2017. december 5., kedd

Travels and residency interviews

The second month here in Buffalo passed by very quickly. If the first month’s theme was settling in, the second month’s was travel! More on that below.

For the second rotation, I continued in the outpatient endocrinology office, about 10 miles from our apartment building. There was a new batch of internal medicine and family medicine residents rotating through the clinic, as well as some medical students who each came for one full or one half day per week. Because I had already spent some time in this rotation, I could fill them in on the rules and customs of the office (for example, which patients were seen by the nurse practitioners rather than residents, what to do with patients on insulin pumps, and where to meet in Buffalo General Hospital when the clinic moves there once a week on Wednesdays). I was also comfortable working with the three attendings and endocrinology fellows, the latter being with whom I spent the most time.  The fellows especially were a very kind and supportive group who never hesitated to let me join them during patient visits or discussions.

Looking back, I have come to appreciate endocrinology and definitely enjoyed the field the more time I spent with it – sometimes, the more in depth you go into a subject, even if it is not something you are necessarily interested in pursuing professionally (diabetes management, for me), the more interesting it becomes. Most importantly, I now feel comfortable discussing insulin regiments and oral antidiabetic medications with people, and no matter the medical setting, diabetes is bound to arise regularly.

Aside from the rotation, I have also been fortunate to be traveling for residency interviews as part of the U.S. medical education system. I submitted my documents in this application cycle to many training programs. Some of them have sent invitations for interviews, which means that applicant candidates travel to the hospital site for both sides to learn more about each other. I have been traveling along the East coast, so it has been possible to go everywhere by car. I have always liked a good road trip, and it has been a good opportunity to see different parts of this vast country.

The interview day includes an information session about the program, a tour of the facilities, and one-on-one talks with 3 to 4 faculty members. Usually, there is the chance to have dinner the night before with residents, and lunch during the day with several members of the department. While in Buffalo, it has been helpful to talk with some of the current medical students and residents at UB who are more familiar with the U.S. residency system, and I have gained a lot of insight from them about the process. Here are some places visited along the interview trail:

Before coming back to Buffalo, I also had the chance to meet with one of my oldest friends who lives in New Jersey. With Thanksgiving around the corner, we practiced our baking skills and made this apple pie:

The drive back to Buffalo was dark and stormy. During a rough patch, we stopped at a rest area where this illuminated sign managed to sum things up:

2017. november 20.

Charlotte Schwarz

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