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Bitter and confused-need help

sab

Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 22, 2003
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I am one of the <10% of usmg that did not match and am just not sure how everything will eventually shake out. I read the earlier post titled my journey into anesthesia and found some help, but I still have questions.

I think a major factor in my not matching was taking step 2 late (March 12) combined with a low step one (84). I also should have ranked more places, but I didn't want to match there-hindsight 20/20.

I was able to scramble into a preliminary medicine year at my school and the PD knows I want to/will leave at the end of intern year. My questions are:

How will I have time to interview?-will it be with my vacation time? I guess I can sign up with ERAS again but just apply to advanced positions, correct?

Should I try to do a two week elective at an away school before the end of my fourth year to get a letter, or will the letters have to come from my IM PD and attendings?

I realize it is probably pointless to contact any PD's until after my step 2 is in. I was already concerned I may not have been a great candidate on paper, which was obviously confirmed during the match process. I just don't really understand what I will be able to do to get in a program with such a hectic year coming up- BTW I hate IM but know that it will be better for anesthesia.

All this match bs just makes me bitter and almost not even want to be a doctor anymore. But what the hell can you do with a 125 grand debt staring you in the face?

sorry to bring negative vibes, I guess right now I just can't see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks for any help.
 

UTSouthwestern

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Moderator Emeritus
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15+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2003
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sab, I have heard many situations such as yours. My advice to you would be to throw your efforts into becoming a stellar resident during your preliminary year. Yes, the majority of your interviews will come on days off, post-call days, and vacation unless your PD is generous.

If you can do an away rotation still, then do one and get good LOR's. In fact, get GREAT ones. Show the program you are willing to go the extra mile. Be sure to get LOR's from your internship. Shine in the areas that anesthesia programs will put weight on: Cardiology, Pulmonology, and Intensive Care.

Don't view this as the end of the world. Use it to motivate you to prove to yourself that you should have matched this year. Next year you can look at both CA-1 and categorical spots. You don't necessarily have to limit yourself to just PGY-2/CA-1 spots. I know of two people in our IM department who applied to anesthesiology PGY-1 positions and either finished their IM residency in the year that would have been their PGY-1 anesthesia year or just took a year off and then went into the CA-1 year the following year.

Don't be discouraged. You can still get into anesthesiology or any other field you may want to pursue. It will take a lot of effort that you may feel is not worth pursuing but if you are truly interested in anesthesiology, your extra efforts will be rewarded with a spot in anesthesiology and you will have developed a sense of urgency that may make you a superior anesthesiology resident. I have some perspective in that one of our senior residents was in a similar situation and had to really push himself during his internship to get his interviews done as well as learn his IM well. He leaves as one of our best residents with among the highest scores in the nation on the in-training examination.

You can follow the same path but you HAVE TO BE PERSISTENT, FOCUS ON YOUR GOAL, AND DON'T BE DISCOURAGED. The difference between being a happy, enthusiastic doctor and a miserable, functional one will depend on what you do from this moment on. You still have complete control of your destiny. You just have to put in a little extra work to see it to fruition.

Excel in your internship, get great letters of recommendation, and show the programs that you interview at that you are a sharp, focused doctor who won't just sit on his/her laurels once you get into a program.

You can try contacting the "less desirable" programs now. You may get in. I would suggest not selling yourself short and giving yourself a chance to get into a better program, even if it means a year later. You can always try Shreveport, El Paso (I think this program is on suspension), etc. next year as well.

Good luck with your endeavors!
 
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Krony

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Nov 24, 2002
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I don't have much to add to the topic - I just wanted to compliment UTSouthwestern on such an encouraging and uplifting post. I'm just an M1 and of course the situation doesn't apply to me, but UT's post still makes me want to go out there and kick some ass...in a good way.
 

UTSouthwestern

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Thanks for the thoughts Krony. In my not so distant past, I almost sold myself short on getting into medical school. I wanted to be a doctor, but didn't think I would be good enough and so I pursued alternative professions ranging from radio DJ to police officer. If a friend of mine hadn't likewise encouraged me to continue to pursue my dreams, I might have ended up in a completely different profession and definitely with the thought of "what if I had . . . ."

That person made a tremendous impact on my life and I would never refuse to help anyone in a similar situation/crisis.
 

docmojo

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Oct 19, 2003
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If you want it you'll strive for it and you'll receive it. The way you feel now is the way many USIMG's and FMG's felt when they did not get into a US medical school.

Perservering is not the easiest path. However, it is the most satisfying.

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night. Edgar Allen Poe

Good Luck!
 
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