I Matched! I Have A Job! Someone Will Pay Me Real Money!

Unfortunately I can’t outright tell you the specialty (sorry, everyone who’s asked!), because it’s just so small: there are only double-digit numbers of us, and I haven’t yet decided just how reckless I want to be with my internet pseudonymity.

But I can tell you that so far the Frequently Asked Questions include “Wait, that’s a specialty?”, “You can DO that?”, and “Isn’t that a fellowship? How did you match straight into a fellowship?” - so, you know, that’s fun. (Anyone super emotionally invested in my story can probably detective it out from there, but if you’re that invested, you deserve it.)

But – right, the important thing! I matched at my #2 program. And yes, as nice as it would have been to say “I matched at my #1 program”, the program I did match into has a much, much more recognizable / prestigious name – so, somewhat bizarrely, I think I’ve gotten way more sincere congratulations and impressed reactions from my friends than I would’ve the other way around.

(There is a tiny, possibly evil, part of me that enjoys that. It all works out, I guess.)

But – real talk: I’m going to miss med school. If you’re still a student, I have only one piece of advice for you:

Enjoy every irritating, terrifying, face-palmingly-stupid minute. 

God knows, I did.

Every Residency Interview Ever

Interviewer: Shallow pleasentries! Joke about the weather!

You: Clever response building on your weather joke as proof that I can make witty conversation! Haha, hire me!

Interviewer: Haha, so true! Well, how’s your visit going so far?

You: Oh, wonderful. Had dinner with the residents last night at [Place You Would Normally Never Eat] and they were all just so friendly.

Interviewer: Wonderful! I’ve heard great things about [Place You Would Normally Never Eat]! So – is this your first time in [City]?

You: A) “Oh no, I’ve been here forever! How could I leave, when [insert implication you would love to live here]

B) “Oh no, I’ve [insert slightly-to-moderately exaggerated story about the one time you were here years ago, implying you would love to live here]

C) “Yes – it is, and [insert second, less funny, joke about weather, implying you would love to live here]”

Interviewer: That’s great! Well, let me begin by telling you a little bit about myself –

You: *hastily plastering on an enraptured gaze* Mm-hmm. Oh, I see. Yes. Wow.

*spend 5 minutes wondering when you’ll have time to dry-clean your suit before Thursday’s interview*

Interviewer: —and I’ve been here ever since! But enough about me! Tell me about yourself.

You: *forcing yourself not to cast a suspicious eye on the large folder on Interviewer’s desk which should have served to answer this question*

“Well, I grew up in [State] and always thought I wanted to be a [Doctor / Actress / Journalist], haha – but then I spent a year [volunteering  / traveling / researching] and realized that [Being a doctor is my true passion / acting doesn’t pay shit / I suck at pretty much everything], so I applied to med school. In my free time, I like to [quick, make up something besides “procrastinate by wasting time on the internet”]

Interviewer: Fascinating! Well, I’ve obviously read over your file – *picking up folder on desk, FINALLY*

You: *craning neck ever-so-slightly in a totally obvious move, confirming that the file is pristine and untouched*

Interviewer:  – and you are obviously a wonderful candidate. We would love to have you here. So! What questions can I answer for you?

You: [eager recitation of “Bullshit Question #1]

Interviewer: What a great question! Why yes, there are many opportunities for research. For example –

You: *spend 5 minutes coming to terms with the fact that there is no way you will have time to dry-clean said suit before Thursday’s interview*

Interviewer: — and TGF-beta interactions! What other questions do you have for me?

You: *remind yourself to avoid glancing meaningfully at your file, as a hint that you paid $700 to get here and would like a chance to sell yourself* [eager recitation of Bullshit Question #2]

Interviewer: A fantastic question! I think one of the strongest aspects of our program is the excellent patient mix we have here. You see – we aren’t just a tertiary care hospital and referral center – we also function as the community referral center! So you get to see exotic, once-in-a-lifetime cases, AND bread and butter cases!

It’s almost like we’re – I don’t know – some sort of teaching hospital or something! You won’t find that kind of diverse patient population anywhere else.

You: Oh my goodness, that’s fantastic. So wonderful to hear.

Interviewer: So… *opening your file * Tell me a bit about… *scans page urgently for familiar proper nouns* about – um,  your [Recent marathon / experimental art-installation / research with Dr. Prestigious]

You: Oh, that was a fantastic experience. I started by [running triathalons / realizing I needed at least one hobby for ERAS / studying TGF-beta ] and transitioned into [training for a half-marathon / throwing a bunch of origami around in a shuttered ware-house and posting a notice in Craigslist / networking with PIs like a thirsty stripper whose rent is due].

It was such a learning opportunity. It really taught me a lot about [carbo-loading / the human connection between art and healing / how research is basically just random crap thrown together with a deadline].

Interviewer: *has passed the time of your lame anecdotes  sneaking a peak at your USMLE scores* “Uh-huh. Wow. Fantastic.”

Door: *impatient knocking*

Interviewer: Whoa, I guess [Interview Coordinator / admin assistant / the unlucky Chief Resident who pulled the short straw today] is hinting we should wrap things up! Has it been 20 minutes already…?

You: Haha, time flies when you’re having fun!

Interviewer: Haha, it seems so! Well, what OTHER questions do you have for me?

You Have GOT To Be Kidding Me

Disclaimer: My mother and I are friendly, but not close.

Today I found the following on my facebook feed:

Naturally, since my mother lives in a midwestern state with my father – whom she is still married to (as far as I knew) – I was alarmed.

So I facebooked messaged her.


wtf 2


Inducing a HEART-ATTACK in your daughter who IS IN MED SCHOOL somehow = BREAST CANCER AWARENESS.


This shit has seriously gone too far.

Why can’t we all just donate money to research instead of playing facebook games with our loved ones?

Residency Interview Season 2013

The First Week After Submitting

staredown impatient

i expect nothing and i'm still let down

Getting That First Interview Invite


they broke up 2

uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh

… And That Program Earns A Special Place In Your Heart Forever.

kiss the screen

Especially Since No Other Program Seems To Like You

single mascara tear

… Until One Day…

chris rock holy crap you're dumb reaction gif

 When You Get 17 Interview Offers….

wait - what

… In 3 Hours.

oh god oh god oh god

i'm dead now gotta go

And You Try To Fit All Their Restrictive Interview Date “Choices” Into Your Calendar

excited typing

i got nothing

this is a nightmare

… But Mathematically, It Doesn’t Work.

that is not going to happen


yelling into pillow aaaaaaagh

And Now You Have To Write Horribly Complicated Emails Declining Those Precious Interviews

first of all i feel like an asshole

i am not good at saying no okay

And You Still Aren’t Guaranteed To Match


… Welcome To ERAS 2013-2014.

just slow clap it out

A Conversation With The New M1s (My People Skills Are Rusty)

M1s: Oh, child neurology? Cool! I heard in child neurology you just play with kids. True?

Me: Sort of, yeah! I mean, young kids don’t exactly follow commands, so to some extent you’re just watching them play and trying to elicit reactions from them with pen lights and toys.

M1s: Cool. But… child neuro is really sad, right? I mean, so many deaths.

Me: Sure. But their deaths are nowhere near as sad as those of the adults. Like, Internal Medicine. So sad.

M1s: … wait, how is Internal Medicine sad?


Me: Well… every day, you deal with people who have wasted their whole life without doing anything they set out to do. And now it’s too late. And that dawning realization, seeing them realize they’re at the end of their life and it was all futile – it’ll haunt you.

And when you’re not with them, you’re with patients who you know will die the same way, with the same regrets – except, they won’t follow your warnings, so there’s nothing you can do to stop them. You’re powerless against their naive optimism that they won’t die of a stroke, they won’t die of a heart attack, they won’t leave their family alone.

But they will.

As will you.

See – every day you are confronted with existential terror that overwhelms you until you can no longer comfortably ignore its hopelessness. It’s no longer in the periphery of your vision – it’s the focal spot. So, despite the occasional pinprick of brightnesss and good outcomes, the overbearing futility of living becomes like a dark black cancer on your soul that grows and grows until you no longer feel anything – just numbness.

Even the patients who thought they had meaningful lives – you will watch their memory fade as they become present less and less until there is nothing. And you will realize the futility of life: a truth you will never again escape.

M1s: …..


Me: Welp! Good luck on the first anatomy test! I recommend the practice questions – they’re great! See you later byyeeee.

bein cute

M1s: …..

we're taking a moment and we're done

Applying For Residency: In GIFs

Students Applying to Surgery

i will take what is mine with fire and blood

Students Applying to Medicine

little bit intimidating but i'm sure we'll live

Students Applying to Family Medicine


Writing Your Personal Statement: Draft #1

it's so weird being my own role model

Writing Your Personal Statement: Draft #2

can we just take a moment to celebrate me

Writing Your Personal Statement: Draft #3

my place is here

Reminding Your LOR Writers That They Have Two Weeks no big deal it’s only my entire career on the line Oh God Please Write It Soon

staredown impatient

why what is taking so long


Finalizing Your ERAS Application

signing your life away

Scuttiest Mission Ever

Fellow: Ugh, I had genetics clinic last month with Dr. Attending. I need to give him these results, but now I can’t find him!

Resident: Oh, because the genetics offices moved?

Fellow: And no one knows where they are! I asked Dr. Attending, but he just shrugged and said he wasn’t sure.

Resident: How can Dr. Attending not know where his own office is?

Fellow: Even the front desk doesn’t know. I asked. They don’t even know what building it’s in.

Me: That’s crazy. How do they expect you to find it? I mean, the hospital covers like 12 blocks.

are you kidding me

everyone staring judgey

Fellow: Wait a minute. Hi. …. hey, AP?

Me: …

i know this is a trap but i don't know how

Fellow: Listen. Would you mind, terribly -

Me: Oh god.

Fellow: Would you mind dropping this off for him?

Me: At the… genetics office?

Fellow: Right.

Me: The only thing is – I don’t know that patient, or the attending, or actually even this hospital, so  -

Fellow: Great! Thanks! See-you-at-noon-conference-BYE!

everything hurts and i'm dying