Tuesday, February 14, 2006
  Match day...
First of all - Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you were able to tell all your loved ones how you feel for them: good or bad :)

Yesterday was Match day. The day when the magical computer program does whatever it does and medical students find out where they will spend the next years of their lives. At least, if you go to an Osteopathic medical school...

As I've stated before, I go to an Osteopathic medical school and I've chosen to participate in the AOA match - for better or worse. So, yesterday was the day I learned my fate, where I will spend the next year training as an intern.

It really is not as bad as it sounds. My fiance and I (it feels weird to type that word here instead of girlfriend, but I should call her by the correct title) went through the match as a couple, and so we are both going to the same hospital. It wasn't our first choice, nor our second, but at least we didn't have to go too far down the list and at least we matched!

We will be spending the next year at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. I interviewed there in the beginning of January and liked it - even though it is truly in the middle of nowhere. The hospital is actually HUGE and has a cachement area of over 2.5 million people. This single hospital serves as a tertiary referral center for most of central and northeastern Pennsylvania. Other good things about the hospital include an active Emergency medicine program (which makes me happy) and a pediatric hospital attached to the main hospital (which should make her happy). Downsides include the relative isolation of the hospital, the size of the town, and the fact that it is one of two programs to which we applied that are not dually accredited by the AOA and the ACGME. While I do not think this will be a program given the volume of patients the hospital treats, we mostly applied to dually accredited programs to ensure the training we received meets the highest standards.

While I am disappointed we didn't match at our #1 or 2 program, I'm actually excited to be going to Geisinger. I think it will be a good experience. I think it will be exciting to live in an area completely surrounded by mountains (you can't look in any direction and not see them), and it can't hurt to be within 1 or 2 hours drive of a half-dozen ski resorts. The area is also purported to have excellent hiking trails and picturesque state and national parks within close proximity. It doesn't hurt that Danville is also King of Prussia Mall. I know she'll be happy about that - she'd spend all day, every day at that mall if she thought she could get away with it!! New York City is also within 3 hours, with its endless entertainment opportunities!

I just wish I knew we'd actually have time for all this fun!

Of course, I still haven't even considered having to re-apply for residency next year - but that is another post for another time. I still have a new Personal statement to write and a wedding to plan!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
  Delayed Gratification
As if going through college, applying for medical school, and going to classes for more years than you thought you were capable wasn't bad enough, after you're done with all that and your life-long dream of becoming a physician has finally come true, you're faced with residency.

Or, in my case: Internship, then residency.

Why did I choose to pursue an internship before applying for and entering my final residency? Several reasons, actually.

While some may have no cares in the world, may fly through life willy-nilly with the only dream they have left being to complete their training and finally become that attending physician they've always dreamed they'd be - I have other dreams. I've dreamed many things, one of which is the very same as I just "said." Who wouldn't love to have no other obligations except to themselves? I know I would.

However, I've made choices that forever alter my course in life. I have others to concern myself with - my girlfriend being one of them. We are in a very committed relationship and have made the decision to try and stay together throughout our residency training - something that is not easy, but not impossible. We are couples matching, which means we have decided to link our rank lists in such a way that unless both of our lists match exactly with the programs we have ranked, neither of us will match. I don't foresee any problems next week or down the road. However, it is a choice that has altered my training decisions.

When I decided to attend an Osteopathic medical school, I made a committment as well - a committment to follow the recommendations and requirements of the governing body for Osteopathic physicians: the AOA. Currently, the AOA requires a traditional internship for licensure and acknowledgement by the AOA. Thusly, I have applied for an internship this year, and will be re-applying for my final residency next year.

Finally, both my girlfriend and I want to transplant to another part of the country. Since we have both spent some time in the northeastern part of the country and liked it, we've decided to seek our training in that part of the country.

Given this mixture of conditions, we've decided to pursue an internship together and to reapply for our final residencies next year. We both have decided that in order to be together, it is worth delaying our final training.

Besides, what is a year? I've spent 28 of them getting to this point.
Ahhhhh.. 4th year. If the rumours are true, this will be a cake walk. Herein is my online account of my 4th year of medical school - follow with me to see if the hype is true or lie.

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