This afternoon I managed to get to an appointment with the surgery residency director, on time (unlike last week, when I missed it completely). She said she thought I only ever made one appointment. It’s good to be reminded how insignificant I am; also good that now she’s not mad at me, since I need her to like me enough to rank me well enough that I can match to her program.

Thank God, I managed to keep my mouth shut, didn’t smile at inappropriate times, and didn’t make too many confidences. Just one time, she said, “You know, when you’re interviewing, I wouldn’t say XYZ. I know you asked me because you’re here for information, but when you’re interviewing, I would say ABCD.” And she demonstrated, with such a straight face. Even when I’m perfectly sincere, I can’t look that solemn and businesslike. I guess by the end of residency I will.

Just discussing with her the strong points of different programs, and the different possible fellowships, I felt so excited. Trauma, and plastics, and hepatobiliary, and transplant, and oncology – so much to learn, so many paths to choose from. Trick is, now that I’m starting to think about fellowships, I pretty much have to go with a university program – which is what the chairman was telling me a month ago, and I didn’t like it. University means more pressure, less autonomy, more chance of “malignant” attendings, more fellows to compete with for good cases, and more stress on research. Of course, now I need to do research; but I refuse to spend a whole year on it.

I guess I’d better go study for Step 2.