Oct 13, 2010

Success is... expensive

Hi all, it's your regularly absentee blogger again, stumbling from the hours-crunch of "trying to have a night job" to "partying for fourth year". Plus there's the whole: "I don't want residency directors to figure out who I am, spend the next week reading this blog from start to finish because they have nothing else to do and then figure I'm too unprofessional to ever give a job in a desirable location, ie, the place in the middle of the Venn diagram that encompasses "places close to a large body of water" with "places where cockroaches can't fly". Or something.

But my title... I'm getting interviews! Wahoo!!! In many different places!! Wahoo! Where I have to fly to... um.. wahoo... during scheduled clinical rotations... hmmm... hope they don't mind that... in the middle of the holiday season... ooh... off my last loan check, which is supposed to last me until July... ergh... hurk.

No, it's exciting though. It really is. I'm actually applying for a job as a doctor. Which is really frigging bizarre, and I feel like the gap between my position and the residents is shrinking. When I started my third year rotations, I was scared of interns. Little things keep emphasizing to me that it's next year. Before next season clears up this season's story arc on True Blood? Doctor. Before my lease is up? Doctor. Half the stuff I receive through my school account is addressed to "Doctor", because, eh, close enough. I even played the doctor card to get my stuff back at one point, because I figure if an airline loses belongings that have a stethoscope and a white coat in them, it's fair game.

And it's a title change thing. Since I'm fundamentally afraid of marriage, I never really thought about the Miss/Ms/Mrs transition, but once I get this degree, I get "Dr" before my last name for the rest of my life, even if I spend the rest of my life selling Amway. It's extremely weird.

Meanwhile, I spent yesterday in conference, teaching me a number of things.

1. Trapping medical students in conference while you spend an hour talking about the hospital's financial restructuring has become an obsolete form of torture due to the invention of the internet phone. I never got a chance to read Crime and Punishment in high school, and it's actually pretty darn good. My colleagues seem to equally be enjoying video games, Facebook, email, and a USMLE question prep app. The residents, similarly occupied. Seriously, no one cares.
2. Despite being in conference, "I just came in for ______ and these expletives want to get all up in my expletive" is a far more common primary patient complaint than I would have expected. All I ask for in my doctor is that he not lecture me about biological clocks when I tell him I've never been pregnant. I'm easy that way.
3. Why must every conference room either be as hot as the surface of the sun or as cold as a meat locker?

One the plus side, drug company visit during conference plus radiology company visit during clinic today meant free lunches *two days in a row*. To a penniless interview-scheduling med student, this is the frigging moneyload. I also got to work with my favorite surgeon despite being out in other-Brooklyn and not being in a surgical rotation. Sweet.

Roommate and I are having an October horror-month. Paranormal Activity is freaking scary. And no, I don't believe in the paranormal, and my current favorite show has a serial killer as a protagonist. Still freaking scary.

Update: it is both wonderful and unfortunate (calorie and money-wise) that I live near the food mecca of the universe. Half the places roomie and I regularly frequent seem to be featured on the Food Network. This is going to make it very difficult to leave NYC.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ishie,

How have you managed to pay for school at SGU? Won't you be at least half a million dollars in debt by the time you finish (loans+interest)? I am really considering applying to SGU, but I am scared that I will not be bale to afford the costs... They raised the tuition by $6000, and now tuition alone is around 200K

Ishie said...

Hi there,

I've ridden almost purely on loans. I had a little built up from my jobs before school (not much) and a little help from my family where they could (mostly once I was in NYC), plus some after hours work during fourth year, though I wouldn't count on that.

I don't think quite a half million, but well over a quarter million at this point, which is kind of staggering to think about, so I largely don't.

I've found that the loans seem almost designed to deliver you to a hitching, occasionally panic-ridden end right up to the end. And stuff balances out. I lucked into a really good apartment arrangement which saves me money, but I chose clinicals in the most expensive place to generally live.

It's also a good incentive to go through without screwing around too much because with the debt I've gone into, to be a bit hackneyed, failure is not an option.

If the student loans have risen proportionately with the tuition, then it's still a staggering amount of money, but you'll have enough to get through. If they're increasing the tuition at the cost of living expenses, then that's going to be more difficult. They also have some scholarship options that may make up the difference in tuition, but check on it in advance.

Here's my primary advice though... if you have *any* doubts about this career path or any way to break into an American or Canadian path, then do not go this route, because it is a very difficult and prohibitively expensive one.

Also make sure if you are going through it, you have an extremely firm hold on your credit. The last thing you want is something to come through unexpectedly halfway through and not get loans renewed. If you have a potential cosigner (I don't), then that's a good back up.

Good luck with everything!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your honesty. Reading your blog gives me a lot of hope. I have a child at SGU and try to understand what she is going through from your posts. You have done a fantastic job of telling it like it is. Keep up the good work. Congratulations on your success. I only wish my daughter finds it too.