Sunday, 7 May 2017

I'm Not Very Good at Plans

So a few days ago I got really excited, thinking I had it all figured out, that I'd do family med and focus on women's health and low-risk obstetrics and just be done in two years and be happy with that and I'd go on my merry way inserting IUDs, doing endometrial biopsies, delivering babies, and giving everyone HPV vaccines.

Then on Friday I was in the OR all day and realized one very important thing: I really like the OR. I got my first inkling of this last year with my IR elective when I learned I like procedures a lot more than I thought I would and my enjoyment has been confirmed repeatedly since.

Friday was my last OR day until late August and that made me very sad. My next rotation is internal medicine, then emerg, then I have family and emerg electives before my surgery core (4 weeks general, 2 weeks gynae onc.)

For my next core, I have to dress up every day. No scrubs. No sneakers. No silly hats and victory laps down the OR racetrack towards PACU.

May eleventh is exactly 1 year from the final day of our program. Graduation will be a couple weeks later, but I really finish med school 1 year from Thursday.

In that final year, I have 3 weeks off for CaRMS interviews, 2 weeks winter break, and six weeks of concept integration. It doesn't feel like very much at all, but it's even less when I consider that I've really got six months to decide what I'm going to do for sure because CaRMS is rushing towards us at lightning speed. This year's somewhat depressing match statistics - 77 OB spots for 113 applicants listing it as first choice - have been released and that's it. Next year, one of those data points will be me.

The 2017s are done clerkship; we're not seeing them around the hospital anymore because they're doing concept integration. Well, they were. I think they are done now, and just finishing their preparation to write their LMCCs.

They graduate on the 25th and then we're the senior medical students.

I really need to have my future figured out pretty soon. The end of medical school is approaching rapidly (I'm sure I'll feel differently around 2am on Wednesday when I still have 6 hours to go before I can leave) and I just feel like I can't decide.

When you compare the first two years of, as an example, Mac's OB residency and the first two years of the family med program back home around half of the rotations are the same. The big difference is that 9 blocks (36 weeks) of the FM residency is community FM, so you're working generally better hours than OB residents for 8 months.

Realistically, a family med residency isn't going to be *that* much easier over the course of those two years. And the last half of an OB/Gyn residency is less school than it is practice with eventually irrelevant training wheels and lower CMPA premiums.

It would be lovely if the answer to my indecision would just fall out of the sky.


  1. Hello Kay,
    I've been enjoying your blog for some time but have never commented before -- fellow med student but in the U.S., will be graduating next month. I also went back and forth between OBGYN and family medicine for a long time, so a lot of the things you've written about resonate with me. I ended up applying to both, interviewing at both, and ranking both, and still wasn't entirely sure even as I submitted my rank list. I matched to OB. I'm sure there are differences in scope of OB vs. FM and such in Canada vs. the U.S., and I only have my U.S. experiences -- and I obviously don't know how this will all turn out come residency. But I would be happy to chat, if you think it might be helpful, because I also had a hard time finding people with whom to discuss.

    1. Hi Mariam,

      It's nice to hear from someone else who has been in the same spot. I've actually spoken to a few other people who were as stuck on this as I am and everyone ended up matching to OB, so I'm wondering if that should tell me something, hah.

      There are some differences I'm aware of between OB here and in the states. OB/Gyn residencies tend to have more of a surgical focus whereas in the US OBs tend to do a lot more primary care sort of stuff which would routinely fall to family doctors here. If I recall properly, OB residency is four years in the states and family med is three years whereas here it's five and two, respectively, so there's a bigger difference from a commitment point of view.

      How are you feeling about matching to OB?

  2. actually, your 2017 class wrote the LMCC last week... I know because I did...

    1. I thought it was later for some reason. Go figure.

      I hope you did well!