Aug 6, 2010

Bored now...

The problem with being an intrinsic night owl the second you're deprived of an attending who would take you not showing up at a rotation until 3 PM somewhat amiss, is that you start studying late thus your study breaks come around... oh, say, now, rather than at a time where you can spend them doing anything fun.

So my Step 2 CK is in four days, and I'm trying to stay motivated, which is difficult because as noted above, I'm bored. I seem to have weaned myself off the crippling levels of stress that kept my blog so um... colorful... through my early med school days, but losing that overwhelming anxiety is also killing my drive to do things like study straight through for 48 hour blocks. That's probably a good thing. I also live in NYC with an awesome roommate, which means at any given time (even now), I *could* be forgoing this study thing entirely and replacing it with whatever the heck I want. Live music, transvestite burlesque shows, 2 AM cupcake delivery, microbrewery sampling.

But whine whine, that all ends on Tuesday and then I have some relaxation. By relaxation I mean, do a case write up in the hopes of squeezing a last minute publication under the wire, write my personal statement, and upload all my crap to ERAS because I'm a horrendous procrastinator that can only focus on one task at a time. Sometimes not even one.

Oh, though speaking of awesome NYC stuff plus night owl stuff, I'm actually taking my exam starting at 1 PM, because holy crap, that was an option. That means instead of spending the first three hours of the exam feeling shaky, exhausted, and smelling of Red Bull and fear, I can sleep until my normal hour, stroll to the testing site grabbing some tasty lunch treat along the way and be at my best when I'm actually at my best. Granted this will leave me strolling Brooklyn after dark, but for the luxury of sleeping in on board exams day, I will gladly sacrifice a maxed credit card or three to the urban jungle.

What else... I'm still in maximum amounts of love with my phone and it's letting me play with Wikipedia with enough speed and dexterity that I can study in places that aren't "in front of my computer where I'm getting foot drop from having plastic-chair ass".

That seems like a good place to end.


thuc huynh, md said...

good luck w/ step 2 ck !

Mom said...

Congratulations on a perfect 4.0 for your third year. Your dad and I are proud of you!!

Anonymous said...

I take it you haven't been accepted into any residency program as of this point in time? Tsk, tsk, your USMLE score must be too low.

Yikes, good luck with your carribean degree. And, I still believe in everything I posted on value MD: you're blog proves all of my points exactly, and the fact you're still struggling to find a residency spot (and you're American!)

thuc huynh, md said...

hi anonymous,

we can't associate which points you made on value MD unless you divulge your username there.

the match is not until march, so there's no surprise in not being accepted. your comment is pre-emptive in that regard.

good luck ishie.

thuc huynh
chief resident
caribbean graduate

Anonymous said...

She's already had three interviews thuc, besides: there's no way she's getting into path, its too competitive for IMGS.

She'd have better luck as a family med slave anyways rather than waste 10 years of her life smelling dead corpses.

thuc huynh, md said...

i must have missed some of her posts; i didnt know she's had 3 interviews. that's pretty good.

i had 5 interviews back in the day. :)

the match is still in march though so unless she gets offered a pre-match, there's no getting accepted into residency prior to the match.

word of advice about pre-matches : research the institution carefully. ask residents, attendings, students, nurses, etc. read any reviews on the internet about the program like valuemd or i have had a couple friends pre-match and then transferred out of the program because it was pretty bad or the program went under.

i agree with you anonymous that path is super competitive, esp for IMGs. but i do have three friends from my carib school in path residencies. so there's always hope.

i dont know about that family medicine slave vs dead corpses comment. i dont feel like a slave but alot of people do. it's what you make of it, i suppose. and autopsy is just one facet of pathology. but i see what you mean.

Anonymous said...

I was going to go to St. George medical, but decided to drop it at the last minute. Being a carribean med student, you need to work three times as hard as a US or Canadian Med Grad just to stay afloat and competitive.

I don't have the energy to do that, and by the dreary eyes in your photo, I take it the load is starting to hit you too.

If you're a chief resident, how do you have so much on your hands to reply so quickly to my comments on this blog?

Ishie said...

Um, much as I appreciate you coming here to crow, Anon... I'm not really sure the point you're trying to make.

If you do ever consider medical school again (and if you're not fully committed, you shouldn't), you should familiarize yourself with the interview/match process. Almost all programs participate in the match. Being an IMG is the only reason I'm actually even allowed to prematch. American grads can't. All of them have to wait until March for the match results.

I have good USMLEs and I'm a citizen, two facts that probably are contributing to my getting 23 interviews and having to cancel a number of them. Right now, I'm building a pretty solid rank list. I've had one prematch offer that I turned down.

Path, also not too competitive for IMGs. If I were going into orthopedics or derm, that might be more true, though it's been done.

Additionally, I'm going into pathology because I really like pathology (especially that whole diagnosing disease by biopsies thing since most CSI watchers just think we do autopsies). If I wanted to do FM, I'd have applied for it.

Being a Caribbean student, yes you do have to work harder than your American counterparts to distinguish yourself because you're on your second shot. Most of us know that.

If SGU isn't for you, it's great that you realized it before getting into debt and into a career that wasn't right. Why you feel the need to perpetuate things like Caribbean grads requiring a low BMI, a 3.7 GPA, and other misconceptions is beyond me, but thanks for reading, I suppose, and good luck in your future endeavors.

PS. My parents still aren't rich.

thuc huynh, md said...

hi anonymous,

dang, turning down SGU is a big deal in my opinion. they are the top 3 in the caribbean. probably the top OF the caribbean.

where are you going instead?

yea, youre right though, we carib grads do have to work harder. but my attendings have appreciated that extra effort.

about the time on my hands, check out my blog on tumblr. last night, i just posted a little blurb about being addicted to the internet!


hi ishie,

sweet job, congrats on so many interviews, and good luck!


Anonymous said...

Wow, I wish I knew you personally.23 interviews? Do you have proof of this? Is it b/c of your 4.0 GPA. Is that the reason? Did you score higher than 230 on Step 1?

I can still go to SGU, but I'm just so scared. This program isn't technically even accountable to anyone (i.e. except a third-world government) and I'm scared they'll have their way with me once I'm in the program.

It's just scaring the crap out of me. I know many others have done it, but each person has a multitude of factors/circumstances that allow them to succeed at SGU.

Throw in the uncertainty of an IMG, the possibility of scoring average USMLE scores and an average GPA, and I could be in a crap load of shit in 4 years time.

Anonymous said...

What was your GPA in your anthropolgy degree, if you don't mind sharing?

In anthropology, I take it you had to memorize, recall and "throw-up" alot of material for exams, right?

Did you study alone or with a study group?

Anonymous said...

I do know her personally, and she isn't kidding about getting 23 interview requests. She ended up turning down 6 of them, including one Ivy League. And yes, she DID score higher than 230, on both Step 1 and Step 2, using her SGU education and a LOT of hard work.

Diana L.

thuc huynh, md said...

i can understand that. i was scared too. i had never left my parents house before and then all of a sudden i was flying down to the caribbean. talk about a culture shock!

the caribbean schools do have to maintain a set of regulations in order to be listed in the WHO directory which is what many US clinical sites and residencies look for to accept students on rotation. you should definitely research a school's success and failure rates and determine the risks and benefits of going.

youre right though, you really could be in a lot of trouble in 4 years time. but the important thing to remember is that the majority of that risk lies with you, not because of the school.

study hard, work your butt off, be enthusiastic, play the game. thats what will get you into residency.

when you're in residency, everyone's equal and no one cares what school you went to.

by the way, i failed USMLE Step 1 twice, barrrrrrely passed Step 2 CK. but got into my first choice residency and became chief. weird. but happens. :)

being scared is good. keeps you going and working hard. i didn't stop being scared until ... well i still get scared sometimes. after all, we have a lot of responsibility!!

Ishie said...

I do have proof of the interviews, but nothing I'm going to be sharing online. I don't plan on alienating program directors until AFTER match day. As far as why they want me, I don't know. I have a strong application, I have a strong interest in the field with research in it, and most people seem more interested in my having a varied background. The 4.0 was only for my clinical year. I have a good GPA, but not perfect. From anthro, I had a 3.5 and not too much fact regurge. Mostly essays. I did have higher than 230 on step 1 and 2 without Kaplan. My initial MCATs were a little weak.

Making any huge decision is scary, and this is one with horrific consequences if it goes awry. SGU isn't for everyone and MDs aren't for everyone. I pretty much just advise anyone not to go into medicine and if they're still dedicated, they should do it.

SGU is accountable to the licensing boards in all states. If they lose it, they lose their marketability, thus their source of income. Though yes, it is a money making institution, it is one that rides on their reputation, so their interests wind up being the same as ours. We want to do well. They need us to do well or they can't charge us a quarter million dollars.

It isn't a decision to be made lightly and it should be an informed one. You are quite right that you could wind up screwed after four years, and the match is getting more competitive. However, if you keep your record free of blemishes and you don't want to do orthopedic surgery at Johns Hopkins, the school does set you up so you can do well. Not without some kicking and screaming along the way, mind you, but still.

But it isn't easy by any means, and you do have to prove yourself. Dengue isn't going to undo anyone, but stress, fatigue, and anything but full dedication will. The pass rates are the best I've seen from the offshore schools, but it's a fight.

Good luck, as I said, in whatever you decide.

Ishie said...

Oh, and thanks thuc!!

thuc huynh, md said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your input. Again, each person is different, personally, for me, I'm a guy who's had little exposure beyond my hometown.

To make matters worse, there's also the sexual nature of SGU that also bugs me.

Unlike many people, and perhaps you as well, I've never partied with the opposite sex in my teenage and university years. I've never gone to bars, "mingled" with women/girls or even approached them for a "casual" chat.

Most students at SGU have outlets that allow them to release their sexual tension. I don't nor do I plan on having "one-nighters" suggested by some dirty slut on valuemd as it is against my values.

I think part of the reason for my inabiity to score a higher GPA in university is a result of my bottled hormones. Medical school, particularly SGU with its beach front and attractive women walking everywhere in scantily clad shorts/tank tops will make things worse for me.

My unsatisfied biological urges have had a tremendous impact on my health thus far. I've developed scathing boils on my scalp and doctors have recommended that I use Acutane but I've refused on the basis that this is such an incredibly unnatural drug, and not to mention the lawsuit being launched against it for GI side-effects.

I tried searching for a female companion to go with me to SGU, but I realized that it probably was not going to work out. It would be too complicated and might even disturb my focus.

As you can probably infer, my point is that each person is different and its not just a matter of determination or dedication as you put it. In my case, there's alot of factors to consider and that's what my valueMD post was all about.