The Nightmares

Since we returned home from our vacation, I’ve been having nightmares. Not every night, but most nights. They reflect my current fears– failing Step 2, not getting any interviews, not Matching…

I’m not sure what to do about them. I thought that once I started filling out my ERAS application for residency that I’d gain some confidence looking back over all I have accomplished in the past 3 years. Instead, I wonder if there is anything about me that will stand out enough to land my first job as a physician (-in-training).

This week is the big week: my ERAS application will be officially submitted and many programs will start downloading applications. I may even get some interviews to schedule this week. My Step 2 scores should also come back this week. I’m excited and terrified at the same time. I seriously think I have looked over every single pediatrics program in the country. My list has been whittled down to the places where I think that I (and my family) will be happy, with lots of things for all three of us to do and enjoy. I had a meeting with my home program’s residency director, and she helped me to go through the list to make sure it was realistic. She said I had a good group of programs and she thinks I will do well–which helped my confidence a bit and since then, no new nightmares! She also told me that she loved my personal statement, which was unexpected but also boosted my confidence a bit.

Here’s to having a good week, a great start to the application and Match process, and finding the right place for my family and I as I transition to being an actual doctor next year.

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Fortunate

It’s hard to imagine that I’ve been on summer break for almost a full week already. In that amount of time, I’ve had a baby shower for our little Ladybug, finished a book (at David’s suggestion to read a “non-school” book, I chose…. Genetic Rounds by Dr. Robert Marion. And of course I am now researching Peds/Med Genetics combined residencies. I really need to reevaluate my use of free time.), and started to work on some of my own projects. Oh! And sleep! Oh, glorious sleep! It’s been so nice to not have to rush off early every morning for a change. I finally feel rested, or at least the most rested I’ve felt since last summer.

These past few weeks have been less than fun. As I get closer to my due date, my limitations have made themselves more clear. I was really hoping that I would be able to prove–at least to myself–that “pregnancy brain” was a myth… not so, for me. Being able to concentrate on what I’m studying has gotten progressively harder, and my recall is not as sharp as it used to be. Battling this while preparing for finals has been stressful. All in all, though, I passed all my finals, passed all of my classes, and I feel like I accomplished a lot this year. Could I have done better if I hadn’t been pregnant? I’m pretty much certain of it. Did I still do well while juggling that added stress? Even with the fatigue and sickness, yes. I even went above and beyond some goals I set for myself, so that makes me feel pretty good about where I stand at the end of M1.

If I ever forget just how fortunate I have been, and am, I need to read this following article. If you’re a premed who gained an acceptance this cycle, congratulations to you! My best advice is to not squander this opportunity. There are so many people who would love to be in your (or my) shoes. If you’re a premed who did not gain an acceptance this cycle, it in no way, shape or form means that you are unintelligent or unworthy, not driven enough or not passionate enough; there are simply just not enough spots for everyone who is qualified that would make a terrific doctor.

http://m.startribune.com/?id=259674871