♬Wasting my time/in the waiting line♬

♬Everyone’s saying different things to me, different things to me♬

At long last, I have a clinical schedule, and in keeping with the theme of things, I got it in the most frustrating and stressful way possible. On Friday the 10th, I (やっと) received that long-awaited call from the clinical department, beside myself with relief that I’d finally be hearing from someone, only to have my bubble of hope brutally burst by Ms. F, one of the two advisors for students with last names A-L. She, rather callously, informed me that Mr. P, the head clinical advisor was out of the office and would not be able to discuss my schedule with me, but that they knew I’d been waiting to hear from them for over 10 days, so if Mr. P didn’t get in touch with me by the following Thursday, I should check back in with the office.

I’m surprised that my head didn’t explode. Ballistic, I called my mom and ranted, sobbing with anger and frustration. Was this a game? Were they just stalling me, stringing me along? I realized how powerless I was, and how I could get as angry as I wanted but it wouldn’t change anything. I’d still be waiting for them to deign to call me so that I could, after months of idleness, get on with my education.

As it turned out, it wasn’t (isn’t) that long of a wait. Resigned to my fate, I went off to do some chores or something but when I later came back to my phone, I saw that I’d missed a call. This call was from Ms. O, the other A-L advisor, who was perfectly happy to map out my schedule with me. After the ordeal of the morning, she was a total delight. We planned my first 24 weeks of core clerkships. On the bright side, they’ll all be in NYC. On the not-so-bright side, I still won’t be able to start until October 25th. By then, I was so grateful that I actually had a schedule that the wait wasn’t such a tough pill to swallow. Presently, the end of October seems very far off, but I guess I can read ahead and be a know-it-all once I finally get to the wards.

Here’s my Winter 2010 Schedule:

Oct. 25th – Dec. 3rd: Family Medicine – St. John’s Episcopal, Far Rockaway

Dec. 6th – Feb. 25th: Internal Medicine – Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Brooklyn

Feb. 28th – April 8th: Ob/Gyn – St. John’s Episcopal, Far Rockaway

These cores will take me through 6th and into 7th semester, which is technically, my 4th year. Surgery, Peds and Pysch will be scheduled at some point once I’ve begun rounding.

While I am immensely relieved to have a schedule to look forward to, I’ve grown extremely sour towards Ross. Helpful Ms. O notwithstanding, it just seems like they do their best to grind you down (the b@stards!). I was sore about the whole scheduling tribulation when I came across this article and it made me so depressed that I started looking up schools to which I could transfer. It doesn’t exactly paint a pretty picture and while some bits of it don’t tell the whole side of the story, it’s largely true. They say that Ross is the opposite of American med schools – it’s easy to get into but hard to make it out of. Even though this is the option I chose, I’d caution anyone else thinking of applying to carefully consider their options. At this point, if instead of going to Ross, I’d reapplied to some of the schools that rejected me (or even cast a wider net of applications), I’d have entered in Fall of ’09 and be pretty much in exactly the position I am in now. Actually, I might even be in a better position, since nearly 100% of on-shore school graduates get placement in a residency, compared with 80% of Ross graduates. Although Ross may be a better option than many of the other Caribbean schools, it may not be the best option.

Nonetheless, I’m going to try to make the best of the rest of my time as a Ross student – study hard, ace Step 2 or die trying, and work a spell on every ward I rotate through. Maybe hard work will make my degree worth more than the paper it’s printed on once I finally get it.

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