Saturday, January 31, 2015

Summa Fu

I sometimes forget how powerful my TAC education is. Then someone asks a "hard" question on reddit, and I can answer it. Thanks, God. Thanks, St. Thomas. Thanks, mom and dad. Thanks, TAC.

P.S. I'm working on posting all the backlogged posts since November. Sorry about that.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Year of 25 Beds

In the summer between college and medical school I slept in 12 different beds. This academic year (between away rotations, interviews, and two conferences), I will beat that record. Drum roll please...

  1. A convent in Houston, TX
  2. A hotel in Denver, CO
  3. Two beds in the same house in Annandale, VA
  4. (See above)
  5. An apartment in Dallas, TX
  6. A hotel in Cincinnati, OH
  7. Two different houses in St. Louis, MO
  8. (See above)
  9. A house in Dallas, TX
  10. A hotel in Orlando, FL
  11. A house in Omaha, NE
  12. A hostel (yes, hostel) in Buffalo, NY
  13. A hotel in Temple, TX
  14. A couch in an apartment in Houston, TX
  15. A bed in the same apartment in Houston, TX
  16. Two hotels in Washington, D.C.
  17. (See above)
  18. A hotel in Winston-Salem, NC
  19. A retreat house in Lake Dallas, TX
  20. A hotel in Pittsburgh, PA
  21. A house in College Station, TX
  22. Four beds in the same lakehouse in Council Bluffs, IO (this is where I and other med students stayed during EP1 and EP2 for our Creighton and napro training as medical consultants; email me if you're also a student interested in doing the same.)
  23. (See above)
  24. (See above)
  25. (See above. I didn't try to do this, that's just how it worked out!)
And after the academic year is over, I'll be in the Bronx at a convent and at a retreat house in Missouri. Crazy!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Residencies' Reactions to My Choices

I interviewed for twelve categorical (four-year) OB/GYN positions at programs all over the country. Overall, most of them received my choices (not to prescribe, sterilize primarily, or abort) well. This surprised me. In retrospect, I think this largely had to do with careful selection of the programs and the fact that I was a very, very good applicant. (I scored in the 96th percentile on STEP 1 and the 80th percentile on STEP 2 CK, and most OB/GYn applicants in last year's match floated just under the 50th.)

Some programs challenged me, though. I was told at one program that my counseling on contraceptives would have to be observed and checked off (not usually a skill that needs to be observed and checked off), so that the program director could be sure I was being unbiased and using evidence to talk about NFP. I was told at another that I couldn't teach NFP in the clinic because it would be (to paraphrase) a disservice to the women of a certain demographic (poor women with less education). A third program said that my choices would not be compatible with what they saw as mandatory for the education of an OB/GYN (I won't be ranking them).

Everyone was polite. But it was clear in those three settings that what I am choosing to do is not an
equivalent alternative to mainstream gynecology.

There were other programs that were off-putting because of their liberal cultures. The program where "every" resident had "their" IUD and carried little Mirena samples on their ID badges to show to patients. The program where the endearing favorite professor was dear because he was the "gay friend" to all the residents, and heroically did sex-change surgeries. And finally, the Catholic hospital that repeatedly reassured us that the ERDs "do not get in the way of providing what your patients need."

But I'm happy to say that I have a strong top six programs, at any of which I would be happy. Truth be told, I'd be happy to be an OB/GYN at any of the programs I'm ranking, so I'm very grateful to God that he made all this possible!