Something just clicked for me. I put my rank list in a couple days ago, and am confident that there’s no change I could make that would really improve the list. So actually I can stop worrying about that.

Now I’m just rolling the different places near the top of the list over in my mind, imagining life at each one, kind of getting myself set to be happy with whatever God lays out in the Match.

And then it occurred to me. Interviewing at every one of these programs, I comforted myself with the fact that there were women residents: about one in every year, right? So just my sex wouldn’t preclude me from matching there, if I wanted to.

Well, so: I’m probably going to be the only woman in the class of interns.

Somehow that didn’t really occur to me before. I kind of always pictured there being one other girl, that we could be friends together and help each other. But really there probably won’t be. It’ll be just me, and the guys, and maybe a woman in the year ahead of me – however friendly she’s feeling towards a lowly intern. (Guys are nice, nothing against that; but it’s not the same thing; and there’ll be three or four or five of them.)

Okay, I admit I should have been able to figure out the meaning of the statistics before now. But this is going to require some adjustments in my imagination of July. . .

 My sister has a library book about the Marines, Into the Crucible, describing their boot camp, and all the ideology and thought that goes into the physical challenges. Books of that kind always induce two reactions in me: I wish I could find out whether I could survive that kind of thing; and, precisely because I respect the Marines so much, I’m not going to presume to intrude myself into that company.

And then another thought, which in one way satisfies my desire for a strenuous test, and in another way is scarier than most of my previous meditations on becoming an intern: Internship (especially surgical, but all of them to a certain extent) is going to be like boot camp. (I should stop wishing for things like this.) This book’s author was describing how the drill sergeants yelling at the recruits constantly is supposed to train them to keep calm under stress. And definitely one of the primary, most basic things a surgery resident will need to learn is how to keep calm in the face of a variety of stresses, like patients getting suddenly and dangerously ill, and the attending asking a lot of questions. On second thought, I don’t think I like stress. . . Seriously, blood doesn’t make me feel sick, but I find that a large quantity of it coming from disarranged anatomy hinders logical thought. It will be good and desirable to learn to keep thinking clearly.

It will be good to learn that. It will be good to learn that. It will be good to learn. . .

(And then the discussion of the Crucible, a 54-hr endurance test with multiple obstacle courses, requirements for team work, and minimal food and sleep. . . and I’m thinking, 54 hours, 30 hours, at some point the number of hours without sleep becomes meaningless, because you crossed some line a good ways back. At least residents don’t have backpacks. That’s good. It could be worse.)