Saturday, January 22, 2005

Status Report: Filling in the Past Eight Months and Next Year

Since my last post, I finished 2nd year's exams, took the boards in San Diego, and began third year. I am working on writing a piece on the specifics of my completed third year rotations. In general, though, I am doing well. I feel as if I have hit my stride and found my own style of how I want to practice medicine. I just need to develop my skills and knowledge further.

At this point in my third year of medical student, regarding the curriculum, I am finished with all of my core outpatient rotations, save surgery, and will be starting inpatient in about a month. My third year project on a problem seen in ambulatory care is coming due; for it, I've chosen to look into pediatric head injuries in sports with an eye towards doing a seminar for the Tae Kwon Do judges at home as my 4th year selective project. After I finish this, all I have to do regarding third year is survive the inpatient rotations.

Fourth year is a year of electives and choices. I am fully in charge of my schedule as 4th years get their pick of rotations and sites; I simply need to fulfill requirements. In order to graduate, there are three one-month rotations that a student has to do in Connecticut. In addition there are four months available for elective rotations. One also has to take the second part of the written licensing exam and then the clinical part before Jan 1. Finally, there are two months of a senior project called a selective. I graduate May 14, 2006.

The complication for fourth year is that residency (post-graduate training) programs in California can be very competitive to get into. If I do "audition" rotations in California, it will increase my chances of getting interviews at the programs I rotate at. However, interview season is Dec-Jan. Therefore, I would ideally audition during Oct-Nov. Thus far, my schedule is July-Sept for the three required rotations in CT so that I don't have to come back from California and Sunny. I wanted to take October to study for the boards, finish applying for residency, and take both Step 2 and Step 2 CS, the clinical skills portion of the boards series. The exam is required only for graduation, not for applying to residency. This leaves only Nov to do an audition rotation before interview season heats up. I could do one in January, but it seems rather late. Also, visiting students get last priority for slots in other schools' programs. I might not even get a chance to do a rotation in San Diego before the new year. In case you are wondering, I am very worried about next year!

Part of the stress is from the fact that I need to choose what kind of doctor I want to be before I apply to programs. I also want a humane yet educational program. Then, I want to be in a nice area of California. Most importantly, I want to be with Sunny. I am hoping that this wishlist will not be too hard to fill.