WAR(d) STORIES: 1/4/2017
WAR(d) STORIES is a composite of personal stories on finance, medical school, and life.
clack... clack... clack clack clack CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK-
Not the sound of peace. Not the sound of war, either. It's the sound of me, a new 3rd year med student, pre-rounding in my wooden-soled dress shoes at 5 AM because it was my clinic day after rounds.
At first, I didn't understand why the nurses would stare at me when I rounded on my patients. After a few days of pre-dawn death stares, I picked up on the idea that my shoes were echoing down the hospital hallways. During the day amongst the hustle and bustle, they were barely noticeable. But in the early morning, I think the nurses were staring because you can hear my shoes from so far away in the quiet, they were expecting a tall blond in high heels... Or something like that.
So, I've learned that I need to wear quieter shoes. Sacrifice style for stealth. With my new shoes, it feels and sounds like I'm walking on marshmallows. I almost ran over an old lady today in the hallway because she couldn't hear my stealthy sneakers sauntering up beside her.
Sidenote: if you are actually looking for good hospital/surgery shoes, These are the shoes I wear. They will last me at least 10 years.
After having a few narrow escapes with our budget earlier in med school, I decided that I needed to consider the possibility of some sort of sustainable job in med school- something that most people advise against. (SIDENOTE: Obviously, it worked for me and definitely can for you too.) My wife and I had recently joined a small private gym where occasionally we came in to see a high school student or out-of-shape older guy sitting at the desk. I said to myself, "Well, I could definitely do that." As a CPR-certified med student, I was kind of the ideal person to babysit a gym. But, the positions were filled. They said they would keep me in mind.
Several months later, I got a message saying that their weekend help was going off to college, and 2 shifts opened up. My income from the position is minimal, but over time, I have made over $1,000 sitting at a gym desk studying. The studying I would have done anyways because, hey, I'm a med student, and additionally I have a free gym membership- $45 I cut out of my expense column each month. What I learned was that med students can hugely benefit from jobs with minimal responsibility, and although the pay isn't great, you'll be sitting on your butt for hours to study anyways- why not get paid for it?!
I'll be writing an extended post on this topic in the future so keep an eye out...
Did everyone in med school earn their spot?
I'm asking because... well, I had to explain to my classmate last week that the admissions process is really great, but it's not perfect. I was prompted to explain this because of an awkward elevator ride during which a third classmate very loudly berated a fourth classmate (they had clearly never spoken before- they were from different schools) for a choice they mentioned quietly to another about their future field of practice. This was in audience of about 12 med students who were already on the elevator. Imagine riding an elevator with Dwight Schrute and him overhearing that you're thinking of going into his least favorite field of medicine. It was basically that.
Most of my classmates are gems. Really, really cool people. Don't believe me? Just read the of the latest posts on my classmate who has made a lot of money learning the ins and outs of stock market. I didn't even mention he speaks 5 languages. But, there are a few squirrels in the bunch. Weird situations like that make me want to find some unfortunate soul that wasn't accepted to med school and apologize to them- if only we could trade out the bad ones! But, who am I to judge? Maybe a classmate is writing a blog about how crazy I am on their site as we speak.
My point in writing is that I hope those of you reading who aren't in med school who wanted to be would know that the admissions process is not perfect and that is not a reflection on you. And, you would probably make a better student than some of the current chaps. Be encouraged. And if you're reapplying, message me and I'll help you any way that I can!