Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Where will I be in August?

Fifty percent of my away rotations (July) have been settled.  August seems to still be up in the air though.  I got a loose offer from one Midwest program and then a formal offer from another.  The latter is where my now ex-girlfriend is on faculty.  I had applied in hopes of being with her, and then in stubbornness of wanting to prove to her that she made a mistake in dumping me, but now am starting to think wiser.  I imagine it will be tricky to do well on an audition rotation while also navigating being in the same space as someone whom I am deeply in love with and want to make a life with, but who doesn't love me back.  Plus, I'm pretty sure she's the only queer Jew in the city that I'd want to date - meaning that even if I LOVE their program - the city doesn't hold much promise for other parts of my life such as, um, dating.  

The first program isn't as strong as the program with my ex, and I'm not as interested in it.  It does come in a city with more queer Jews though.  Also, while the first program sent me an email offering me a space, there has been no formal follow up and they aren't responding to my attempts to gain more information.  I need to give program #2 an answer by Friday. 

I was just informed that a program I was holding out hope for is filled for my first choice for August, and was instead offered Oct, Nov, or Dec - none of which work for me.  I called the coordinator back who has put me on a wait list for another August rotation in ob/gyn at their program, but I wont know about that until at least Monday.  Two other programs I have applications in for wont even begin reviewing them until next week. 

What do I do?!  Anyone have a crystal ball I can borrow? 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The wheels on the bike go round and round

I did it!  I rode 65 miles on my bicycle over the past 2 days.  Sure, I walked some hills, and swore as I struggled to ride up others, but I still managed to do it!  I gained confidence on the downhills and learned to appreciate the modernity of flat roads through cow pastures.  There was only one small, almost comedic, fall off the bike on the second day when I was way past exhausted.   And you want to know what?  I got up and rode 16 more miles afterwards. 

All and all it was a beautiful weekend and a successful ride.  I challenged myself to do something I never really could have imagine doing before.  I gained confidence on my bicycle.  I embraced being completely cut off from cell service and email for a full 3 days.  I ate copious amounts of delicious food that was very locally produced and cooked with intention, in a room full of Jewish environmentalist.   I led a tisch Friday night that filled my spirits with songs, torah, and blessings.

At one point over shabbat, I realized that I was very much surrounded by the community that I have built over this past year.  This research year really has brought a lot of unexpected joy and connection.  Such a wondrous experience to end a year of personal growth.  I feel so very grateful.  Sore.  And grateful. 

Now, what next big ride should I train for next? 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Goal: stay up right, don't get hurt

The charity bike ride is this weekend.  It will be the biggest physical challenge I think I’ve ever attempted.  That is assuming that I ride more than 20 miles.  Therefore, I’m terrified.  I am so touched that my friends and family have donated so much money to support me, which I interpret to be either because they believe I can do it or they are in shock that I’m even trying. 
Seeing as I was basically a non-bike rider at the start of this (not learning to ride a bike until I was 19, never having ridden more than 2 or 3 miles at a time, and not having been on a bike in 3 or 4 years) I have 2 main goals:
1)      Stay on my bike
2)      Don’t get hurt
Actually, as long as I don’t get hurt, I’m not really sure staying on my bike is even that important.  The full ride is either 80 miles or a 120 depending on the course you choose.  My housemates are all doing the shorter 80 mile option and so that’s what I’m planning on too.  Even if I only make it one day, 40 miles, that will still be a new achievement for me.  Need to focus on small victories and not be disappointed when I don’t complete all 120 miles… that can be next time, right?
I just want to have fun.  Really, I want to not be anxious about this ride and to have fun.  Sun, endorphins, friendship & comradely, a post-ride massage scheduled – this really could be fun! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Away rotation purgatory

Somehow it is May and I am in my last few weeks of my research year.  How did that happen?  Seriously, how? 

My last month here is overly scheduled: trip home for mother’s day, presenting preliminary research at a conference, charity 120 mile bike ride, finishing my public health thesis, and scheduling next year.  That last one is turning out to be a painful.  
I, like most medical students, am a type A planner – a control freak.  Scheduling away rotations leaves no room for control.  No transparency, no answering of emails or call, and no standardization of timelines.  Whoever thought of VSAS, and whoever decided aways are important for the residency application process, clearly finds pleasure in torturing medical students. 
So many moving pieces depend on if, when, etc. I schedule aways.  When do I leave the city I’m living in?  Do I drive, do I fly?  What happens to my car?  Where is all my stuff going?  Will I be able to keep the rest of the schedule I have booked with my home institution?  Or will everything need to be flipped around to make time later for aways… Ugh!  Uncertainty = anxiety. 
I’m just looking for 2 “yes”s.  July. August.  Two little away rotations at two different places.  Hopefully in ob/gyn.  So far I’ve been given “no”s from two places for July.  “Yes”s will come after “no”s, right?

UPDATE (5/20/13): July has been scheduled!  So, unbelievably, relieved.  Now I just need August to work out.