I spent the second week of my Sub-Internship on the inpatient pediatrics service, which I enjoyed. The service was not terribly busy, given the time of year, so the residents had time to teach me about various topics. That’s something I really appreciated.
I also spent some time this week working on my CV and writing my personal statement. I had a rough draft of my personal statement down on paper, but I didn’t feel like it represented me and my goals very well. Luckily, I got to sit down with one of the second year residents one afternoon and talk to her about why she went into family medicine. She is from a small town like me. We had very similar views on what a rural family doctor should be able to offer a community. We would both like to practice in a rural area and we both believe that people should have access to acute, chronic, and preventative healthcare no matter where they live. I don’t want to tell my patients that they need a colonoscopy but they will have to take an unpleasant prep and drive four hours to get it. How many patients do you know that would actually take you up on that offer? The more we talked, the more I realized how important it was to get these ideas into my personal statement. After our conversation I went home and rewrote my personal statement from start to finish. Now I feel it speaks to my values and goals. I sent it off for editing because it is always good to have a second or third look. Once that is finished one of the faculty at this residency program has offered to give me feedback about it. He also offered to write a letter of recommendation for me.
At the beginning of the 4th year it seemed as though everyone had an opinion on how rotations should be scheduled and carried out. Don’t do your sub-I too early or they won’t remember you when they vote on applicants, but don’t do it too late or you won’t have time to get a letter. Some said you should definitely have a letter of recommendation from the program you would like to get into, and others said that was frowned upon because basically it boils down to the program writing a letter to itself. I stressed over all of this, but now I am starting to understand that it doesn't matter that much. My advice is to plan your sub-I for whenever it fits into your schedule and then work hard while you are there. I think that if you are eager to learn and a hard worker you will be memorable. At least I’m hoping that’s the case!
As far as letters of recommendation go, this faculty member offered to write one for the sub-I’s on the first day of the rotation, so I am taking him up on it. If I discover the magic recipe for the 4th year I will pass it along.
Just a side note for those of you following this blog from the start: my family medicine shelf score came back and all is well!