Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My right hook

One would think after my interviews I would have quickly written a response to my last posting, but to be completely honest, my final interview sorta hit me hard and I wasn't quite sure what to think.

My standard question to the directors is "How are the residents evaluated?" Its a an easy way to get the program director to chat away and I can think of a follow up question, or we can move on.

Well at my final interview, I think this program director took this question the wrong way. He gave me the quick run down, told me that I will do just fine in residency, and then quickly shot me a question that to this day I'm still thinking about. He asked me if I beat myself up.

The question seems innocent enough. Just say no and move on. But I paused. Because the truth is---to a point, I do beat myself up. I don't want to say my family was particularly hard on me, but when you grow up with work-alcoholic parents, your options are to rebel and be a slacker or follow in their footsteps. I clearly chose the later.

So after the pause, I attempted to explain this. I fumbled. I came across sounding like I'm super competitive which, I guess I am, but truthfully, I'm only competing against myself. The program director finally saved me and said, "Listen, we all appreciate excellence."

And that's when I shut up.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Interview season!

This week I start my first rounds of interviews. I had hoped that I could have started the interview process with a program that I wasn't hanging my life on getting into, but that is just how things go.

So in order to put my best foot forward (is it my left or right?) I've been practicing. A LOT.
I've been caught talking about myself while running along the canal. But thinking back to the really weird faces that I passed--- it is possible that I was yelling since I always listen to Boston's "More than a Feeling!" full blast while practicing (and running). It has been my theme song for fourth year---I wrote my entire personal statement while listening to this song over, and over, and over, and over (angela--you know what I'm talking about!).

I found an excellent website with practice questions. So today, on my final day off, I found an awesome coffee shop and tackled them. I was quite surprised to find the potential questions I might get asked:

* Tell me a joke.
* Teach me something non-medical in five minutes.*
* Besides medicine, how else are you intellectual?
* Present to me a patient you seen in the past, as if we were in the clinic.
* Ask yourself a question, and then answer it.

And of course the infamous: do you have any questions for me?

Now maybe these don't seem so bad just reading them over, but imagine if you just introduced yourself and the program director asks (or demands) a joke! I know that my head will go completely blank under the pressure. My plan? I'll just giggle a lot.

*I'm gonna teach that program director how to swim---that'll get him/her out of her comfort zone! I'll just have to bring a small kiddie pool....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


It is election day!! Go vote!

But I have to say neither candidate has a really good handle on the health care issue. And just cuz health care is sorta my life I wanted to bring up some facts that we went over yesterday in class...

Why people go to the ED:
- they have a true emergency
- they are traveling to that city and get sick
- lack of alternative access: uninsured, no PCP appointment available, PCP closed
- societal outcasts: homeless, illegal immigrants,etc
- drug seekers

Average cost of an EM visit: $383
Average cost of a PCP visit: $60
(although this is not comparing apples to apples---most people who visit the ED are generally sicker, although 55% of the 90 million ED visits were deemed unnecessary in 1996)

Number uninsured:
- 47 million uninsured

Who pays for the uninsured?
- The insured. Premiums and such don't just cover the individual needs. We're all paying for everyone to get medical help. The money has to come from some where

Why is this important?
--if the insured are paying for everyone else---wouldn't we all want everyone to be insured and then no one would be paying extra??

Just some food for thought!