support, and smart enough to have made it into medical school in the first place. I know that this is not the end of the world – I very well may match into obstetrics next year. I can also fall back on family medicine, and then do some obstetrics, eventually, in a rural area, possibly after doing an obstetrics fellowship. Or, I can finish internal medicine and then do a women’s health or family planning fellowship.

Sigh. I am not digging for reassurance. I just needed to finally get this out.

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Match Madness

I wrote about sitting and waiting for the residency match here at Mothers in Medicine.

We had to certify our match rank lists February 22nd. We don’t get informed whether we matched until March 12th, and where we matched until March 16th. I am sure at one point in time they used slide rules and pencils and paper to figure this stuff out, but I’m pretty sure this algorithm could be done on an iPad in 2012 in less than a minute. I think the NRMP just wants me to freak out and eat chocolate for three weeks.

(The Mothers in Medicine post above has links to explanations about the match, if you are one of the uninitiated.)

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First day at an “audition rotation” observations

I’m waiting on line to get an I.D. card for my new rotation site. It’s a family planning rotation at a program that has an obstetrics and gynecology residency to which I applied.

I’m really excited and nervous. So, to distract myself, here are some observations:

1. One of the streets bordering the hospital is named “Papanicolauo Way.” Yes, I will be taking a picture at some point.

2. They sell “The Club”, the old school car security device here in the security office. Geez, maybe I should have put my purse in my trunk.

3. When we were cruising through the school corridors among research labs with cool looking beakers, goggled research assistants, and radioactive materials and biohazard warning signs, there was a water fountain with an old, worn sign stating “This water is SAFE for drinking and cooking.” If there was no sign, I wouldn’t have been suspicious. Now, I’m not so sure.

I’ll be back with more clinically relevant observations.

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*blink blink*

I have been swamped in all areas of my life lately. Between a rotation in gynecologic oncology that had me waking up at four most mornings and had OR days that easily stretched into fifteen hours long, to my seven year old’s birthday, to applications for residencies, to working on research, there are many days I don’t even touch my computer. If I do it’s to look up a medical topic to study or to do research.

I actually slept 10 hours a few nights ago. It was incredible. I still feel sleep deprived, and I am not a sleeper. I usually say “Sleep is for the weak,” which proves I am meant to do obstetrics. But, even I have my limits.

It is really exciting to be at a point in my educational path at which I can focus on obstetrics and gynecology. I still have core rotations in family practice and emergency medicine and an elective in cardiology ahead, but my boards are done. Pretty much, it’s ob/gyn, full speed ahead otherwise.

I am going to be spending two weeks at a Family Planning rotation site. This will be my first rotation at my local ob/gyn residency program. Eek.

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Applying to residency

I filled out my ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) and sent it to fourteen obstetrics and gynecology residency programs. I also uploaded my personal statement.

I am doing a gynecologic oncology rotation this month. It has been great, but really busy. I have been working from before sunrise every day until after sunset most days. And this is Florida, so the days are long here. I was getting a touch of seasonal affective disorder / sleep deprivation crankiness last week. I had this weekend off, so I am feeling a little rejuvenated. We have seven surgeries scheduled tomorrow, so I am going right back into the fire.

I have one interview invite so far. I don’t have my letters of recommendation in yet, so I’m not completely freaking out. Yet.

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Board scores, driving, public health and applications

Sorry I have been so scarce. I have been doing a rotation at a community health center that is 90 miles from my house. I commute most days. The kids started school last Monday, and I have started doing doing ERAS, the electronic residency application.

I got my USMLE Step II scores back. (I am a DO student. I took both the COMLEX and the USMLE because I will be doing the MD match. If you want to read more about this, I wrote about it here) Since I talked about my scores for Step I to of how well I did, I guess I’m going to this time around.

I did really well. Very well. Much better than I thought I did. It should make it a bit easier to get interviews at MD programs, I hope. Now I am going through the application process and getting ready for elective rotations.

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One more board exam

Tomorrow I am taking the Step II COMLEX. Then, I am done with board exams until I am a doctor.

I would feel some relief, but that just means I need to get my applications to residency in, and then start the interview process.

Eep.

Wish me luck, please, for all of the above.

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