The Significance of September 15

Angie, Fourth Year Medical Student

It’s official––I am applying to Obstetrics-Gynecology residency! After lots of agonizing, internal debates and talks with those who know me best, I decided at the end of my third year that the specialty that specializes in women and has a love for new life (whether in bringing babies into this world or re-suspending pelvic organs back to Baden-Walker “0” to give women improved qualities of life) is the one for me!

I’ve taken my Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (the 9-block computerized exam at your local Prometric site) and Clinical Skills (the ridiculously overpriced 12-patient clinical exam), and have now recently finished the Gynecology-FPMRS 4-week elective aka “sub-internship” or “audition rotation.” I personally don’t like the term “audition rotation” as it sounds like I am putting on a performance.  I much rather prefer to call it a “sub-I” because it reminds me that I have more responsibilities to my patient and my team. As much as I’ve enjoyed my role as a 4th year student/sub-I, it can still be an awkward transition with Epic (the electronic medical record system) replacing a lot of the duties a medical student used to fulfill to help the residents. Nonetheless, I loved working with “the greats” in laparoscopy and robotic surgeries, as well as teaching knot-tying to and organizing the schedules for the third year students on the service.

So this week, I fortuitously had the week off before starting another elective in OB-GYN. I have been working on my residency application on ERAS, which consists of inputting everything significant to medicine since beginning college to generate a standard format curriculum vitae, completing your personal statement and FINALLY deciding that’s the last draft to upload, making sure your letters of recommendations are uploaded by the Dean’s office, and picking programs to apply to! It sounds pretty straightforward, but in reality as most who have been/are going through the process would probably agree, this has take a lot of mental and emotional preparation as well.

September 15 is a significant day for senior medical students; this is not a deadline, but the opening date of submitting your residency application on ERAS (deadlines are program specific, usually around Nov 1). As getting into residency spots has gotten even more competitive this year, most students (myself included) will be ready to certify and submit their ERAS application by the crack of dawn this Sunday for those on west coast time. After that, I will wait for Monday to come and for programs to actually start looking at my application and waiting for interview offers!

However, what else will I have to look forward to on September 15? Well, my September issue of Vogue informs me that 3.1 Philip Lim x Target collection will be available that day. Also, a quick google search found that September 15 is “International Day of Democracy”. As I try to have perspective during these critical months until ANOTHER critical day (March 21) in a medical student’s career, I am thankful for the freedom to pursue higher levels of education and the wonderful mentors in medicine who have encouraged me to come this far. Oh and for Tar-jay for offering “designer collections” at fractions of the cost for poor medical students.

Good lucks class of 2014! Look forward to hearing about your progress and meeting you on the interview trail!