Monday, August 23, 2010

1 month until boards

In less than 1 month I will be taking my COMLEX Physical Examination and in 1 month I will be sitting for my COMLEX written examination. The nerves are starting to get ramped up. Although I was told that this was going to be easier than step 1. I am hoping that this is true, but I will be studying my tail off anyway.

This is my last week of my Emergency Medicine rotation for this month. Next month I have off so that I can study for boards. I intend to study for 10-14 hours per day and I need to complete about 2000 questions so that I can feel more confident than I am now. It will be hard with the girls but then again they are going to be in school, sort of. It is weird that the day after the first day of school, my kids have off because of Rosh Hashana. But it is what it is. Having the kids at home and having Emily being overwhelmed is certainly hard for me to handle. I am trying to make everyone happy but it is very hard. Emily is burned out from working and taking care of 4 kids and the house, the girls are having a hard time with me not being home and competing with a newborn for our attention, and Emily and I have not had any time to reconnect after the baby or even have dinner out. And while we both know that this is just temporary nothing ever makes it any easier. We just have to plug through it.

So far I have 2 residency interviews. I am hoping for several more as my options are somewhat limited to geography, however things should work out. I am a believer that things happen for a reason. Heck, I believe that if I went to medical school right after college, even to the Caribbean, I would have failed out. I was not as focused or goal oriented as I am today. Yes, I know I am writing a blog but that is not an everyday thing. But this is not to say that if I had my way I would have.

The other night, Emily and I were watching Hot Tub Time Machine. And no, it was not the best movie I have ever seen but it was a fun movie to watch and relax after a 12 hour shift in the emergency department. And if I could, I would go back to August of 1992 and start college over again with the knowledge of HOW to study, be focused, and concentrate on my studies rather than other things. But I can't do that. So there is no point on focusing on that. I do my best to never look back. My eyes are in the front of my head so I can see forward and that is where I am concentrating on.

Need to keep on spending as much time as I can with my family and to let them know that they are very important to me. I tell the girls that it is the QUALITY of the time I spend with them that is important and not the QUANTITY. I ask them where they want to go (as long as it is not Chuck E Cheeses, that gets an automatic VETO), and we go. We get a little snack and we talk. About anything THEY want. They get my 100% attention and to them, it is the greatest thing in the world. Now, if I can only get that done with my wife then things will be somewhat better. She is missing the dinners as a family. So, I discussed it with her and we can have family dinners while I study for boards. After that, it would depend on my shift. There is nothing that says that we MUST have a family DINNER. We can have a family breakfast or even a family brunch. Depending on my schedule, I think I will being back Daddy's Diner once boards are finished so that Sunday mornings can be something we do together.

Any way, just over 9 months until graduation, 10 months until I start residency, 1 month until boards. Amazing how counting down the years is now counting down the months. I cannot wait until I start with days then hours.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

And so it continues

So I finished my first Emergency Medicine rotation and I am one week into me second one. This department is more of a community hospital so there is not a lot of trauma coming in. In addition, there are a lot of nursing homes in the area so a lot of what I am seeing is Geriatric and because of the Crisis and Detox unit I am seeing psychiatric emergencies as well. Certainly much different pathology than before.

I also started my Residency application by submitting my application to various Osteopathic programs. I am waiting to submit to the allopathic programs too. In the meantime I am studying for boards which I take towards the end of September. I am almost done with the first run through of the material and am hoping to start the second run through this week. I need to get through a lot of questions, my goal is more than 2000 questions by the time boards comes along.

Have 4 kids is certainly more a juggling act than it was before but we are getting into our groove. The only issue is that money is even tighter than before and I am waiting for the financial aid office to increase my cost of living so that I can take out more in loans. However, we are getting some assistance from the state since the loans are not considered to be income and my wife is not making a king's ransom. The way I think about it is that I paid into the system for all of the years that I was working and now I am collecting what I am due. But in about a year from now all of that assistance will disappear because I will be working as a resident and we will no longer qualify for state assistance.

I cannot wait for the glorious day of graduation and then residency to start. Then we can start moving forward with our other plans. Including upgrading our house. Wow, for more than 10 years I have been studying for this moment and it is almost here. I have been in school for almost 30 years and I cannot wait to stop. Though I will never stop learning, I will never have to be a student again.