Happy New Year!! I’m so excited to kick off 2016.
Derek and I were reflecting on the past year, and we decided to describe it as our “grind it out” year. Compared to the excitement of 2014, this past year included a lot of hard, and sometimes monotonous-feeling, work. However, we remain very blessed and thankful for another healthy, happy year, and we still managed to have a lot of fun along the way.
It’s been a LONG time since I last blogged, so I thought I’d catch you up by answering some frequently asked questions in the life of the Pinkertons.
FAQ: January 2016
Is Derek a doctor yet?
Not quite. He’s very close though! In just four months he will graduate from medical school. I am so incredibly proud of him to the point that I can’t even talk about his graduation because there’s a 100% chance I’ll start tearing up. Yes, I am pathetic.
What kind of doctor is he going to be?
Derek decided that his speciality will be Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Most people call it Med-Peds for short. He’s actually following in his dad’s footsteps and will be trained to care for both children and adults.
How long is his residency?
Derek’s residency will be four years. It’s a pretty good deal considering the categorial medicine and pediatrics programs are both 3 years. They basically squash 6 years of learning into 4 for this speciality by doing away with a lot of electives.
Where will you go for his residency?
We don’t know yet, but we’ll find out on Match Day (March 18th).
What’s Match Day?
Every year, on the third Friday in March, senior medical students across the country find out where they will be going for residency. At UNC, everyone and their loved ones gather in a large auditorium, and they call students up one at a time and hand them an envelope, which contains the name of their residency match.
Wait, what?? You don’t pick where you go?
Well, sort of. After Derek goes on all of his interviews (he’s going to 10 places), he will turn in a rank-order list of the programs. The programs will also rank order the applicants. The process is blinded, so neither the applicants nor the programs know the orders submitted. After the lists are submitted, the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) uses a complex algorithm to “match” applicants to programs based on the rank-order lists.
Tl;dr: our future is ultimately determined by a computer.
Woah, that is crazy.
Yes, yes it is. But it’s also exciting! Everyone once in a while I feel a little overwhelmed by the lack of control, but I remind myself that Derek and I have input, and 80% of applicants get one of their top three choices. I also figure it doesn’t do me any good to worry; instead, I’m usually find myself getting excited about all of the possibilities and opportunities for our future. We also try to remind each other that we’re in it together, which makes it a little less daunting.
Where do you want to go?
We’re not sure yet. In fact, Derek still has one more interview later this month. We probably won’t reveal the exact order, but these are some of his favorite programs (in alphabetical order) thus far:
- University of Chicago
- University of Cincinnati
- Indiana University
- University of North Carolina
- University of Rochester
What are you up to?
I’m still working as an inpatient medicine social worker at a local hospital. It’s hard to believe I’ve been there for 1.5 years already. I finally feel like I know what I’m doing (most days)!
What’s next for you?
I’ve officially completed 2,220 practice hours and 74 supervision hours towards my license, so I will hopefully beat the clock and get my license before we (possibly) move in June! (FYI: In North Carolina, 3,000 practice hours and 100 supervision hours are required to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.)
Once I’ve obtained my license, I’ll be looking to make a change, which is good timing because we might be moving anyway. I’m hoping to stay in medicine but find a position that is more clinical. I’d love to work in hospice or palliative care if possible.
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
I have a few goals in mind, actually. I’ll be dedicating a separate post to them though, and I’ll be taking a look at how I did with my goals from last year.