Getting closerSunday, November 6th, 2011 by Shaun Patel
As surprising as it may seem, my cohort is already more than halfway finished with our final year of medical school! Since my last post, I completed a month of adult cardiac surgery, which was a great experience, because, come on, it’s heart surgery. Also during the past month, I found out I passed both parts of our USMLE Step 2 board exams, meaning I am now done with all board exams for the rest of medical school, which does feel pretty awesome. Now it’s time for the M4 promise land, right?
Last week a group of us senior med students applying to surgical residency programs attended the American College of Surgeons conference in San Francisco. This was my fourth year in a row attending the conference, which always has a great atmosphere and learning environment. San Francisco was also a great venue for the conference, with lots to do outside of the conference. I had a chance to catch up with some friends in the Bay Area, enjoy the terrific weather, and go to prison. Yes, that’s correct. We took a ferry over to Alcatraz Island and toured the facilities, which were as good as they sound, because, come on, it’s prison. It was worth it though for the ferry ride under sunny skies and getting a view of San Francisco from the Island, which is a nice sight.
On the residency application front, I’ve started receiving invitations from programs and am looking forward to the interview season. After reviewing medical school applications and interviewing applicants for the past couple years, I can appreciate how much time and effort selection committees are required to input. Furthermore, I understand there will be always be biases and preconceived notions, but I think it is most fair for both the applicant and the program to keep an open mind until after the interview process. As such, I’m going to try to not make any fixed decisions until after interviews, but am excited at the possibilities!