Today (well, now yesterday) begins the cross-Canada CaRMS tour adventure.Cue dramatic theme music… Or something fun, like “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey…. Yes… What this road trip needs is some Journey…
12 interviews in three weeks.
6 provinces to be interviewed in.
8 provinces visited.
I write as I am flying to destination number one…. And before anyone panics and calls some sort of air-based agency, I am writing in a Word document that I will copy and paste over later this evening whilst hanging out at a stopover.
I am somewhat excited. On this adventure, I will see parts of Canada that I have not yet seen. I will also get to see a bunch of hospitals and universities I have never seen. I am a big university geek. I love looking at the old buildings, the infrastructure, and the landscape. I think it is fascinating. When I visit new cities, I always want to see the local school. And often times, I take pictures. This one time, I was visiting London, ON to see my family who were living there at the time. I had recently decided that med school was my next step (having just finished first year of my undergrad, nonetheless) and that I really liked the sounds of Western’s program. So, one afternoon, my Aunt, Mom and I went on a field trip to see the campus. We took pictures. I called my Dad from a payphone to tell him that I was in the medical school building. It was very Rory and Lorelei from the Gilmore Girls. Even through I don’t intend to go back to university, as such, I still find them fascinating. Most of the time, I am going to have little opportunity to really tour the cities beyond the hospitals (also awesome to see), but when I get the chance, I will be all over it.
I am also terrified. Interviews are stressful. Meeting new people is stressful. Having to do interviews, then go out to supper with strangers, then hop on a plane to the next destination is very stressful. Having to do all of it without the company of Patrick is even more stressful. Wow, that was a lot of “stressful.” Needless to say, I have done it before without Patrick and he isn’t the most important person in my life at this time, God is. Thank goodness.
The good part is that I know my program. I know that this is what I am supposed to be doing for the rest of my life. I know that doing this residency will put me on the path to achieving those goals. Over the past several years and electives, I know enough about the program that I (hopefully) won’t look like a tool on the interviews.
Another good part, at least what people claim, is that people from certain specialties generally get along with other people from the same specialties. You know, surgeons like surgeons, pediatricians like pediatricians. From what I have seen so far on my electives tour is that this is true. Something about premorbid personalities.
Plus, there will be food. Interviews, especially for residency are in part also the school trying to convince the good candidates to rank them highly. Thus, they give tours and are hospitable. Part of said hospitality is food. This works two-fold…. They get to know potential residents. And the potential residents who are traveling and poor get food… Free food and/or cheap food. Also, before I even left, Patrick took me to Jungle Jim’s for what has become our traditional pre-departure “lupper.” I am now full to the brim with fajitas and some sort of nacho appetizer. I do quite like food.
In my interview preparation, I have done some more reading of the news than I normally would have. I generally live under a rock. If I don’t find it overly interesting or important at the time, it doesn’t absorb. I find it disheartening to read stories of the latest murder or drug bust, so in general, I just ignore it. I am all about social activism and such, but that is generally not in my local or even national news. However, I have now done some reading. Interesting things I learned include the current court battle to alter prostitution laws and other criminal law in BC to help protect the social rights of women who are involved in prostitution. The murder rate in Toronto has declined since a Jamaican gang was busted. There was a big controversy in the US with a poorly calibrated linear accelerator that delivered too much dose for several days to several patients that has now become a court case. And yes, I read a bit about the sunken cruise ship.
Lastly, despite all of the people, I am pretty sure I am going to get my fair share of alone time. When not exploring or interviewing, I have a great deal of travel/hotel time. As an introvert, this is excellent. I can hang out, go work out, watch cable TV (sad the things that excite me), swim, read, write and spend more time with God (whom I will need in order to survive this whole affair). And, thankfully, I also have a cell phone, email and Skype to communicate with Patrick and the other lovely folks back home(ish). Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any knitting. Maybe next trip.
There are a few scripture verses that come to mind while I write this and on my travels.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7
Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your fairth, and your purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11-14
I will just have to keep telling myself those things on repeat.Addendum… I watched Beauty and the Beast after writing this. Classic Disney movies on a plane. Its almost as good as Christmas. I got off my plane at the precise time of boarding of my other flight… On the opposite side of the Toronto airport. I don’t know if you have been there… but navigating it in a rush is not so much a time. Also, this flight continued on to Australia after dumping me in BC… Maybe I should have just stayed on board. On the bright side, on that flight I watched The Princess Diaries, another flash back to my younger years, as well as some reading and various sitcom re-run re-watching.