Friday, February 20, 2009

The Dreaded Rank List

Residency is probably the most important period of intellectual and career development of a physician's life. And no matter what specialty you choose, it's hard. Damn hard. You work long hours for little pay, are responsible for the lives of hundreds, more likely thousands of critically ill patients, and have dozens of attending physicians constantly expecting more and more of you. And through that process, you grow, mature, and develop the confidence that you will need when the day comes when there is no one looking over your shoulder; when you have dozens of people counting on you to lead the ship, when it's your decisions that determine whether a patient lives or dies.

This Wednesday is the day that thousands of future physicians all over the country have to turn in their "rank list". This is a numbered list of where they want to go for residency, from the top to bottom. On the same day, all residencies have to put in a list of who they want to see fill their residency positions. 3 weeks later a computer spits out the "match". Like it or not, the hospital on that little computer generated sheet is your future.

Needless to say, I'm freaking out. I've already gone in and changed my list once. Before Wednesday it will happen again. What it has to come down to is where I think I will get kind of education where I will be competent and confident to manage any medical emergency or trauma that can be wheeled in the doors of my emergency department when I'm the only attending on staff in the middle of the night. I have to keep telling myself that this decision is not about location. It's not about triathlon. It's not about where the best cycling is. It's about my career. After spending 8 post-graduate years in school busting my tail to publish papers and be the best clinician I can be, I owe it to myself to find the best training opportunity to continue my education.

Damn, this is hard...

All will be revealed by the magic computer on March 19th. Unfortunately I'll be on my bike in Estero, FL... hey, I'm not in residency YET!

11 comments:

Shannon said...

Can't wait to hear what "Mr computer" sends you. I hope it's somewhere you've been praying about.

Big ass sitter said...

You've really got it right! Good luck, we will visit nomatter where you go.XXXXXOOOOOMOM

Danny Montoya said...

As always Jodi, your head is in the right place. Remember, good things happen to good people and you are one of the best ;-)

Keep us posted!!!!

Ironmed said...

Good luck Jodi! I've been following your adventures since I was a MSI and am excited to see where you end up! Glad to see you're still enjoying your last year though!

Ironmed (MSIII)
http://ironmed.sweat365.com/

Vic said...

Interesting entry, the kind of stuff that keeps us quiet followers coming back for more. With your attitude you will go far.

Marni said...

Good luck with everything! For now, enjoy your freedom on your bike! :)
-marni

Bob Almighty said...

Hope the computer is good to you.

ER med is tough and hats off to anyone that can do it.

As it is I'm considering med school via a post baccalaurate program for non-science majors any advice?....other than get a shrink ;)

Granted I'm looking at going into Orthopedic.

But in all serous good luck and I hope Mr. Computer puts you in a warm locale with a moderately slow ER, and good attendings.

Smithposts said...

My take from reading your blog (I have been stalking for a while), you will do amazing, regardless of your residency location. Hope the computer generated selection meets all of your expectations! Good luck!!

Wes said...

It's been awesome following you through this process. Very insightful! Thanks for sharing, and wishing you the best best best!! :-)

khai said...

How hard is it to just say "Denver" already? I mean come on... It ain't brain surgery here...

DaisyDuc said...

Good luck sweetie...hope it all works out as you would like!