Monday, January 7, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

      I was one of the few people I know who did not switch specialties during my 3rd year of medical school. I felt bad for the people who unfortunately had a change of heart after 3rd year. Medical school is not structured to cater to students who have a change of heart which, in my opinion is not cool since most students inevitably switch specialties.  I just think that it is such a shame that there is no flexibility and that medical students are forced to decide what field they want to practice so early 4th year, before they are able to explore the various sub-specialties that exist.
        I am applying for anesthesiology. The specialty always appealed to me as I love pharmacology, teamwork, and the atmosphere of the operating room. I think being able to use anesthetics to take away people's pain and allow them to forget their surgery is just plain cool. I also love that I will be able to see different types of surgery on a daily basis and that I will be able to work with older patients, younger patients, obstetric patients, and that my experiences will vary on a daily basis. I have been traveling all around the country interviewing at different programs, experiencing new cities, meeting great people along the way. I am going on a total of 20 anesthesia interviews, which I have been told is way too many. I am hoping that will be enough programs to match....the urban myth is that if you go on 10 interviews you have a 90% chance of matching, but who knows what the truth is. Anesthesiology as a field has been getting more competitive every year so I do not want to hurt myself and too many is better than too few as far as I am concerned. I do not expect to get my first choice. For some reason I am expecting my 5th or 6th choice, which is scary because I can end up in a city far away from my friends and family. At the end of the day though, I just want to go to a program where I will get great training and feel ready and be confident enough to give anesthesia for any type of surgery. There is no perfect program- some of them are at beautiful, well- known hospitals, but are very far from home, some have no fellowships, some are too small. My last interview is February 8th, and my rank list is due towards the end of February. I have no idea how I am going to rank these programs. I wish someone else could just do it for me. Any volunteers? We will see what happens in March......please cross your fingers for me.

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