After I spent all weekend growing more and more comfortable with the idea of residency at program number 2, I receive an email informing me that their committee has decided not to offer any prematch contracts this year.Translation: Psych! What the huh? Why even bring up prematching in the first place if the committee didn’t intend to do it? The email went on to say something very tepid about how happy they’d be to see my name on their matched list in March but I’m a little skeptical about their sincerity at this point. I still like the program but perhaps other programs are more deserving of its spot on my list? I guess we’ll see how things pan out on Match Day.
Archive for January 2012
Yesterday marked the end of the interview season for me and I could not be more relieved. After visiting 15 places over 12 weeks, I could hardly distinguish one program from another. Some had friendlier faculty, some had tastier lunches; some had nicer NICUs, some boasted better benefits. Even as I neared the end, I couldn’t help but wonder how I was going to be able to make my Rank Order List based on half-day snapshots of programs on their best behaviors. I knew which places were going to be at the bottom of my ROL (often before the interview day was even over) but the trouble now was deciding which should be at the top. Should I give more weight to university programs or community-based programs, free-standing children’s hospitals or hospitals within hospitals, programs closer to Queens or programs further from home? Was a “good feeling” enough to push a smaller, less prestigious program ahead of one with a better reputation? Do I have to be at an institution that does ECMO? What about salary? What about fellowship placements? What about availability of eligible bachelors? How could I make a decision about not only a 3-year commitment but possibly the course of my future based on such limited information?
Mere days after lamenting the fact that my Japanese skills have been withering from neglect, I discovered that a PGY-1 at my current hospital is wonderfully fluent. I was delighted, but also a little jealous. While it is pretty awesome to chat (even while getting the ‘wth?’ looks two non-Japanese people get when speaking Japanese), I couldn’t help but notice how ペラペラ his 日本語 was and how nicely he’s been able to maintain it, despite also being a medical intern, while my 日本語 is nowhere near as 綺麗 as it once was. I couldn’t even say ‘residency’*.
Now, I find I’m even more committed to brushing up my skills (español también!) – I wonder if there are any medical-themed 漫画、アニメ or ドラマ** that I can get a hold of…
**preferably ones starring 滝沢秀明
So, I was just talking with my dad and my little bro about New Years’ Resolutions and I realized that I wasn’t so great last year about keeping mine (especially the one about being a more faithful blogger, sorry!!) so I think I should try to aim for at least 90% adherence to the resolutions for the upcoming year. That means that I should stick to 10.8 (let’s round up to 11) of the following 12:
1. Read something to do with medicine and/or health care every single day
One of the things that stuck with me from surgery rotation was Dr. C’s admonishment that as medical professionals, we should be reading at least an hour a day, no matter what. I probably spend over an hour reading every day but romance novels, blogs and amateur fiction probably aren’t going to make me more valuable to my patients. Hopefully, one of my other resolutions will help me stick to this endeavor.
2. Be ready to take to Step 3 by May 30th
Step 3 is the final USMLE required before one is eligible for an official medical license. Once can’t apply for it until after one receives a medical degree but since only a portion of this exam is devoted to pediatrics, it would be nice to get it out of the way before the start of residency so that I can spend my intern year focusing on the good stuff. Studying for this exam will also help me stick with resolution one since it will make sure that I’m reading something medical (and learning something new or reinforcing something I already know) every day.
3. Strengthen my language skills
On my past few rotations, I’ve been one of the few people who was able to communicate well with Spanish-speaking patients and that has garnered me praise from the attendings and residents, not to mention interest from residency program directors. However, I find I’ve been coasting by on my above-average español and I’d like to push past the plateau and become fully fluent. The trouble is, it’s tough to find resources (especially free ones) at my level. I’d welcome any suggestions. Meanwhile, my 日本語 has fallen from 上手 to まあまあ from lack of use. I’d really like to get it back up to speed. If that means making time for manga, dramas and anime, so be it.