How to Survive Ross University

Posted June 17, 2012 by evilangelfish
Categories: 1st Semester, 2nd Semester, 3rd semester, 4th semester, 5th semester, 6th semester, 7th semester, 8th semester, 9th semester, clinicals, med school

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If there’s one thing to be said about a Ross University education, it’s that it produces a special sort of doctor. People who come to Ross and make it through are not the sort of people who will take the road of least resistance. I once heard it said that people who come through Ross are the ones who will take the stairs rather than waiting for the elevator. We’re go-getters. We’re tenacious. We don’t let obstacles deter us. We scoff at naysayers, wherever they may be. Over 700 people graduated with me and as different as we all are, each of us shared one characteristic: we were all willing to do whatever it took to achieve our goal. If I were fighting an illness, I’d certainly want a doctor like that taking care of me.

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How to Survive Med School

Posted June 10, 2012 by evilangelfish
Categories: med school, randomness

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During my final rotation, I had an awesome attending who would introduce me to his patients and proudly inform them that I was about to “walk the line.” On Friday June 8th, I walked it, and even though my diploma is dated April 30th, I don’t think I really felt like I’d made it through med school until that ceremony. It was often fun and fascinating but med school was never easy. If anyone were to ask me what my advice would be to the students just donning their waist-length white coats, I’d tell them these three things: Read the rest of this post »

Building Blocks

Posted May 21, 2012 by evilangelfish
Categories: pediatrics, residency

My official start date as an intern at the Children’s Medical Center of [Midwestern City] isn’t until July 3rd but orientation begins on June 18th (two days before the big 3-0!) and time is rapidly pushing me toward the day when I must leave my beloved Queens and move to the midwest. In advance of orientation, I’ve already been given my PALS and NRP materials to study/complete and I’m working my way through the Harriet Lane Handbook so that I don’t seem like an idiot on my first day. We’ve been given our schedules for the first year of residency, which is broken into 13 four-week blocks beginning on July 3rd. I’ll have to be on my toes right out of the gate – my first block is heme/onc.

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医者! (no 卵)

Posted April 19, 2012 by evilangelfish
Categories: med school, residency, thanks

Due to some fortuitous scheduling, today was my last day of medical school. It was the final day of my otolaryngology rotation, a surgery elective that was probably the next best thing to a clerkship in pediatric surgery. When I arrived in the OR suite, the attending greeted me with a big smile. “So today’s the last day, huh?” He patted my shoulder. “Welcome to the club.”

It’s going to take me a while to get used to being addressed as ‘doctor.’ Even though I feel like I’ve been waiting/working most of my life to be one, it doesn’t quite feel real yet. Maybe it will after graduation, or once I get my spiffy embroidered long white coat. I’m a little worried that on the first day of residency, I’ll accidentally introduce myself as a student. I figured I’d accustom myself to my new title by changing my voicemail recording. It still feels a bit strange to say.

Many years ago when I was a freshman in college (back when the SATs were scored out of 1600 points), I had a meeting with the freshman dean (Dean L) during which I was asked about my career plans. I told him that I planned to become a doctor. He looked at my file and quoted my SAT math score, a 550, back to me and said that with a score like that, maybe I should consider health administration or something else (nevermind my nearly perfect verbal score). If by chance I ran into Dean L today, I’d have no trouble introducing myself. “Thank you, Dean L,” I’d say, “for your contribution to my success.”

For everyone who’s been following along on this blog throughout these 4 years of med school and for all the ones who’ve been on my side since before, encouraging me, supporting me, bolstering me even when others tried to discourage me, I want to acknowledge you as well for your part in my achievement. I could not have gotten here without you and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Stay tuned for the next phase of 医者(の卵), the chronicles of a doctor (in training).

Decision 2012 – The Match

Posted March 16, 2012 by evilangelfish
Categories: residency

Tags: ,

Although this week is designated as Match Week, I came to realize how different days are significant for different students. For Match participants from on-shore schools, it’s practically a foregone conclusion that one will receive an email of congratulations so the celebrations take part today. For my classmates, myself and thousands of other off-shore medical students and IMGs, Monday was the day of destiny.

I was thrilled to learn that so many of my friends and classmates successfully matched this year. Today is a tad anticlimactic, though it has been exciting to learn where everyone will be headed in July. My own destination isn’t exactly the one I expected but I’m certainly pleased to have matched to an excellent university program (at a beautiful children’s hospital!). It would have been nice to be a little closer to Queens but I’ve never let a little homesickness hold me back.

I’m still a bit in shock from all that has transpired this week but maybe that’s just part of this delirium of happiness I’m experiencing. I’m going to be a pediatrician! What an achievement.

Decision 2012 – March Madness

Posted March 5, 2012 by evilangelfish
Categories: residency

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There’s a catchy song by Japanese singer Aiuchi Rina (of 名探偵 Conan fame) called「♪恋は Thrill, Shock, Suspense!♪.」Its title seems to sum up this whole match business rather well for me. Next Monday may be thrilling, it might be shocking but it’s the suspense that’s going to drive me crazy.

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Decision 2012 – the Algorithm

Posted February 29, 2012 by evilangelfish
Categories: residency

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A curious thought has been plaguing me since the NRMP deadline passed a week ago. On the website, the explanation for why it takes approximately 3 weeks to announce the matches details the things the folks over at NRMP are doing behind the scenes, which include:

  • Checking the integrity and completeness of the data.
  • Transferring the data to the algorithm module, checking it again, and processing the matching algorithm.
  • Verifying the results of the Match and transferring the data into the NRMP databases.
  • Conducting the Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP).
  • Creating more than 60,000 individual reports for applicants, programs, and schools, and assuring confidentiality of that information; the reports are then posted to the Web in accordance with the Match Week schedule.

Instead of thinking ‘hmmm, that is a bunch of stuff’ and reminding myself to be patient, my mind focused in on the part about running the algorithm. Once all the data is transferred to algorithm mode, shouldn’t it only take seconds to run it? Once it’s run, my fate (at least for the next 3 years) will be decided. But I’ll still have to wait until 1 pm Eastern time on March 16th to find out (funny how my mind has taken for granted that I will match, when that is anything but certain). 3 2.5 weeks has never seemed so far away!

Meanwhile, come Monday, I will be a mere 7 weeks from fulfilling the clinical sciences requirement of my medical school education. After I finish the final week of my psych core, I’m off to Chicago for a 2-week peds elective (yes, 2 week electives can be done if you schedule them yourself, apparently) and after that, I’ll be heading down to Augusta, GA for 4 weeks of otolaryngology. Being so close to the end is really exciting but also very strange. Will I really know enough to be able to be an awesome resident by the later half of April? And what if I don’t match? I guess I’ve got a superstitious streak as well, because I worry that by acknowledging how close I am to completion (or being overly happy about it), I’m going to somehow jinx myself into not being able to finish. Anything can happen in 7 weeks, right? Or maybe psych has brought out some schizotypal traits in me.  In any case, please send your encouragement, support and good vibes my way and let’s hope this 医者の卵 doesn’t have to scramble.