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!

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