Next Friday, I will submit by term paper for my Justice Ethics class and I will take my final exams for my Psychiatry clerkship. It is hard to believe that Friday is the half way mark for my third year of medical school, making me 5/8 of a doctor. It’s also the half way mark of my Masters of Arts in Bioethics and Health Policy program. Scary.
I’ve been consistently followed by the thought that I will go into surgery. There is still half a year left of clinical rotations, including internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatrics, so the jury is not out quite yet. But on that note, I don’t know that I can avoid the operating room. I really miss it. The most likely rotation to sway me is Ob/Gyn (esp. urogynecology or gynecological oncology), however, I’m not sure that I want a practice limited to women. There are so many factors to consider. I kind of wish that I was drawn to something with fewer hours and stress, but at the same time, I don’t want to enter a practice that I wouldn’t find wholly satisfying.
I’ve been consulting with several surgeons and residents at my institution. They have been really helpful in giving advice and helping to give me some direction. I’m particularly pleased that they have offered to write me letters (which will be an important component of my application) and continue to provide support.
One surgeon directed me to the American College of Surgeons wibsite, which has been helpful: So You Want to Be a Surgeon: Residency Search. It allows you to search for residency programs by region. The location of my residency will be particularly important, since most doctors practice where they were trained. It includes information on the number of surgeries completed by residents, call schedule, vacation time, family leave policies (which would include maternity leave), childcare access, etc.