Color-Coding Has Its Limits

Interview season is crazy and exhausting and fun and exhausting and AWESOME.

For those of you who are nonmedical, interview season is the fourth year winter when all other medical school responsibilities evaporate like a bottle of wine at a Thanksgiving dinner political discussion. No clinical responsibilities, easily avoidable committee responsibilities, sometimes cancel-able friend responsibilities.

If anyone asks you for something that you don’t want to do, you just say, “oh, sorry, I have an interview.” Continue reading


The inspiration for this blog, originally, was family – in particular, the Bringers of Life and their respective bringers of life. No, this is not an ode to a special love of family; I was really, really tired of explaining the medical school application process to everyone with my last name over and over again.

So I started writing down my explanations online – postbac program to knock out requirements, MCAT, complicated multi-stage application, interviews, second looks – and sending out links to spare myself. It’s been more than five years since my first post.

Sometime late this week, I will submit my application for residency. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’ll be applying to “match” in emergency medicine. The process is long, confusing, tortuous (in multiple definitions of the word), and culminates in Match Day. For those of you already in medicine, this post might be kind of boring. I will thus use far more GIFs than normal to keep you interested.

For everyone else, welcome to the madness that is the residency application. Continue reading

Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants

Okay I know I stole the title from a Michael Pollan book; it’ll make sense in a minute. Hang on.

When you apply to college, you write your personal statement. It should be powerful, well-written, interesting, full of your personality, and should catch the eye of the reader – and as everyone always tells you, the reader is seeing hundreds of these each day. Be spectacular. Good luck: it is the most important essay you will write in your life. Continue reading

Show Me Something

A couple of weeks ago, the program director for my postbac program sent me an email asking if I’d participate in a panel discussion for this year’s current inmates (the kids going through the wringer like I did last year) about the interview process. It dawned on me that my cohort is exactly a year removed from when we began the application process last year.

If you’ll remember from my timeline post, The Long Haul Begins, the primary med school application doesn’t even open until June. On the advice of this same program director, we were told to start our personal statements over winter break – for me, just over a year ago. Continue reading

Interview Season is Over!

After nearly three months, seven round-trip flights, two experiences on Amtrak, and an exhausting number of hours in airports and security lines, my interview cycle is over. I can triumphantly report that, regardless of where or to how few schools I gain admission, I have no idea where I want to be, what I want to study, or how I want to learn.

Oh, if you stop by my desk at work, I’ve arrayed my little collection of name tags (yes, I saved every one, because that’s what narcissists with OCD do) into groupings that ostensibly represent my preferences and rankings, but I change it every day. So I really do have no idea. Continue reading

The Illusion of Choice

As a high school senior, I applied to six colleges. Had I chosen my own application path, I would have applied to two, maybe three schools, but my parents insisted.

Those two schools were similar in almost every way. Both were located in the South. Both were large state schools at the top of the academic totem pole. Both had strong sports programs and both had beautiful campuses.

(In case you haven’t figured it out, the two schools were the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina.)

I made my final decision, two days before the deadline, on three factors:

  1. School color
  2. Girl hotness
  3. Prevailing fashion sense.

Continue reading