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Dec 19, 2010

Treading Water

I haven't been writing much the last few months, and I apologize.

For one, I have been busy. The normal school related things that keep me hopping have been subject to the ever changing and complicated madness that is interview season for fourth year med students. That is part of why I haven't been in touch - no time.

The other part, as you might guess, is that I'm nervous to talk about these things online. I've never had to keep anything private online before, and I actually really hate it, but I am worried about writing things online that programs will see that will then affect how I am ranked. This, in itself, is a reflection of how much I want to be an OB/GYN when I grow up, as I am not one to bow in fear to an unknown. But look at me now, as I dance around the topic of where I've been, what I liked, and how I plan to rank my options.

To catch up those of you who are not medically-employed, fourth year medical students apply to residency training programs in the fall, then are (hopefully) invited for interviews over the winter months. The students rank the programs in the order that they want to go to them and submit that list to a computer system. The programs do the same for their applicants. Then, mid-March, the computer algorithm does some magic voodoo and spits out each applicant's "Match". I like to take the technology out of it, and imagine Fate typing up everyone's future and sealing the envelopes with one of those water sealers from the post office. Regardless, it is a crazy way of trying to "match" up a zillion applicants and a zillion spots. This whole program is called "The Match".

I have written about it before, both here and other places, but have never gone through it myself. The whole thing has me terrified, but since I've been worrying about this for so long now - going on three years - it is mostly subconscious. It is manifested in snapping at Patrick or disappearing into a stupid TV show or, mysteriously, completely forgetting to pay all of the bills last month. (Oops.) The stress of the matter has made me both lose sleep and oversleep, has made me eat too much and lose my appetite. It is crazy, how this process has worked its way into my psyche and makes every tiny, insignificant things seem directly related to my future job, earning potential, and then, as a natural extension, my ability as a wife and mother.

For now, there is not much to do but wait. Wait to hear from programs that have me on their waiting list, wait for spring to come, wait for Match Day, wait for my life to sort itself out, wait to be able to breathe without choking again. People say that the last year of medical school is a cake walk. I think it has to be. I can barely get through the mornings without being sick with the pressure of it all. I shudder to think what would happen if I had to actually learn something right now.

1 Readers rock!:

Pennsy said...

Learning to wait sounds like a pretty important lesson for a doctor. You may be learning more than you realize. I know I usually am.