"I get to be a doctor!" and catharsis

I think it is finally starting to sink in... And I am SO excited. Happy. Relieved. Thrilled to be done with applications. Secure, finally knowing what I am going to do for the next five years. Over the moon to say that I am going to be a Child Neurologist. All of it.

I am going to be a Texan and while I am still not sure what to think of that part, it does not matter because in five weeks I finish medical school and in just than two months I start residency. And that makes it ALL worth it. I am not saying that it was easy or that the hard work is over, but I am going to be a doctor and for that I am grateful, appreciative and humbled...

But for those who ever doubted me I have a few words.

Dear Dean Z,
You were my first doubter and hater. You promised me/us: the pre-med class of Freshmen, that only one out of ten would enter medical school and that we should just give up before we even took organic chemistry. You convinced many a classmate that she should enter law school, find another major or simply do anything else, yet you didn't convince me. You did however make is seem like going abroad for a semester or taking a science lab course over the summer would seal my fate of not being a competitive applicant. I am sorry I listened to you...  I did not go abroad because of you.... I regret that now because it wouldn't have made a difference, I would still be here today and would have had an awesome life experience in the meanwhile. But I didn't know that then. However, today I am here as a matched medical student and all your doom and gloom  didn't stop me. Sure I cried leaving the pre-med office more times than not, but I made it despite your prophecies. What you didn't know is that you cannot squelch true passion and that now matter how many times you told me I would not make it, I was not hearing your words.

Dear Biology Professor and Student Advisor,
You told me that a Child Psychiatrist was overqualified to talk to children. I didn't believe you then and I still don't believe you now. You were a horrible student counselor and I am glad I left your office and never went back.

Dear Physiology Professor,
I came to your office to discuss my grade and standing in your class. You asked me what my plan B was. I told you I had none. You didn't think this was smart and so I thought about your question and tried to come up with a plan B, but the thing is, I really didn't have the heart to do anything else and luckily I didn't have to. Sure my Plan A took a few more years to achieve than I had originally planned but I met my husband, lived in NYC and grew up a bit in the process, I have no regrets and no plan B!

Dear Child Neurology Interviewer,
You asked me how as an IMG I expected to match. And maybe you were trying to protect me or nicely say that I was not a competitive applicant... but yet you were interviewing me, so why was that? You also asked me who in my family was a physician and clearly didn't like my answer. Maybe you only want residents of physician families and groomed US Medical Student graduates but that is okay, because I don't want to be a part of such a program and that is why I ranked your program last. I guess it is lucky for both of us that I matched elsewhere. You are welcome!


Happy Residency Fate Day aka Match Day 2013!

I'm matched!

And if you have matched too, congratulations!

If you are looking for the SGU Match List then look no further. Of course it is a work in progress but it is being updated so keep refreshing. For those that matched things look good! Congrats on all of your hard work and the fruition of your labor. Enjoy today, you deserve it!

For those that did not and were unsuccessful in SOAP my sincere and heartfelt sympathies to you. It is not fair or right that you should finish four years of medical school and not match into residency, it angers me that SGU cannot do more to help its students and that it is expected that a certain number will not match and that this is "okay". It is not and I am sorry! Please know that I do care and realize that it could have been me... Keep the faith and fix what needs to be fixed, next year you will be successful.

As for me, it is official, we will be moving to Texas as I have matched in one of my top choices at UT Houston in Child Neurology. I am very excited and feel that this program has many strengths and will be a good fit for me! I am a little hesitant to move to TX and am not sure what I think of Houston but we are doing this. That being said, I'm accepting any and all advise on where to live, dog parks to visit, how to make the most out of Houston, etc. We may need to adjust to the humidity and hot weather but I'm sure we will manage. What can you tell me about Houston dear reader?

I'm off to celebrate but just wanted to let everyone know, in case you don't have Facebook or access to me that way. Congrats again to all my classmates and thank you for your support and encouragement.


only a day / countdown recap

Last, but certainly not least, on my 12 day countdown bring us to the horse capitol of the world. Home of blue grass music, bourbon and the Wildcats.

Lexington, KY

I'll say it, it was a pleasant surprise on my interview trail. I spent a few days and thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

And should you ever find yourself in Lexington, here is Spice Island's Guide-
Where to Eat: 
-Shakespeare and Company, a fun place for dinner, drinks or dessert!
-Doodles Cafe, best bet for brunch!

What to do: 
-See at movie at Kentucky Theater, a  throwback movie theatre where you will be treated not with advertisements or previews but real live organ music while you wait for the movie to start!
-Visit Horse Country by going to Keeneland Horse Track, I ran a 5K while I was there but I'm sure attending a horse event would be nice too!
-Go Blue and attend a college game at UK, go Wildcats!

Now a recap for those of you following along in this crazy adventure that is my life (and possibly yours too). The match is tomorrow and I am beyond excited. Wondering where I'll end up? I am!

12 cities, 12 possibilities and tomorrow we will find out where our new home will be...  I really have NO idea which it will be, but it has to be one of these:

Boston, MA
Brooklyn, NY
Buffalo, NY
Houston, TX
Loma Linda, CA
Lexington, KY
Oakland, CA
Rochester, MN
Springfield, MA
St. Louis, MO
Stony Brook, NY

Best of luck to all my friends and colleagues. Medical school is about to come to an end!


Texas and Two Days!

Two days until the match and Texas is on my mind.

Houston to be exact.

Home of Texas Medical Center.
Home of Mission Control for NASA.

My future home? Only two days and I'll have an answer to that question.

And now, just for fun...


waiting and clues

Three days and I'm getting bored of my own countdown so here are three clues:


It would be an easy move....

4 days, but who is counting?!?

It is official that I have matched but the question remains, where?

What if I match in So Cal? Only 106 miles down the road from San Diego. Just ten minutes from where I am currently finishing my medical school rotations. House hunting would be easy. There would be no change in climate and we could spend our weekends in San Diego or LA.

Did you know?
-Inland Empire is known for its Oranges and was originally named Orange Empire.
-One could ski at Bear Mountain and surf at Long Beach in the same day while stopping at home for lunch.


Give me five!

Tomorrow I will find out IF I matched. Friday I will find out where. So I guess this is my final double countdown day.

For the SGU Match List look no further. Right now it just has those that have pre-matched or matched in Canada. It will be updated on Friday and thereafter. It always takes awhile but the link remains the same.

Five days and today I'm thinking of Minnesota.

Things you should know about my MN rank:

1. The program rocks.

2. Gypsy girl is from MN and she is awesome so I think her state must be awesome too.

3. The State abbreviation is the reverse of my home state. NM. MN. I think this is kind of cool.

4. There are over 10,000 natural lakes in the state, but NONE in Olmsted county where Rochester is located, go figure!

5. Home of this lovely couple: Fran and Marlo Cowan, married for 62 years when this was filmed. And what is better than that?


Under the Arch and I don't mean McDonald's!

Six days left and six programs left to think about.... Let's go to Saint Louis for the day.

Sunrise: 6:22a
Current Temp: 67 F 
We can go visit the Chess Hall of Fame, grab some coffee from Kayak's and then take a stroll through Forrest Park...

Saint Loius is also home of Purina Farms, so if I match here Sancho can become an agility dog in 2013!

Down to single digits... From here to there!

So the countdown continues....

9, 8, 7-

I  know missed a few posts. The days have slipped away due to the craziness that is my neurosurgery rotation.  I have had little time to do more than work/eat/sleep/repeat. Things learned on Neuro Sx this time so far include 1) Do NOT fall off a ladder 2) denial is a powerful thing but if you are loosing your vision or hearing (or both) the proper time to see a neurosurgeon is probably way past! 3) Being in the OR is fun if you get to operate on the brain, it is humbling, amazing and so cool.

Of the cities/programs I've been contemplating these three share the common denominator of being general pediatric programs. I would be happy at any of them. Sure I want to do Child Neurology but I also realize I am more of a pediatrician than a neurologist so spending three years instead of two to do a full pediatric residency would not be a bad thing.

And since they are all great peds programs, all academic, all awesome I have to do something to contrast them so here are a few random pics and facts.

"From here to there and there to here, funny things are everywhere." 
-Dr. Seuss

Springfield, MA

-Birthplace of and home to The Dr. Seuss National Monument and museum
-9% Registered Republicans
-Hoop City (Basketball was invented here)

Oakland, CA

-47th largest city in the US
-# of dog parks: 5
-260 sunny days per year

Albany,  NY

-The Capitol of NY since 1797 and longest continuously chartered city in the US
-Home of a very good college friend of mine and super awesome med school classmate of Dr Boyfriend, both of which have amazing families that we love (aka we have people here!)
-Santa Claus, and the first celebration of the feast of St. Nicholas in America, probably originated in Albany (imported from the Netherlands). -Reference here

Just six days to match, I'm excited, are you?


My love for Child Neurology was born here

Countdown to residency fate day: 10 days

The setting: Stony Brook, Long Island

The reason to rank: Dr. Krupp = Pediatric MS Center= My falling in love with Child Neurology

In the video is Dr. Krupp, my mentor and the reason I am applying for Child Neurology. I worked in her lab for three years before medical school and the study describes some of what I did and the importance of neurocognitive testing in this pediatric population. A friend recently told me that this sounded "so completely motivating and boring at the same time". Exactly, my friend, exactly!


Brooklyn also starts with B...

11 days until match and my countdown continues...

The second city that Dr. Boyfriend and I co-habitated in was none other than NYC. We lived in Manhattan for three years while Dr. Boyfriend went to Medical School at SUNY Downstate and I worked in Midtown. Thus if I were to match at his Alma Mater we would have no problems living in Brooklyn and readjusting to the big city life. I like NYC and while the last time I was there I was a bit of snob insisting on Manhattan living or bust, I think I could embrace the Brooklyn borough just fine. I have many friends still in the NYC area not to mention Dr. Boyfriend's entire family. And most importantly it is THE CITY so it is kind of hard to be too down-trodden about this possibility.

The list of Brooklyn awesomeness would be long so I'll give you the short version. Or skip my list and just watch the montage. Brooklyn to me in a nutshell is Park Slope, coffee options galore, Prospect Park, 24 hour everything, good food, diversity, familiar grounds, brunch options that never end, driving distance to that other B city I just so happen to love and so much more.

That's all I've got for today.


B is for....

Best (city, ever)!
Boyfriend (the person I feel in love with in Boston almost 11 years ago)
BC sucks (sorry Nutmeg)!
Boylston Street.
Bunker Hill.
Big Dig.

12 days until the match, 12 possibilities and today I'm dreaming of Boston...