Moving On After Graduation (or: The Existential Terror Of The Void)

Before the ceremony, we were all supposed to line up in alphabetical order. But when our Dean called out our names in said order to make sure we all knew how to alphabet (spoiler alert: NOPE), I suddenly knew that she’d skip right over me. And that she’d then pause and look at me all concerned and say, “Oh, hey… you’re not on my list…” and then everyone would know I was a terrible, terrible fraud.

i think it's a mistake

But she actually did read my name: both before the ceremony and (arguably more importantly) during it.

So I guess I’m a doctor now!

I probably need to stop finding this hilarious.

Anyway, in other news, I’m moving to Midwest Metropolis! On Tuesday! And I will be super excited about it just as soon as I’m assured that I won’t be living in a cardboard box.

(Not really joking. I legitimately will be living out of my rental car / cheap motels until I manage to sign a lease – and the rental car is expensive, so…)

excuse me i am homeless

This move entails:

  1. Packing up everything I own.
  2. Realizing I own way too much stuff to fit in a rental van.
  3. Giving away half of my stuff.
  4. Hoping that everything else fits, miraculously, into said rental van.
  5. Driving 7 hours to Midwest Metropolis.
  6. Charming some landlord into giving me a lease ASAP so I can turn in my rental van and stop paying $150 a day for it jesus christ that’s a lot of money

So far, I’ve gotten as far as Step #4: I’ve rented the van. I’ve packed my stuff. I’m ready and waiting.

I even looked up Craigslist apartment listings! I found one within walking distance of the hospital where a female grad student was looking for a “clean, mature, responsible female grad student or young professional”, and I was like “THAT’S ME. YOU’RE LOOKING FOR ME. HELLO, FUTURE BEST FRIEND.” and sent her a calmer, more subdued, casually disinterested version of that.

But it’s been 10 minutes and she hasn’t replied with an immediate offer so maybe I should diversify my options a little.

And finish packing.

And relearn all of pediatrics before someone accidentally expects me to know something useful.

And say goodbye to everyone in this town I’ve ever loved.

sobbing amidst packed boxes


Turning This Sad Ship Around To Face The 230+ Iceburg Head-On


Today I put in 10 solid hours of pharm and cardiovascular pathophysiology.  Not even kidding, I haven’t been this productive since I first got into med school.  THE FIRE OF INADEQUACY IS KINDLING A FLAME OF RIGHTEOUS CAFFEINATION, which is in turn fueling focus, goddamnit.

… so you might say to yourself, “Gee, that’s nice, Action Potential – but why are still awake and writing on your blog at 4am?”


And to that, I would argue, “because… goddamnit.”

I don’t know.  I’ve been awake since 2pm yesterday.  EVERYTHING WAS GOING SO WELL until I realized how I had mutilated my sleep schedule.  It’s been a vicious cycle of caffeination that would fit really well in a G-rated adaptation of Trainspotting.

there was an attempt

Definitely two Italian Roasts too many.  I think it’s caffeine’s fault.  I know blaming chemicals throws up a few red flags, but surely we can all agree caffeine is undermining my efforts, here.

I think I just need to drink 4 Italian Roasts tomorrow; just to show my plasma adenosine concentration who’s boss.


Or maybe not.  Maybe that’s a stupid plan.  It’s hard to tell given the extraordinarily low standards I currently have for the intellectual viability of any given “plan”, given that my current one relies on throwing all advice to the wind and just learning shit for the sake of maybe remembering it later.

Goals for Today/Tomorrow/Oh God What Day Is It:  200 UWorld questions and 5 solid hours of Pathoma!  THIS IS HAPPENING.


How to Be Phoneless

1.  Lose your phone.  This is undoubtedly the best part of the process, so I advise you enjoy it.

2.  Berate yourself over it for at least 2 weeks.  After all, the last time you lost a phone, it was a brick-sized Nokia, and your mom found it under the seat of her minivan 20 minutes later.  This “smartphone” shit is decidedly more damaging to your finances – especially since your finances can’t even be called “finances” with a straight face until the Financial Aid Fairy intervenes.

3.  Sheepishly discover you could actually get a replacement phone for free.  This information was in something called a “contract”, which you were apparently supposed to read before signing.

Still, no problem!  Your friendly phone company Customer Service Representative is happy to assure you he just needs the case number for your lost phone, and he’ll send you the replacement in a jiffy!

… you did file a case with the police department, right?


4.  Spend as many days as humanly possible making up excuses for why you cannot go to the police department, because, c’mon – who wants to go to a police station?  Who wants that to be on their daily to-do list?  Especially to get a case number for the extremely professional reasons of “losing phone while drunk at bar.”

5.  Listen to the police officer explain that 2 months is a little late to report a lost phone. Especially when you lost it in another county entirely.  Agree with him that, yes, that would be logical, to a logical person.

6.  Flirt with police officer.  Obtain case number.  Mentally apologize to feminist forebearers who are undoubtedly glowering down at you from Liberal Heaven.  Remind yourself that you make up for this by always asking your patients very progressive questions like, “Do you have sex with men, women, or both?” and occasionally wearing a little rainbow caduceus pin.

7.  Get new phone in mail!  SUCCESS!  All one needs to do now is charge it for 18 hours, then call the convenient number on the packaging that you just threw away!

8.  Turns out you only use your phone for e-mail and medical apps, so you forget to find the packaging and call the number to activate it.  Whatever.  It’s fine.

9.  Realize it’s been 1 month and you have not activated your phone.  It just, sort of… seemed like an improvement to not get interrupted constantly by the “pay attention to me!” ringing thing it does, you know?

10.  Okay, fine.  Interrupted intermittently by the “pay attention to me!” ringing thing it does.  God.

11.  Finally call activation number, though only after actually asking someone to call you without realizing it will in no way work.

12.  Fail.  It has been too long.  You only get some weird recording about being “unable to reach” the phone company, presumably because they are all too busy laughing.  This happens 4 days in a row.  You have missed your chance.

13.  Congratulations!  You are now a Phoneless Person.

Good luck explaining this to any of your friends without scrunching up your face and getting confused about how to explain any of it without resorting to the elegant phrase, “Well – you see – it’s like this: I am an idiot.”


Guys. I just assembled a super-cool file cabinet cart.  (And yes, I know the “super-cool” part is redundant.  It’s a file cabinet cart.  IT HAS WHEELS.  C’mon.)

It just screams “cool”.

… Actually, I’m not entirely sure why it has wheels.

I suppose it’s because at some point in the future, my roommates will have a disagreement about something in the medical literature.  And I’ll be all, “Be right back,” and then wheel in a super-cool file cabinet and hand them the original article and solve all the problems ever.


There is no way this can fail.

(But seriously, I sorted all of my piles of review articles and old journals into it, color-coded that shit, and parked it beside my desk.  BAM.  Productivity.)

Things I’m Fairly Certain I Can’t Do

It’s a long list.  But as far as a residency goes, I’d narrow down the list of thoroughly charming impossibilities to “surgery” and “pediatrics”.

Surgery’s awesome, but me standing still for 12 hours, so far, doesn’t seem to be biologically possible.  (Yeah, I realize I’m going to have to do it anyway.  My current plan involves salt pills, resourcefulness, and doing as much extra reading/scut as possible to distract people from my utter inability to get through a case without falling over.)

As for pediatrics, I don’t really have the personality.  I only love kids unconditionally when they’re under the age of 7.

(Hey.  Don’t look at me like that.  I don’t wish them any ill-will!)

(… Unless there’s 3 boys screaming their heads off and running around a restaurant while a smaller one throws a tantrum on the floor and their beleagured mother stares off into the distance with vacant, dead eyes and cheerios stuck in her hair.)

(I mean, hypothetically.  That’s definitely not something I saw every single day while waitressing at a popular family restaurant 6 years ago, but burned indelibly in my mind…)

Anyway.  Adult medicine isn’t exactly sunshine and roses either, so what the hell. I’ve decided to shadow a pediatrician today.  Maybe it will be fun!  Maybe I will fall in love with pediatrics!

Maybe I will not have a horrifying episode of waitressing-induced PTSD!