May 22, 2011


Blah blah blah Rapture.

Yes, I laughed a lot. Yes, I'm going to a Left Behind BBQ tomorrow (it's a place that serves *amazing* Cajun food, so there's no way I'm missing that), and yes, I drank a beer at 6 PM (my last drink ever was going to be Singha; is that sad?). I'm easily amused, and jump on any meme but lolcats with impunity. I should probably insert a picture of Sad Keanu here with Kanye West's "Imma gonna let you finish" over it to make my point.

Graduation is coming up, and I got my dad's ticket forwarded from Christmas to apply to this one because back in December, one of Orbitz's employees in India spent 45 minutes on the phone with me, Delta, and his manager to apply a refund to my ticket even though it was nonrefundable, because he's frigging awesome and he felt bad for me.

Speaking of human compassion, I tend to be fairly skeptical, and I tend towards social awkwardness as a default, plus I deliberately isolate myself in public places by the enthusiastic use of electronic devices. I'm currently living in the supposedly scariest borough (Brooklyn is gradually being gentrified beyond recognition, so it doesn't really earn me any street cred) of one of the cities in the world that's most known for being populated by rude, miserable people. All that being said, I'm learning if that you ever want a "faith in humanity" refill, crutches.

I know I mentioned this before, but I've been rocking these murder stilts for over a week now, and I'm still astounded every day by how out-of-the-way compassionate EVERYONE is. A guy in Long Island flipped his car around across a double yellow line to give me a ride to work in the rain. A woman drove me from the train station on another day. My coworkers fairly regularly get my coffee from the breakroom, which requires not only making it, but throwing in an extra shot of espresso. I have gotten a seat on trains, subways, and buses EVERY single time. Today, I was rocking the one crutch so I could carry a bag from Target, and had people opening doors left and right, even turning around to go back to help me, and coming up the subway steps, had a guy grab my bag and go all the way up with it without ever taking his ipod off (my kinda guy). People smile at me, chat with me, etc. I'm honestly not sure if that last part is because I'm gimpy or because this is the first time I've made eye contact with strangers deliberately since I moved here, but it makes me feel warm and cuddly.

In other news, being a foreign grad gives me extreme paperwork paranoia, though possibly to my favor. One of the worst things about being an IMG is not 'the stigma', and it's not having the same "Where is Grenada?" conversation with *everyone*, it's the degree of red tape you have to cut through to get anything done. Taking the licensing exams? Costs more money AND you have to be approved through the ECFMG with subsequent paperwork. Graduating from school? Still need that ECFMG certificate. Everything needs backup confirmations, our transcripts still have to be mailed directly and verified for everything. Through the years, you have to manage travel documents, student visas, airfares, apartment leases in other states, weird tax forms, residency applications, loan paperwork, etc. None of the stuff that needs to get done is really in the same place, too. And getting all your health stuff? Good luck. Drug screens? Some hospitals have it, some don't, how it's set up can be difficult. You have all your initial stuff at a hospital; you may have different requirements when you go to different hospitals... argh!

So then you get a residency, and you get sent a package that contains a brick of paperwork, and you're thinking that this process is going to be exactly like school. Half of it won't make sense, most of it will have to be self arranged, and a third of the stuff you send out will not make it to its intended destination. Threats will be held over you. I recall madly faxing paperwork from Canterbury because my loans hadn't been processed because of the hyphen in my name, only to arrive back in Grenada to discover they still weren't through and I was borderlining a leave of absence if I couldn't get this stuff straightened out by way of panicked phone calls to New York from the Chancellery.

But... they tell you the timeline. You send in your application for licensure. You send in the benefits package... I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have a set appointment for my physical, titers, and drug screen. I thought I was going to need to scramble to find a BLS class, but they handle that. I keep thinking I've forgotten something and I'm going to show up and they're going to say "Oh, we canceled your residency because we emailed you form L14-A0987 and you never responded, so we assumed you weren't interested anymore." But nope, so far, the coordinator's just emailed me in response to my "DO I NEED _______? OMG" forms with pleasant missives that she's looking forward to meeting me.

It might be time to relax :) How often do you hear that pre-residency?

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