Done!

Absolutely, completely done! No more interviews! No more awkward meetings at 7am, with all the applicants in stiff black suits looking at each other like dogs trying to define their territory: we’re all competing with each other, but on the other hand we’re all in the same boat. Which makes it difficult to know how much to believe of what anybody tells you. I said mostly the truth when people asked me questions about my plans or my school, but there were always a couple points which it wasn’t really “their business” to know about, so I smooshed it. And I don’t know what their definition of “my business” was.

 And as for the interviews themselves: What exactly am I supposed to say when someone asks what my weaknesses are? Hmm? 1, Surgeons aren’t supposed to have weaknesses; so if I admit to one, I automatically disqualify myself from the profession. (tongue in cheek, folks!) 2, Any real weakness that I confess to really would disqualify me. 3, I’m not a great judge of what my weaknesses (which undoubtedly exist) are. Personally I think I’m extremely clumsy, and concur with my father’s oft-expressed doubt that I’m mechanically capable of doing the job; but even I can tell that that’s one answer best not given!

Or when they ask, What made you come to this program? Um, you offered me an interview? Um, I applied to all the programs in the state, and you were one of the two that answered me? What kind of a question is that? I want to match, I applied to all the programs in a broadly-defined area which seemed not to be modeled on the Gulag, and I took all the interviews it was physically possible to go to. What other explanation can I give?

No more interviews, any more! I resolve to stop caring what other people think when I talk. I am going to say what I think about politics (I got so sick of people mocking Bush, and I didn’t dare answer), and I am going to identify myself loudly as a far-right religious extremist (so you aristocratic residents in Appalachia can stop turning up your noses so pointedly at those unsophisticated Bible Belt characters who constitute your patients) – and this is what I really look forward to: I am going to say the most crushing things I can think of to senior male residents who make sexual jokes. One can’t exactly quarrel with the chief resident on an interview. It may not be much better policy to quarrel when you’re on his team; but I am done with blushing silently and looking at the floor while the men exchange tales of their predatory adventures. I wish I lived in the 1940s – or maybe the 1880s – and I am going on a crusade to make at least one set of men (at whichever program I end up with) conform to my ideals. What makes them think the rules of propriety have changed . . . just women’s acceptance of their rudeness and crudity . . . I’m not going to aquiesce in that anymore. (I’ve been to too many pre-interview dinners, you can tell.)  (Sexual harassment charges are for wimps; and in any case they’re not harassing me, they’re just talking about harassing someone else.) Something tells me this could lead to a really exciting, and possibly brief, career. . .

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