Why does everything in my home state have to be so competitive? I'm taking my boards on Tuesday, and judging from my last NBME it's gonna be sufficient, but not spectacular. Probably not enough for a coveted Californian residency programme. So after 4 years of medical school in Ohio, it'll probably be 4 more years (I'm interested in OB/GYN) in exile, 8 years of wandering in the desert. I'm grateful to Ohio, but it's not my home, and it never can be. So depressing. I have 2 cats that I left back home in L.A. with my parents. They'll probably be dead by the time I get back (cats live ~15 years?) I've been told that statistically most doctors practise within 50 miles (or was it 100?) of where they do their residency. I have a bad feeling if I don't get into a Californian residency, I will never go back. Now you may say, "nobody can stop you after you finish residency", but it doesn't have to be someone "stopping" you. It may get a job offer I "can't" refuse, I may fall in love with a girl who has strong ties to the Midwest and won't leave, or any number of other "entanglements" that will cause my exile to be permanent. Then at my retirement party, I will reminisce of my earlier life in California, and about how I "somehow" ended up living in [fill in non-West coast state]. Sorry, this thread is admittedly a bit stupid, I'm just really depressed about it right now and needed to vent. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.