How The Match Works

As I wrote in PANIC! At the ERAS, the final step in obtaining a spot in a residency program is the Match. Like I mentioned, after all the interviews everyone’s preferences – and the preferences of all of the programs – go into a big computer and get processed through some algorithm, which somehow pops out a “best match.” This process is administered by one central service, called the National Resident Matching Program, or NRMP, so they control everything from start to finish. Continue reading

Tox ‘O Clock: Carbon Monoxide

Happy holidays, everyone! This is your friendly toxicological reminder to not do stupid things like use propane heaters indoors, grill inside, or leave your oven range on for extended hours at a time. Why, might you ask, is this a bad idea?

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The answer is the subject of today’s Tox ‘O Clock discussion: carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning! We are talking about this for two reasons: first, because a spike in poisonings from this – because it’s cold, and families are together – is as predictable around the holidays as incessant Christmas music at the mall, jokes about me being a Grinch, and my people going to the movies and eating Chinese food on Christmas day itself. Continue reading

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

PANIC! At the ERAS

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

“Is There A Doctor On The Plane?”

I was all set to write a wrap-up of my month abroad before starting on another away rotation. I had a wonderful time, learned an incredible amount of information that I could never have obtained in the States, and got to spend a month exploring a wholly different culture. It was great. I was jazzed to write about it.

And then I flew home. Continue reading

Working with Stanley Goodspeed

Warning: this post is profoundly nerdy. However, if you caught the title reference, you’ll enjoy it anyway.

In June, I was supposed to take this great class/clinical elective hybrid that focused on trauma and the body’s response to “injury.” Due to a variety of reasons, though (#1 being that the class had a reputation for being way too hard for a burnt-out third year student like me) the section didn’t meet minimum enrollment and was canceled. I was left scrambling for something to do. Continue reading

Away Rotations

One of the coolest parts about medical school is the ability to go to other schools, hospitals, or institutions to see what medicine is like at their house – to explore a different area of the country, a hospital where you want to match, or just to take a trip. Typically we’ll do this during the tail end of third year and early fourth year (i.e., right now) before residency applications go out in September. I’m doing two – one this month and another in the fall. 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