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26th January 2006

the long wait

I find out my match results in about two and a half hours.

That is, if the internet connection stays up. It’s been extremely finicky today.

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17th January 2006

i never learn

I honestly need to stop saying that “such and such was the worst day of my life” because invaribly, something will come up that will completely and thoroughly dethrone the title. Today would be one horribly example.

I discovered today–when it struck me that today was the deadline for my rank link and it might be a good idea to confirm that the SF Match had received the packet mailed last week (overnight of course)–that the address provided to send the Rank List to, was no longer accurate. And my rank list is sitting in some unknown place in San Francisco waiting for “somebody” to pick it up.

In other words, on Match Day (Jan 26th) when everybody else finds out they’re going to the place of their dreams, I would be SOL and without a place to be next year.

I’ve faxed my rank list (thank goodness I thought to bring it with me!) to SFMatch, call my sister to verify where I sent it, called my dad and had him call SFMatch (he only got voice mail with the promise that they’d return the call at “their earliest convience”. Still haven’t heard a word from them), faxed a copy of my match list to my dad and had him fax it (in case it didn’t go through because I’m international), emailed them myself high priority, emailed my student affairs office who also emailed and called them, emailed my programs who very promptly wrote back with numbers (alas the same ones that I had) and I can’t think what else. I’ve been on the computer for hours (since about 3 in the afternoon here), trying to fix things, and waiting to hear from somebody who knows anything. There’s nothing else that I can do now. The deadline is in one hour. Either they got it, or I’m still SOL.

This has just been such a nightmarish process, the entire application thing. I thought that everything went wrong when I was applying for med school, but that was just a transcript that wasn’t declared official the first time, and a letter that arrived a little late. It’s been nothing like the constant mess that this has been. If I didn’t know that I really really wanted to do this and that it was the right decision for me, I would so give up. Because, right now, it does not feel like it’s worth the stress and heartache and continual worry.

I’m really irate at the Matching Program right now for not having any kind of accessible contact information in case something goes wrong, and for providing the wrong address in the first place. I did not invent that address–I distinctly remember printing off the address sheet and writing the address out in the post office, exactly as they had it. But of course, once (if) I hear from them, it will be labeled as my fault for not submitting the list earlier.

I just didn’t need this.

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9th January 2006

Shakespeare says it best.

This was one of my favorite quotes in college. I rediscovered it tonight.

Helena, a young physician (LOL), has been pleading her love for Bertram who is leaving the city. His mother overhears her and confronts her about her feelings. I used to have this memorized:

Then, I confess,
Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
That before you, and next unto high heaven,
I love your son.
My friends were poor, but honest; so’s my love:
Be not offended; for it hurts not him
That he is loved of me: I follow him not
By any token of presumptuous suit;
Nor would I have him till I do deserve him;
Yet never know how that desert should be.
I know I love in vain, strive against hope;
Yet in this captious and intenible sieve
I still pour in the waters of my love
And lack not to lose still: thus, Indian-like,
Religious in mine error, I adore
The sun, that looks upon his worshipper,
But knows of him no more.

~All’s Well That Ends Well~

I don’t think it takes much analysis to understand why I love it so much. 🙂

Unrelated religious stuff, mostly for me

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7th January 2006

Must be dreaming

Six days. In six days (less really), I’ll be flying to Kenya. I can’t believe it is coming so soon. I have so much that I have to do to get ready. All that stuff that I said here that I needed to do? Haven’t done yet. I haven’t even gotten my immunizations done yet (I’ve been dreading more shots. I can do just about everything else – pap smears, blood draws, whatever – but I dread shots. My muscles contract instantly when they inject the fluid and my arm aches for days. Ugh), but those should be done shortly. Luckily I don’t need series shots or anything, so I could theoretically get them done on Thursday, but I don’t like the idea of procrastinating that much! I have the next week off to get everything done, and I hope to borrow a lot of stuff from World-Travelling Guru Chris, so it should all get done.

My computer is still dead. I’m unable to get it to power up to more than a black screen now. But, by a bizarre, unexpected move, I do have a laptop to take to Kenya. I have a class that I have to take, and because I’m going to be in Kenya for the start of it, I had to go to a special orientation yesterday. I sympathized with the director over his computer difficulties, told him of my own, and somehow walked out with an old laptop that was used once upon a time in the course to take with me to Kenya. It’s slower, but it has wireless internet access, so I think I’m set.

I do have news, though. I got an email, a Very Important Email. Cut to be kind

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3rd January 2006

Happy New Year’s Day After After … er, bother that, Happy January!

I didn’t do a “last day of the year” or “year in review” post like I had intended. But then I haven’t sent out my Christmas cards yet, and I still plan on doing that. Maybe for Human Rights Day or Valentine’s Day (if you want a Christmas card for a random holiday, drop me an email at jcd1013@yahoo.com and I’ll send one to you…eventually). BTW, while I’m actually remembering AND sitting in front of my computer, thanks so much for all of the cards, guys! They really brightened up my dreary mailbox.

My New Year’s was really nice and mellow. It was down-pouring here all night, which dampened any desire for revelry. Instead, I went over to Liz’s with other friends and we all drank hot chocolate and cider, watched X-Men, and put puzzles together. A pair of our friends has this Renoir painting that is one of the most challenging puzzles I’ve ever done. After 3 hours of work, we maybe had put together 50 pieces. But it shall not conquer!

I’ve started teaching this week. Yep, you read right! I’m teaching 1st year medical students how to do a physical exam and conduct a patient interview. I love it. One of the first things that I had decided, long before choosing a specialty, was that I wanted to stay in academics and have the chance to teach medical students. It’s rather awe-inspiring to teach my 6 first years and realized that that was me, just three years ago. I often feel like I know nothing now; especially after 9 draining hours of examinations–but I’ve learned an incredible amount in medical school. I know for example, the exact format of the interview (chief complaint, history of present illness, past medical history, medications, allergies, family history, social history, review of systems), without even trying. I know what questions to ask to understand recent headaches, diarrhea, diabetes, etc. I know where to place my stethoscope and what I’m listening for. You don’t want me to be your doctor, but it’s a process and I’m not as standstill as I thought.

Maybe there is a chance that someday, I will be a real doctor. 🙂

I submit my Match list sometime in the next 7 days for residency, which has me completely worried and stressed out. Have I told you all about The Match (to be said in a voice of foreboding doom) yet? Basically, this is how my future place of residence and my job is determined. I’ve interviewed at all of the various schools, and now, I decide which schools I would want to go to. I submit a list (paper, because neurology seems completely clueless about technology), with my choices ranked. The schools submit their list, with all of the people that they would want as residents ranked and wherever the highest choice matches, that’s where I go. On January 26th, I will know where I will be spending the next 5 years of my life. Four tiny weeks away. I’m trying not to think about it.

In the meantime, I have to sort through all of my conflicting feelings and old and mushy impressions of the different schools to figure out my preferences. It’s a lot of pressure and I’m feeling very torn. I’m freaking out about moving away. By myself. From all of my family and friends that I’ve been with for nine years. To a place that, because of my busy schedule, will be lonely. I’m comfortable here (which is probably the number one reason I should go), and it’s been hard to completely convince myself to uproot myself, especially when my school here was willing to create my special combination program just for me because they loved me so much.

Well, my school just made that part of the decision easier. I got an email last week–after excited emailing everybody after I got back how Indiana was willing to share copies of the paperwork that they had submitted to create their program–with the overall message of “Julia, we don’t think we can get the paperwork done in time. Please look elsewhere.” It crushed me and really put me in a despondent mood, which I think I’m only now started to get myself out of. I’m not a very confident person on a good day and having your one “foolproof-you’re-at-least-getting-in-there” school back out damaged my already blue spirits.

So now, I’m back to square one and seven days to make up my mind. I’ll be posting some of my impressions, strengths, weaknesses of the places that I visited over the next couple of days (hopefully with pictures!), to help me sort out the confusion. If you’d rather not read my ramblings on this, let me know, and I’ll make them private. I suppose it’s more for my benefit, but my travel journals were rather sparse on details, so if you do want to know… It’s up to you.

Ack! It’s almost 2 and I need to be up early so I can go be a school marm again! What am I doing!!!

***P.S. Thanks again to everybody for their words of compassion and support last week. Knowing that you are all here for me transformed my spirits. I do know that I will never be alone when I have such good friends out there who are thinking about me.

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14th November 2005

Four years too late…

They can’t cancel Firefly! They can’t! Where can I sign a petition to keep it online??

I watched the last episode today, and almost started crying. Because that’s it. No more. That should have been a seven year series!

I am curious as to why, after seeing all the episodes, why the die hard fans were upset with Serenity? Because I do believe that Joss did a pretty good job for interpreting the series into a pretty good movie. I think (and I hate to be so unfaithful), but he probably did a better job than the X-Files creators at making a movie that fans and nonfans could enjoy.

My interview here at the U went really well today. There are reasons that I love the program here so much. The first person I met with was the program director at one of the hospitals who I’ve worked with on several occasions, so it really was just a relaxed conversation where he complimented me on all of my accomplishments (LOL!). And then the other was a doctor who had done a double residency in Medicine and Psychiatry, so he gave me some really good advice about doing a double residency, looking for the right programs, etc. He was very encouraging, and seemed to think (as do most of the doctors that I’ve talk to here) that my plans are solid ones and that I could really fit in a niche that would be worth the effort. It was nice to finally receive some positive affirmation.

I did receive two emails from the University of Iowa (the first school that I interviewed at last week), saying that they were glad to meet me and that they would love for me to “highly consider” their program, even though they are unable to create me the combination program that I wanted. I’m tempted–it’s nice to know that the interviews went better than I thought–but as nice as it sounds, they’re not going to give me the training that I really need. I hate feeling absolutely positive about my decision one minute and completely doubting myself the next.

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3rd October 2005

For better or worse

My little baby application has stretched her wings and flown away to Oakland California. Soon, she will be visiting programs in Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana, Arizona, California, New York, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Arizona, and New Hampshire before she returns home to roost in Utah. And as any mother, I am fearful and nervous as she makes this solo adventure–mostly that she will reflect well of me. 🙂 I do hope that she tells all the good stories about me.

Special big thanks to claidheamhmor, I couldn’t have done it without your help!

I still have more applications to go–this was just the neurology aspect, I still have internal medicine to do–but the next part is computerized (and fast–the processing time of the neuro app is three weeks. The IM one? About 12 hours) and completely transferable from everything that I’ve already done. So I’ll get it done this weekend and it’ll all be good.

Oh and I have to email all of these programs to let them know that I’m crazy and want to do two programs. Okay, still going to be busy. But less. And less is good.

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2nd October 2005

Residency–Personal statement help?

Well, my personal statement is finished. Mostly. I’m stuck (of course) on the last unifying sentence. I’ve emailed those who volunteered before to read/edit it, but if anybody out there in friendland has some time tonight/early tomorrow and would be willing to look over it/correct grammar mistakes/give ideas on how to conclude without sounding like I’m repeating myself, please comment with your email address and I’ll send it on. Believe me, I’ll love you forever. If you need my first born as compensation–consider it yours.

Now all I have to do is transfer my CV to the application, get my photo taken, and track down the letter of application that the Student Affairs office lost (yes, you read that right–they lost ANOTHER letter. I’m so pissed I’m seeing red. Every day, I find more of the incompetence to amaze me), and bug letter writer #3 to finish his by midafternoon and I’ll be set. I think.

The best part? This is only one of the two applications that I have to do. I really wish I hadn’t gotten so far behind, but there wasn’t much that I could do (then or now). *sigh* Maybe by this weekend, I’ll have my life again.

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26th September 2005

And it goes on and on and on…

Still hating the applications. Only more.

I’ve been really hoping that I’d be able to mail them off on Thursday, with overnight delivery, so that they’d be received by Friday. Well. I’ve only got one letter (that I know of because the Student Affairs office is run by a bunch of moronic idiots (and that’s not redundant, because believe me, they deserve every adjective of the sort I can provide) and the person who’s SOLE job for the entire year is to open up the little envelopes and put them in files and email us when we’ve received a letter … is gone on vacation. That’s right. And apparently, there’s not a single other person in the 20 people employed who can do it either. So they just pile up, and up. Did I tell you that they lost my letter last week? Yeah. So feeling the love)…. Anyway, I’m waiting for the other two. I apparently have to get a new picture to send in. And the essay is still only 300 words, when it should be closer to 900 by this time. I’ve got ideas, and I really like the first 300 words, but… I work best under stress, right?


I started a new rotation today, my “sub-intership” in internal medicine where I basically function as an intern, only my resident has to cosign everything I do. It’s already kicking my butt– I am so over my head. In three months, I’ve forgotten everything–and I’m expected to know a lot more by this point too. It took me six hours (yes, you read that right) to see one patient, write up his history and physical (H&P), discuss it with the chief resident (whom I stunned with my absolutely lac of EKG reading skills), write up the admit orders, cross out and add to my assessment/plan, discuss with the attending physician, make more orders, find resident so he can sign orders, dictate H&P, remember that I had forgotten most important order of all, add on order, talk to patient again about his home medication, add on that order, find resident again to sign orders, and finally, sign out patient to the cross-covering intern. Six hours. So much for my early afternoon that I had counted on.

My resident does happen to be one of my absolute favorite residents in the entire world–seriously, I nominated him for teaching awards because he was fantastic and half the reason that I’m thinking crazy thoughts about doing two residencies. I am crazy. Out of my freaking mind. I really hope that the end of these four weeks doesn’t change his opinion about me.

On a funny note… claidheamhmor, I had a dream about you. Or actually you and your wife, whom the only picture I’ve seen is her little user picture that she uses when she responds to you. I dreamed that you and your family were coming to the United States to move here, but your wife was coming early to scoop out the places that you wanted to visit. So I took her to see the Grand Canyon and a little cabin on the side of the cliffs that she decided that she wanted to live in. But it was flood season and she was worried that your picture was going to get wet. So the rest of the dream, I spent coming up with ideas to keep that pic dry and move it from one location to another–going all over the country, in fact. Weird, yes, I know. I don’t think that Freud would even know what to make of my dreams. I think this is the first time that I’ve dreamt of my lj friends!

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14th September 2005

tired of this

I’ve just screwed up my entire life plans.

Go me!

I give up, I just give up.

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8th September 2005

Residency applications

Things to complete before Sept. 15th:

–Personal statement, version #3
Email Dr. Digre, neurology lady and beg for letter
Email Dr. Hale, internal med doc and beg for letter
–Talk to Dr. Bale (current neurology attending) about letter, no begging needed (I think)
–Create form letter to email neurology program coordinators
–Email said program coordinators and inform them that I wish to pursue neuro/med residencies and would they be willing to create such a program? Ask to get in touch with program directors–this must be done this weekend!
–Transfer all CV information to annoying forms
–Get official college transcript
–Get medical school transcript (not sure if they’ll be diff’t)
–Get USMLE Step I scores

Deadline for everything to be turned in: Ideal: Sept. 26th. No later than: Oct. 1

I just discovered that my school’s email program allows you to see when a person reads your email. My stomach just dropped. Am extremely nervous now.

ETA: Dr. D said yes! Whoops! Hopefully her letter will be a little more positive than her evaluation! Two more to go!

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29th August 2005

Applications make me sick…

“The deadline for application for PGY-II (Post-Graduate Year) beginning July 2007 is September 15, 2005.” September 15th. As in two weeks. I’ve got no personal statement, no letters, a skeleton of an application (I think I’ve got the equivalent of the ribs completed).

I’m so screwed.

This day has been one joy after another. The neurology dept. managed to mess up my schedule once again, in which I freaked out because as it stood, I would be spending two weeks shadowing a nurse around–number 1, I’m way beyond just shadowing. Give me some patients of my own! Number 2,a nurse ain’t going to be able to write that stellar letter of recommendation that I need so badly. I actually went and confronted them about it–no tears (yay!), but they’ve (sortof) fixed my schedule. I’ll be doing child neuro for the next two weeks, and then the last two weeks in the neuro critical care unit (basically an ICU for neuro issues) with an attending.

I did get most of the day off and have spent it looking at various programs that I may want to badger into accepting me–and then finding out that many of the programs have deadlines in two weeks. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Honestly, any more of these “setbacks” and “challenges” and I’m taking it for a sign and just dropping neuro. I’ll be very happy just doing internal medicine, thank you very much–and *they* seem very happy to help me out too.

I did get to see Chris for a few hours and commiserate. The poor boy is probably even busier than I. He’s actually taking the year off to do an Public Health Master’s as well as an MBA. Last week, he started both programs and was finishing a rotation in ER (that’s why you didn’t get to meet him, Donna!) and has more papers and reading and tests than we ever had to do in medical school–and that’s saying something. I don’t envy him. Well, except for his wonderful resume that he gets out of all of it. Between my schedule and his, the next time we see each other will probably be November–just in time for me to fly for the few interviews that I get.

Having Donna (donnazita) here this past weekend was awesome. We had such a lovely time, with great food, great conversation, great sightseeing. She’s even gotten me excited about the new Goblet of Fire movie, which I thought was an impossibility! I got to show her many of my favorite haunts–she was properly impressed by the wonderfulness that is our new City Library–seriously, folks, you should all come out and visit me just to see the incredible place. There were definitely a few places that we didn’t get it, which means that she must come back soon! It made me sad to think that I might be leaving this place in just a few months. I really love my city–it’s warm, friendly, and feels like home. But there’s a good part of me that feels like I need to get away. I’ve been here for college and now med school. The dating atmosphere leaves a lot lacking *snort* and I’d love to meet new people, be in a new environment. We’ll see. I guess I should just concentrate on getting that appy completed, eh?

Would anybody out there be willing to read my two personal statements this weekend? I just need lots of people looking over them, making sure there aren’t grammar errors and that all of the ideas flow well together. Believe me, it won’t be heavy on medical-ese; in fact one of them will have part that you’ve already read before from one of my journal entries. Pretty, pretty please?

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20th July 2005

Unfortunately, not a meme…

Tell me 3 Unique Characteristics about Me.


Examples so helpfully provided by the dean’s office:

“I successfully balanced classes, clerkships and family by deciding to have a baby third year.”
“I play a mean bass in a jazz band on the weekends.”

I guess with my overachieving class, probably putting that I’m mediocre would be unique.

Bah. Bah. Bah. Have I mentioned recently how much I HATE THIS??

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2nd July 2005

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    • Books read (July-September) October 2, 2022
      July:Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal. My last of Chris Colfer’s audiobooks and his first book. Not sure that a journal really was the best format, but I’m going to miss his voice.The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA’s Double Helix. In honor of the 70 […]