Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In 2013, I ...

... survived a 2,122 mile road trip with my mom.
... survived another 926 mile road trip by myself. 
... flew 55,032 miles.
... conducted some pretty exciting research and created life-long mentors.
... presented said research at 3 different conferences.
... had frivolous fun during the research year. 
... read A LOT of books (thanks to checking out kindle books from the public library).
... completed a whole bunch of knitting projects!
... watched my classmates match into residency and graduate medical school.
... had my heart broken into splinters.
... finally, after over 6 months, am beginning to feel my heart mend.
... celebrated with multiple friends as they [finally] gave birth to very much desired babies.
... grew comfortable riding a bike and then completed a 70 mile bike ride.
... moved back to the South, and found it better than I remembered. 
... reconnected with old friends and made many new ones.
... embraced the last full year of my 20s. 
... stepped out of myself and took chances  - with mixed outcomes.
... began to internalize and eagerly anticipate the excitement that 2014 promises!

Happy New Year ya'll!  May 2014 be full of blessings and dreams come true!

Friday, December 20, 2013

End of the road?

Yesterday may have been my last residency interview.  It was great, as a lot of them have been.  I've been fortunate in that I think I'd be happy at over half the programs I interviewed at.  Two I love, 2 I like a lot, some others I like, 1 I very much don't see myself at.  Unfortunately, with the amount of interviews I had, my chances of matching are around 90%.  Good, but not good enough. 

So now I wait.  Wait and hope that it wasn't my last interview.  Hoping that a few more programs, especially some of the 4 I think would be an excellent fit with interview days left, will have pity on me.  Hope that the people on the interview trail who keep saying they plan to cancel their January interviews due to already being burnt out do actually cancel.  Please, cancel already.  Let me go instead.  A little more confidence that I'll match will be an excellent holiday gift. 

And now I enjoy the holidays.  I rest after 16,000 miles of flying and thousands of dollars spent.  Rest after numerous baby presents knit on planes, books read, and work somewhat haphazardly done from afar.  Oh, and I work on the manuscript I was supposed to finish this past month.  

Happy holidays ya'll.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tears for a life too short

I can't stop crying for a boy I never met, but who's story I have been following for the last year and a bit.  He was diagnosed with AML at 6, his battle chronicled in poetic detail,  and died over shabbos. 

He was a superhero.  His parents, Rabbi Phylis and Rabbi Michael, are beyond superheros.  Time and time again they have gone above and beyond to bring good into this world.  Throughout this whole process they seem to always keep others in mind, trying to give back to those they encountered every step of the way.   It is this selflessness that continues to inspire me.  Even in circumstances horribly beyond imaginable, goodness and light can be sought.  There is always work to be done. "36 rabbis shave for the brave" St Baldrick's fundraiser is underway, now in Sam's memory, with a lofty goal of raising $180,000.

Sometime around the beginning of medical school I remember reading a study that doctors tend to be much more uncomfortable with death than the rest of society.  We may be comfortable with our own mortality, favoring much less invasive end of life care, but we can not except it for others in our lives.  I don't remember where I initially read it, but in times like this, I wonder about it.   Are we predisposed to medicine because we want the tools to stop death, or does medical training teach us that death is failure?

Regardless, 8 year olds are not supposed to die.  Parents are not supposed to bury their children.  For all that love Sam, z''l, and for all the others' who have had to bury children prematurely, my heart breaks for you.  I can not even begin to imagine what you have been through.  Know that I will try to carry your tragedy into my practice as a doctor - hopefully making me more compassionate, empathetic, and aware of the limitations of my art. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Waiting game

I've never had much luck with wait lists.  It started all the way back when I applied to boarding school for 9th grade.  I didn't get off that wait list, didn't get off for college, or for medical school, and it now appears I didn't get off the wait list for my first choice residency program who is having their last interview day today.    I know from previous experience that it all works out okay.  I ended up where I am now because of the way things turned out.  I'm pretty proud of the place I'm at. 

Still,  I'm worried.  I feel pretty confident that I'll match.  I just have a good gut feeling about it.  However, I don't have any interviews in the cities I was most interested in moving to and I still don't feel like I have enough interviews overall.  The median number of places ranked for US seniors that matched in ob/gyn last year was 11.  I'm below that number.

The most frustrating part is that on the interviews I've gone on, especially the local ones, they make comments assuming that I have my pick of residency.  Clearly they are only looking at my CV and not step scores.  My CV and recommendations alone make me look like a pretty stellar candidate.  If they saw my first failed step 1 - then they'd know the truth that I'm pretty screwed in this process.  I'm still going to make a damn good doctor, and hopefully be a ob/gyn, but likely not in the location(s) I had originally imagined for myself. 

I can't believe it is already December.  I can't believe I still have so few interviews.  I don't really know how I'm going to last until match day on March 21st.  Trying to take deep breaths and keep waiting.