Immersion Phase Update: 2/1 – 2/26

I took a true “flex month” in February–no tests to study for, no interviews to travel for. I spent most of my time back at home; all told, I kept pretty busy with a number of tasks, errands, and events.

I spent my first week and a half in Memphis with my family, then headed back to Nashville for about 5 days.  I had been invited to participate in the Second Look Weekend that Vanderbilt Medical School’s Office for Diversity organizes for underrepresented minorities applying to residency programs.  Each participating department had its own set of activities for the day, and there were also a few social dinners and activities that all participants went to.  I enjoyed my time getting to know four other people who were applying for psychiatry, as well as others considering Vanderbilt for training in other specialties.

The day after Second Look Weekend ended, Radial Grooves (the a cappella group I sing with) performed at the third annual Dr. Vanderbilt Pageant, a humorous competition between physicians that also functions as a fundraiser.  Physicians showed off their “evening wear,” lip-syncing/dancing skills, and trivia prowess.  This year, proceeds from ticket sales went to Primeros Pasos, a primary care clinic in Guatemala.

On Valentines Day, I got a last-minute ticket (literally) to see Brené Brown give a talk at Vanderbilt about shame, perfectionism, and vulnerability.  Then I headed to Marathon Music Works for a fantastic concert headlined by Madeon.  Unlike the last time I went to that venue for an EDM concert, I didn’t have to worry with a day or so of tinnitus afterward.

When I got back to Memphis, I joined a dear friend from high school for dinner and a Hillsong concert at the FedEx Forum.  It was such a great experience from both a musical, social, and spiritual standpoint.  My friend and I are both talking about how much we wish we could go again, especially since Hillsong is heading to Boston and we both know people I went to college with there.

Another highlight of my month was the amount of time that I had to practice driving.  When I first got behind the wheel again, my parents and I noticed that I had taken several steps backward in confidence and ability.  After a few days, though, I started to feel more comfortable driving.  I ran several days’ worth of errands around Memphis with one of my parents supervising from the passenger seat.  This past week, I drove myself to a nearby church on two separate occasions; it was my first time completely alone in the car, and I think I managed pretty well!

I did complete one or two big tasks related to medical school.  I finally sat down and really thought through all of my experiences on the interview trail in order to construct my residency rank order list.  I submitted and certified the list on the official website well before the February 24th deadline.  Now I and my classmates–and fourth-year medical students from institutions all over–are waiting to hear about the results of The Match.  Here’s an interesting article about the algorithm that handles applicant and program rank order lists.

So that’s what I’ve been up to on this month off!  In March, I will be completing my last medical school course and hopefully participating in Match Day.  Stay tuned…


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