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Oh, California...

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Messerschmitts, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    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.
     
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  3. Ashers

    Ashers Bacteria? Don't exist.
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    I feel the same. I'm hoping to go to CA (or at least somewhere warmer than WI) for residency. At least I get to do an away rotation there (15 years after my family left; and at at the program where my dad trained -- hoping for a legacy). Try to do aways there your 4th year; I've been told it can help.

    One of my cats lived to be 17, so there's hope for a few more years. =)
     
  4. SoCuteMD

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    1) Ob/gyn isn't all that competitive - even in CA
    2) A BUNCH of students from my school matched back in Cali despite having gone to school elsewhere - some had fantastic board scores, some had good board scores, some had not-so-good scores. It was more of a challenge for those with not-so-good scores - but they managed!
    3) What's the damage on the NBME?
     
  5. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    Ha ha, good to hear about your cat's long life. Hang on, Coltrane and Meowth, I'm coming back for you guys someday! :p (Yes, those are their names) It just wasn't practical to take them along when I was making the 4.5 day drive from Los Angeles to Cincinnati.

    It's not all about the cats, of course ha ha! I am very close to my parents and little brother (he's 12) and I don't want to be so far from them. All my ties are to California.

    I am indeed going to try to do an away rotation. I wonder if I should do it at a dream school (like UCSF or UCLA) or I should do it at a less prestigious programme that I would have a better chance at getting in?
     
  6. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    I got around the national average. Depending on my luck on Tuesday, it may be a bit above or a bit below, but it won't be anything to brag to UCSF about. That's encouraging news from your school. I know OB/GYN isn't particularly competitive, but I'm worried because it seems each OB/GYN programme in California has only 4-6 spots. It's very easy for there to be 4 other applicants who were educated in a Californian medical school to beat me out. But I guess at this point there is no point mulling about it. Que sera sera, right?
     
  7. Ashers

    Ashers Bacteria? Don't exist.
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    Nice cat names. My 17 year old cat was Black Velvet (the people at the Orange County Fair Grounds gave her to us in a Black Velvet Canadian Whiskey box).

    I'm doing my away at UCI. I've heard from different sources -- it doesn't matter where you do the rotation, as long as it's in the geographic area, and go to a school where you want to go. (For me personally, I've been told I'm wasting my away because CA doesn't take anyone not from CA.)

    Edit: Good luck on step 1.
     
  8. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    Thanks for the luck! Oh, you're not a CA exile? Are you a WI native then? If you are I bet your family wants you to stay in WI :p
     
  9. Ashers

    Ashers Bacteria? Don't exist.
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    NOT from WI. It's a bit confusing where I'm from.

    Born in Orange County and lived there til I was 12. My family moved to HI. My parents are leaving HI for some as of yet undetermined west coast state. CA is the state that I've spent the most time in (I left HI for college and med school).

    My adviser told me not to APPLY or do the rotation (told me it's a wasted rotation) at my dad's program because it's a CA school, even though it's my dad's program; he knows faculty members and former faculty members, and he used to be one of the attendings at a private hospital with which they are associated. I contacted one of his friends on the faculty and was told that historically, the program takes >50% OOS applicants. I'll be applying for ortho.

    Edit: I just realized that that last part sounded kinda deserving. Not that; my adviser's swung between saying connections do matter and connections don't matter. Bit of a sore spot right now. And I really would like to go back to CA (and if not CA, somewhere west, but living in Orange County again would be great).
     
    #8 Ashers, Jun 15, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  10. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    Man, I'd hate to be told to "not bother". Who is your adviser to say? Sure it's probably difficult and the odds are against us, but no harm in trying. And with your dad's connexions I bet you have a better shot than most in your position. And I'm with you, anywhere on the west coast is fine by me. I would love to live in Seattle or Portland. I wouldn't be as close to my folks, but the weather will be nice, and I"ll get to see the ocean ;-) My dream location is the Bay Area. I did undergrad at UC Berkeley and absolutely fell in love with San Francisco Bay Area. Unfortunately, it seems everyone else does too :-( The list of things I would not do to live in the Bay Area is a very short list! :p But then I cheer myself up thinking, "Hey, if bus drivers and janitors can live in the Bay Area, I can live there someday too." I'm determined to make it happen eventually, but I'd rather it be sooner than later.

    On a side note I am grateful for my exile in so much as it has given me tremendous appreciation for my home state. You don't truly learn to appreciate something until you lose it. That goes for ex-girlfriends, personal possessions, and home states. Like most Californians I completely took my state for granted growing up there. If I can just get back, I will get on my knees and thank the Lords of Kobol for each day I get to live under the sun of the Golden State. It's like how when people who are stranded in the wilderness for months are finally rescued, each bite of food tastes better and more flavourful, each creature comfort more wonderful. California, I will appreciate you so much when you let me back in!
     
    #9 Messerschmitts, Jun 15, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  11. sendwich

    sendwich you rock!
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    fellow californian here. I"m also doing everything I can to go back. How difficult is it for those of us going to medschool OOS to get back in? I've been to a few graduations already and it seems like most cali people going back are "resigning" to primary care areas (ie IM, peds, FM). Not to be discouraging, but a few friends going into non-PC have told me that unless you're the cream of the crop, don't think about going back cali b/c it's next to impossible. I dont want to have to decide between going back to cali for residency vs giving myself "PC and nothing else" mentality but it's definitely something to think about.

    any thoughts?
     
  12. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    I've heard that too. Although to be fair, if you're interested in something like derm or ophtho, you really don't have any option to be choosey about where you go, getting in is hard enough. But it sucks that we are basically being told where in the country we are "good enough" or smart enough to live and work in.

    You know what's funny? I was seriously considering applying only to CA and voluntarily scrambling for any CA residency in any field if I didn't match. I now think that's a stupid strategy, but there are certain days I feel like I'd rather be a family doctor in Los Angeles (and nothing wrong with FM, I actually like FM a lot) than be any other kind of doctor in the Midwest. Ultimately I am hoping that the combination of me being a male going into OB/GYN and the fact that OB/GYN is not a particularly competitive field will somehow get me through, but I'm mentally preparing myself for the worst. I'm telling you, the Midwest has very strong gravity, once you get sucked in here it's very difficult to leave. Even my classmates who are natives agree with this. (Some of them want to leave too! [but they have resigned that they probably never will]).

    So where are you exiled right now, fellow expatriate?
     
  13. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology
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    I have a family friend doing his ER residency in the Inland Empire after going to med school in Philly. So there is hope!
     
  14. 78222

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    I'm actually considering that myself. There are 8 EM programs in CA and really, thats about the only place I want to be. I dont think I can stand another 3+ years in the South or midwest.
     
  15. sendwich

    sendwich you rock!
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    the midwest is hard to leave? you're kidding, right? i'm out in the midwest as well. it's not bad but cali is definitely WAY better!! :)
     
  16. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    Ha ha, I think you misunderstood what I said. I want to leave SO BAD, but it's difficult to leave because powerful forces outside of your control tends to make it impossible to leave. For me it's career related (can't get into residency back in Cali), for natives it's often family related. Whatever it is, it's like a black hole, people end up here for some reason meaning for it to be temporary, but end up being "stuck" here. It's very sticky, difficult to extricate oneself and leave.
     
  17. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    Ditto. Again, grateful to the state for taking me, and don't mean to offend any natives, but if I have to spend a total of 8 years out here I may just have to jump into the Ohio River.
     
  18. Medikit

    Medikit Plastic Bag Middle Class
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    I let California go. Maybe I'll come back, maybe I won't, but I can always visit.
     
  19. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    Ha ha unfortunately I can't let it go. It's all I dream about.
     
  20. rhetoric

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    I'm a New Englander who has no ties to Cali whatsoever. But I like the vibe I get from UCLA, which has encouraged me to look at other programs - UCSF, Stanford, etc. Apart from trying to schedule an away elective there (easier said than done), is there anything y'all think I might be able to do to boost my chances of matching in California for Emergency Med? :luck:
     
  21. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    Hey there! Ha ha, are you sure you wouldn't like to stay in New England? Your mom would miss you, and you'd miss the changing of the seasons! Ha ha ha sorry for being evil. I think it's gonna be real tough no matter what you do, but I've heard away rotation is a good place to start. Unfortunately we all have to compete with each other. People from California want to stay there. Lucky people who went to California for med school don't want to leave. Californians who got exiled for medical school (like me) want to come home. And people like you (who didn't go to Cali for med school, and are not from Cali) just want to see what the fuss is about. Our state is way too awesome.
     
  22. sendwich

    sendwich you rock!
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    my sentiments exactly. counting down the days! (more like years) ha ha
     
  23. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    My FM senior resident did this. He only applied to CA EM programs, failed to match, and scrambled into FM. He's totally happy with it, though. :)
     
  24. 78222

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    Well, I may end up applying to both EM and IM residencies. Getting a CA residency is really important to me. Location is key, I really don't know if I can do anyother 3+ years somewhere I dont want to be.

    Any idea what kind of board scores your resident had?
     
  25. DocNickRiviera

    DocNickRiviera Junior Member
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    Just a random point... I was fairly certain Dr. Evil went to six years of evil medical school... I could be mistaken.
     
  26. Strength&Speed

    Strength&Speed Need more speed......
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    I admit I don't totally get the Californian obsession. I give you the weather is pretty nice and the babes are hot. But it's expensive, traffic is a bitch, and many of the people are superficial blowhards. (not u guys, of course. :)

    i did interview there for one of my spots and the guy was asking me why I wanted to come to California like he had 10 million dollars in his briefcase and I was trying to get at it. It was kind of a turnoff. But that didn't change the fact I gave him fellatio to get the spot.
     
  27. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    If giving fellatio could guarantee a spot in the Bay Area or LA area, I would get down on my knees...ha ha ha half-joke.

    And yes, it's the weather.
     
  28. 78222

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    Weather+Ocean+Variety=Awesome
     
  29. hb2998

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    By the time I graduate medschool I would've been in a relationship for 12 years. My GF can't leave California (entertainment related career). I guess its gonna be a permanent long distance relationship +pity+.
     
  30. PeepshowJohnny

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    I have to say, all this "Midwest sucks, I miss Cali" just encourages Midwesterns to apply for your coveted med school and residency spots to see what all the fuss is about.
     
  31. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic
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    Florida?
     
  32. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology
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    Nice place but too flat.
     
  33. 78222

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    Well, aside from the fact that Florida sucks in general and is full of crazy retirees with Oldsmobiles (sorry Floridians), i'm addicted to surfing and basically the only two places in the US with good surf and tolerable weather are CA and HI. So unless I want to go another 3+ years without surf, it's gotta be CA for me. Surfing certainly isn't the only reason, but if I said it wasn't important, I'd be lying.
     
  34. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic
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    Have you ever been to the west coast of Florida? Surfing is huge there!

    But you guys keep fighting for your Cali spots, we'll just keep our year-long sunshine, 65-70 degree winters, and green lush vegetation

    :cool:
     
  35. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology
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    Eh hm, we have pretty much year long sunshine minus the humidity/hurricanes. But anyways, I think Florida is awesome too, it would be my next top location after Cali to do my residency. I just think I'm going to be really wanting to be in a warm place after spending 4 winters in the upper midwest great lakes region.
     
  36. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    You can keep your humidity, hurricanes, and mosquitoes! I have no interest in Florida. I don't have any desire for another hot humid place with a bunch of mosquitoes. I was born in Taiwan, I've already done that.
     
  37. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    I think the secret was out a long time ago :-( Nobody says the Midwest sucks. (Well, not publically and not around our Midwestern classmates, at least :p) It's just that we're Californians, not Midwesterners. CA is home. Midwest is not home. However, thankfully most of my Midwestern classmates appear to have so many familial and personal/relationship entanglements that they would never apply to any spots outside of the Midwest. Excellent for me.

    Nevertheless, one of the M.D./Ph.Ds in our schools just matched into UCLA for residency, and proceeded promptly to break up with his Cincinnati girlfriend. "See ya".
     
  38. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic
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    Keep your earthquakes, rockslides, and electrical problems nice and warm for the next time I'm out there.
     
  39. Foghorn

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    UCLA OB/GYN takes anywhere from 8 to 11 first year residents and one or two fellows each year. That's the inside track I have from the senior HR accountant for the department.
     
  40. You can also just look at their listing of residents on their website:

    http://www.uclaobgyn.com/academics/residents

    Looks like there are currently 10 interns.
     
  41. Goober

    Goober Senior Member
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    OB/GYN is very easy to match into. There are many community programs- apply to them all. Average applicant from an allopathic school should have no problems matching.

    But as for the California thing. I grew up in Southern Cal. I thought it was the best place in the world. My whole goal in my 20s was to make it back to California. I went to medschool in the midwest. I could not match in residency there. I finally made it back during fellowship. I worked in Cali for 3 years and then left. There are many things that are completely different that you experience as an adult compared to what you go through as a kid.

    1. Housing prices extremely high for the places I wanted to live.

    2. Traffic- never really had to deal with it growing up. Dealing with it every day was another story.

    3. Income- low compared to the rest of the country.

    4. In general physician groups in my specialty were more ruthless and too many screwjobs on the path to partnership.
     
  42. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    I understand your points, and it is possible that later in my life I will see things differently. However, things that cannot change are the fact that my entire extended family is in California, and I am loathe to be forced to live 2000+ miles from them for the rest of my life.

    Also, right now I feel like living in a large house with a big income still kind of sucks if you live in a geographic location that you're not satisfied with. Having the ocean to look at, mild 60F winters, and the convenience of 3 Chinese supermarkets within a 5 mile radius are things that money cannot buy. What I wouldn't give for a Ranch 99 or some good Boba milk tea in Cincinnati. At the current point in my life I feel like I would endure just about any paycut to enjoy that. But again I admit the points you bring up are valid, and maybe in time I will share them, but for now, I respectfully disagree :p
     
  43. medstudentx

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    Yep, the allure of California for Asians in particular is really strong. For Asian Americans, California is almost like nirvana. I guess that's why Real Estate prices are so high out there.... that's an association I see often.... places with a lot of hard working, well educated asians tend to have high real estate prices. In a lot (but not all) of the survey's I've seen of the most expensive cities to live in globally, Asian cities are usually well represented.
     
    #42 medstudentx, Jun 22, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2008
  44. medstudentx

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    Two huge difference between California and Florida are demographics and terrain.

    First, the Asian population in Florida is weak. Not many Asians in Florida. So right there, Florida is not attractive for that segment of the population.

    As far as terrain goes, as another poster mentioned, Florida is EXTREMELY flat. My brother has a house in Miami so I know. And when I say flat, I mean flat. The terrain in Miami is about as flat as the ocean..... Seriously, within my first few days in Miami, I tried to look as far as possible down the horizon as possible attempting to see ANY hills or mountains. I could not find any. Its that flat.

    And when you notice how damn flat Florida is you begin to understand why Floridians freak out over hurricanes.... because a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane going through Florida is like a bull in a china shop. There are no hills or mountains to slow down or buffer the hurricane.

    Florida's flat terrain is in total contrast to Cali's terrain, which (as the result of millenia worth of tectonic shifts) is varied and beautiful.

    Florida's flat terrain (and again, I'm talking flat as the ocean) makes driving there relatively boring. In contrast driving in California (aside from the crappy traffic near the big cities) is extremely fun. When I was out working in Northern Cali, I used to take lunchtime drives on interstate 680 just for fun.... where I worked, even during that time, the traffic was light. And the interstate, with 4-5 lanes rolled, gently in and out of the hills. It was a joy to drive on. A few times during lunch I did 120mph on the interstate....it was soooooo much fun (on that section of interstate there were hardly any cops).

    That's just my 2 cents.
     
    #43 medstudentx, Jun 22, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2008
  45. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    Not sure. He did go to a CA med school (Drew/UCLA).
     
  46. Re3iRtH

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    Well, Moscow is probably the 1st or 2nd most expensive city to live in,
    and its not an "asian city", at all.
     
  47. medstudentx

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    Sure, I think I read the same survey (fortune magazine?).

    But I never said all the most expensive cities were Asian. I just said in some (again, not all) of the surveys I've see over the years, Asian cities were well represented.....well represented as in there were at least 4-5 cities from asia in the top 10.

    Again, this was true in only some of the surveys I've seen over the years. The latest one I read from Fortune magazine (i think that was the source) only had 1-2 asian cities if i remember correctly. but these surveys, they use get their information from different sources and they might vary in other ways so the results might be different depending on who does the survey.
     
    #46 medstudentx, Jun 22, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2008
  48. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    Dude, everyone with the Asian cities being expensive or Florida being flat...I just wanted some boba milk tea :p
     
  49. I miss good boba iced tea as well. :(
     
  50. Goober

    Goober Senior Member
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    Actually I am Asian as well and I went to a med school with a small Asian student body and the city was even worse. Believe me I completely understand. It was weird, the Asians that grew up in the midwest outside of may be Chicago, were really uncomfortable around other Asians especially the females. I can still remember patient's complimenting me on my English. Hello what century is this again? I seriously think they were expecting Long Duk Dong or something.

    I applied to a competitive specialty and ended up in the midwest again.
    There were 3 asian residents out of 28 in the entire residency program. One time we all happen to be at the same place one time on call. The fellow who was on call as junior attending comes in and looks around and makes a face, "I just walked into Chinatown." Can you imagine if there were 3 black residents and he came in and said, "I just walked into the ghetto."

    Anyways since you are set on your plan-besides applying to the all the California programs I would apply to the following backups:

    University of Hawaii- plenty of Asians great weather.
    Programs in Las Vegas (I think they have an OB/GYN residency) and Phoenix. These have decent size Asia populations and decent weather. Plus both are close to California so you could fly back in an hour or drive in 5-6 hrs.

    Outside of this the only warm weather city that has a large Asian population is probably Houston.

    That's my two bits.

    BTW I read your student profile on MDapplicants- wow I can't believe you didn't get into a Cali school with your grades and MCAT scores from UCB!
     
  51. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    I glanced at your MDApplicants profile after Goober mentioned it. I saw you listed Tzu Chi Buddhist Community Service/Volunteer club. Are you Taiwanese? I know Tzu Chi is a big organization in Taiwan (they run the hospital in the town I lived in).
     

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