Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 559: Happy belated turkey day!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I certainly ate my weight's worth so I'm feeling good :)

As I promised my father, I am going to try and blog more (somewhere along the lines of every day) while my father is away. It may not be interesting, but I'm going to try and make it so.

For example, tomorrow, my Phyla Diversity Collection is due. My group and I have collected different specimens to represent different phylum. For example, we have a human tooth to represent Phylum Chordata and I have a centipede to represent Phylum Annelida. Stimulating, I know. It's been pretty amusing asking people for bugs and fungus and any else of the sort.

My class is over next week! Holy cow! My how time flies.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 552: Reflections and connections

Some things don't change, like my love of rhyming. And cliches. And ridiculous analogies. And good friends who support me in my time of emotional distress. (Goodness. Could I sound any more melodramatic? It's just a rejection (or two), not the end of the world.)

Anyway, I won't lie and say I'm all better but I am trying to refocus my energy. I'm not sure what I'm refocusing it on but at this point, I have a very fatalistic and defeatist attitude towards medical school. Whatever happens happens...that may be the best way to minimize any further stinging from future rejections. I'm just completely blah about med school at this point. Whatever.

So, a family friend emailed a dean at a medical school I applied to. It was a very kind gesture but I don't know how much it will help. All he did was drop my name -- no AMCAS/identification number or anything of the sort. And of course the dean replied in the same empty manner -- "I'll be sure her application gets a good look." ...right. If you were serious, you'd ask for more information. A key identifying feature. Something.

I reiterate, I am so over this whole process. I just want to hibernate for the next five years.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 550: Simulations, rejections and fatalism

So my suture tutorial on Thursday was pretty fun. We learned how to tie knots like surgeons--you never let go of the string. The surgery residents were extremely friendly and nice. It was refreshing to meet them. We also got to use some killer simulators and I got to take out a gall bladder. Overall, the suture tutorial showed me three things.

One, I still want to be a doctor. There's a lot of cool, fun stuff you can do and the possibility of constant learning ensures constant engagement. Who could ask for more?

Two, surgeons have crazy spatial abilities! It took me a minute to acclimate myself to the simulators. I also had to use tools to move objects but I couldn't actually see the objects I was moving so I was staring at a screen and I won't lie, it was mildly difficult.

Three, my internship actually lets me do a lot. A) All the Chinese post-docs are a ton of fun. B) They let me perform surgeries (e.g. when I removed that rat's spleen) and what was so crazy was that the simulation I performed Thursday night was just like the one I actually performed a few months back on that rat. They electrocauterize out the organs and there's a lot of stapling and tying of arteries to prevent bleeding out.

In other news, I received another rejection yesterday. This one was from UCSF and that one was to be expected. I'm too lazy to type up the letter they sent me but it was more "we're sorry blah blah blah...this doesn't mean you're not qualified to be a physician blah blah blah...we hope you get in somewhere this year."

And now that my batting average is 0/3, I'm feeling incredibly resigned. I have decided to fill out the supplemental applications to a few schools that I wasn't so hot on. If nothing works out this cycle, I am looking ahead to the next application cycle and I plan on doing everything right. I am a complete believer in things happening (not necessarily for a reason) so this is how things are happening for me. I really am just so tired of selling myself and telling people why they should accept me and this and that. I'm sick of trying to find something original to say. I'm not feeling very original or intelligent or wanted at the moment. I'm not feeling much of anything to be honest. I think that's even sadder. There are no emotions, just a numbness that prevents me from actually caring anymore.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 548: Rejection #2

Dear Ms. Jessica,

Your application to the 2010 entering class has now been carefully reviewed by the Admissions Committee. It is with regret that I must inform you that we are unable to take any further action on your application.

Because of the exceptionally competitive applicant pool this year, the selection process has been unusually difficult and the Committee has had to choose only a few students from a large number of academically qualified applicants.

We greatly appreciate your interest in seeking admission to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Sr. Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Chairman, Admissions Committee


I believe this is why I don't believe in first choices. Everything I've done has been for UCLA...which just sounds absolutely insane. And childish. I didn't have a first choice for undergrad and I only sort of had one for med school. I believe this is the universe telling me to not have too many hopes.

To be honest, I'm fine. You can't change how things happen so why bother with the "why?" At this point, I'm going to need to start hedging my bets. I don't know how. But I suppose I'll start by filling out the secondaries to schools I put on the back burner.

C'est la vie.

P.S. I just realized something. I think I know someone that knows this senior associate dean. This someone was going to write me a recommendation. Ha! Well. That won't be necessary. The world is so small and so funny sometimes. (And slightly ironic and cruel.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 547: Tests galore!

I haven't wanted to worry you all but I had a few exams in the past six days. I had a lab practical on Thursday (right after the primary care post). That could have gone better. It was tough and random and it's over so that's all that counts.

I had my second exam (of three total) yesterday. That went better than the first but we'll see how much better. I don't wish to speculate but I will say I felt a little bit better about this one.

Aside from that, I've got a suture tutorial tomorrow. I can't wait!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 541: The case for primary care

I'm not even remotely accepted to med school and yet, the idea of specializing is already beginning to ebb at my periphery. A friend of mine just got into med school and he was already concerned with what specialty he was going to go into. I said, "J! You just got in. Maybe you could just revel in that wonderful fact and worry about that stuff when it comes." And then he prattled on about "there's room at the top, just nowhere to sit." (Translation: working hard doesn't let you sit down. You've got to keep going-going-going.)

And with his acceptance, came my growing fear that I wouldn't get in. Whatsmore, there's the fear that I do get in and I'm not good enough. Or, even worse, what if I get in and I rock? Will I look like a lame duck for going into primary care instead of one of the more "prestigious" medical specialties (radiology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, anesthesiology or dermatology)?

That's something I've grappled with ever since I put this crazy idea into effect. I wholeheartedly believe in my abilities and I know I could play with the big-boys. I could specialize and I could kick major butt. But, with the obvious issues we're having with our health care system, primary care is something that's on the forefront of something. Is that something change? If so, is it good-change of bad-change?

Pauline Chen's most recent article for the New York Times made a case for primary care. She brought up a lot of the issues that face primary care physicians, from what primary care physicians symbolize to the money they make. Of course, I'm way too early in the game to even consider any of this, but it is something I think about. Do I have more pride and ego than I thought? Do I actually care what other people think of me? If I do, can I overlook it all and go into what I deem to be the best medium for me to help people?

The message is's just getting lost in translation.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 540: The waiting game

After getting all down-and-out about my 7500 character word vomit (that was the secondary mentioned in the previous post), I did what I always do. I got over it and re-wrote it and sent that puppy in on Monday.

Now, I wait.

The only word I've received from med schools was that lovely rejection from Boston University.

More waiting.

Please, please, please let me hear some good news from a med school before 2010.

And the waiting continues.

My greatest fear is this will turn out like Waiting for Godot.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 533: A terrible writer

You know what I've realized? I am a terrible writer. First of all, the idea of having someone read something I've written makes me mildly nauseous. It's quite a sad thing to admit (aloud) I actually suck at something. Whatsmore, it's at something that is so freaking important right now. I'm getting way too caught up with wow-ing people and saying what I think they want to hear. I can't seem to get unfazed by everything and just write. I'm in a deep loathing phase of my life right now.

After a few friends helped me with my recent secondary application, I am convinced of two things. One, I am about as articulate as a newborn. Two, I lack any good reasoning for wanting to become a doctor.

So you all know, I am not depressed by my rejection letter. If anything, I'm glad they told me they didn't want me so I could know and not keep wondering.

All in all, I am screwed beyond belief and I'll need about eight screwdrivers to get me out of it. FUDGE.