Life as a 4th year medical student

I’m about to finish medical school! It’s been a long road. 2.5 years in Grenada (including Foundations) and 2 years in New York doing clinicals. Unfortunately SGU is no longer affiliated with Methodist Hospital, so I wasn’t allowed to do my 4th year rotations there. By the end of 3rd year, most the student realized that Methodist Hospital would no longer be an option for 4th year so we all ran to Brooklyn Hospital to finish our clinicals.

A lot has happened since my last post. I took Step 2 CS and Step 2 CK and fortunately I passed both! The Step 2 CS is a clinical skills exam that only takes place in certain locations throughout the US. I took mine in Chicago, but many New Yorkers easily take their’s in Philadelphia. The Step 2 CS was very similar to the OSCE’s in Grenada. I definitely think that SGU prepared us well for this exam (if only I had paid more attention during CPD). One of the most helpful things I did before Step 2 CS was find a study partner to go through all the cases in the First Aid Step 2 CS book, and practice writing notes on the official Step 2 CS site. Other than that, I felt like no other preparation was needed.

Step 2 CK was a miserable experience. Just like Step 1, I found myself double guessing all my answers and wondering if I had learned anything in the past year. After my rotations, I had about 2 weeks to study before the big day. Overall, the exam went by fast, and a lot of the material were things I learned at some point during my clinical training or in UWorld. With that being said, it was still a difficult exam that takes a lot of preparation. It’s was a huge relief to be done with exams for awhile. I found out in mid-September that I had passed Step 2 CK, and I could now prepare for THE MATCH!

I began my 4th year of med school with a Family Medicine rotation at Brooklyn Hospital. I didn’t have the opportunity to do Family Medicine during my 3rd year, and I realized if I wanted to apply to a Family Medicine residency, then I better get a letter. I started my Family Medicine rotation in the middle of September hoping that I could get a letter of recommendation ASAP. Since residency applications were due on September 15th, I knew that gave me little time before programs started reading my application. In addition, I found that many Family Medicine Programs wouldn’t even let you apply if you didn’t have a letter of recommendation from a Family Medicine physician. It seemed that my chances of getting a good letter quick were grim, so I also decided to apply to some Internal Medicine programs as a backup.

4th year is a compelete blur. All your time from October-February is spent travelling and preparing for residency. A couple weeks after applying to residency, I started getting emails for interviews. I thought about how I was going to schedule west coast interviews all at the same time, but all my planning went out the window as I found that spots get filled up fast. Overall, I decided to go to 19 interviews which in retrospect probably was way to many. I was travelling 2-3 times a week to all different places all over the US. It’s a lot of time and money (thanks parents!) My rotations during these months were easier ones as I chose rotations that would be more relaxed so I could travel to my interviews.

The interviews went by so fast. All the programs kinda mixed together after awhile. I decided to rank many places on the strength of the program (university affiliated), location, look and feel of the hospital and residents. I figured out pretty fast that I probably wouldn’t hold up very well in the snow. Some of the places I interviewed at were FREEZING. After interviews, it’s time to turn in the rank list and wait 3 weeks to see if you match. Those 3 weeks were torture. Every second I found myself thinking about whether I made a mistake somehow submitting or if I ranked the programs I liked correctly. Up until the very last minute, I didn’t know where to rank most programs since I liked so many! After 3 stressful weeks I got an email on Monday from NRMP stating I matched!

NRMP

There’s so much joy until you realize you have no idea where you matched until Friday. It’s not over yet… You spend the whole week questioning your rank list and thinking what if I get the very last program on my list! So finally Friday rolls around and I found out I matched at LSU-Shreveport Family Medicine! So I guess this California girl is moving to the South!

After all this commotion, you then realize you’re not done with medical school yet. There’s still rotations to go to and graduation to prepare for. I just finished my Radiology-Oncology rotation at Brooklyn Hospital. I learned a ton about treating cancers with RT.  It was a quick month that taught me the important of knowing the different stages of cancer and potential ways to treat each. Next, I’m finishing my time in NY in a Radiology rotation! Soon it will be time to say thank you SGU for giving me this opportunity to study medicine and make it my life! Can’t wait to move to the South and see what residency holds!

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1 Response to Life as a 4th year medical student

  1. Linda says:

    Congratulations! It’s great to see all your hard work paid off. But 19 interviews? Isn’t that overkill with hotel and flying? You must have a really supportive family.
    Any more advice for medical students?

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