11 Resolutions for 2011

Happy New Year/明けましておめでとう/¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Apologies for the ridiculously long hiatus to all those have been wondering what has been going on with me. 4Q of 2010 had quite a few challenges – a case of hyperthyroidism that I didn’t pay attention to until I nearly fainted during attending rounds*, some disappointment from Ross, and the start of my Internal Medicine rotation at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center (which I am now ⅓ of the way through). Nonetheless, I shouldn’t have left everyone hanging so long. That is why the first of my 11 resolutions for 2011 is as follows:

1. Be a more faithful blogger

To that end, I promise to update at least once a month and at least twice per rotation. While I was hoping to be done with my cores so I could take Step 2 in late summer/fall 2011, that may or may not occur, because apparently, for scheduling of rotations, priority is given to senior students with yet unscheduled cores**. This policy has inspired two more resolutions:

2. Be proactive about scheduling electives

3. Cultivate and use connections to get the clerkships/experience/guidance I need

If I waited for Ross to set my schedule, I probably wouldn’t graduate until 2013 or match until 2015. It is still within the realm of possibility for me to be ready for the 2012 match (although, if that doesn’t happen, I’ve got a contingency plan for 2013 in the works) but in order to make that happen, I will definitely have to take Step 2 CS and CK by December 31st. For that goal, two more resolutions:

4. Study 3 times as hard for Step 2

5. Start early with USMLE World and go through it at least twice

Of course, there are other things I need to do to prepare for residency. I’ve begun researching a bit and came to a disheartening realization – pre-matching*** (one of those tantalizing things recruiters of off-shore med schools love to mention) in pediatrics is highly unlikely. It was a nice dream, but in reality, I’m just going to have to work hard like every other med student and hope to find my one true spot in the national match (NRMP). For that, a few more resolutions:

6. Be a standout student on rotations and rounds

There are certainly ways to stand out in rotations (one of the students in my group offered to dig our attending’s car out of the snow last week) but instead of being a brown-noser or a gunner, I’m going to make sure that my clinical reasoning and my patient interaction skills are what sets me apart from my peers. Perhaps then, I can

7. Start earning and collecting letters of recommendation

I also need to

8. Start working on my personal statement

and

9. Regularly read about what’s going on in neonatal medicine and pediatrics

And to make sure I’m not entirely single-minded, two final resolutions that only indirectly  have to do with med school:

10. Take better care of my health and myself

11. Don’t let other people take control of my destiny

I’m ready for 2011 to be a year of fruition and success. I’m going to try not to make excuses and endeavor to be positive and effective in my pursuits. Thanks to everyone for sticking with me and supporting me in 2010. Hope you’ll keep reading and cheering me on this year as well.

*This was after I actually did faint while taking a patient’s BP during my last week of Family Medicine.

**It is frightening to me that there are students in 10th semester who still haven’t finished their cores!

***If one is extremely diligent and impressive while in training at a hospital at which there is a residency program in one’s desired field and one deals well with all the staff and the important people, one might be offered a spot before match day. IMGs are allowed to make an agreement (if one is presented) and bypass the entire match process. It’s like winning the lotto, but happens most often to people aiming for FM and IM. Oh well.

P.S. I have this peculiar superstition about hearing certain music, particularly songs that I desperately like but don’t know the name of, and spend years in fruitless pursuit of learning. It always worries me that when I finally find out, one of the great mysteries of my life will have been solved, and so it gives me this fatalistic sense of impending doom. Weird, huh. Well, anyway, I had one of those moments today, when I finally learned the name and composer of a song I’d been searching for for nearly 10 years. So if that’s meant to signal that 2011 is going to be my last year, I’m really going to make it the best one yet.

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One Comment on “11 Resolutions for 2011”


  1. […] let it be said that I don’t keep my promises. I vowed in January to update once per month (and twice per rotation) and by God, I’ll stick to it! Well, last […]


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