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Ryan, Jeremy, Rachel, and Steph on hand to celebrate Andrea’s birthday! Unclear what exactly Jeremy is doing in this photo…

Greetings from behind the scenes of the 2011 Galens’ Smoker, Spleen Girls (a take off of my personal favorite film, Mean Girls)!  We are two days away from the opening of the show, and I thought I’d use the several hours of wait time before my scene’s practice to say hello—I am fulfilling a life-long dream—and by that I mean nightmare—of participating in a public dance performance alongside my fellow fourth-year female med students called The Babe Dance.  

After months of traveling from New York City to San Francisco to Boston to Louisville to Los Angeles to Connecticut, I am finally back in Ann Arbor and have spent the past three weeks in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, or SICU.  I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been difficult to get back in the groove of being a medical student and actually working after two months of putting on a suit morning after morning, taking tours, eating more pastries than I care to remember, and responding to the question, “So, why do you want to go into orthopaedic surgery?” approximately 6 times per day.  I had gotten so excited about starting residency that I almost forgot about the last three months of medical school: pre-rounding, scavenging for labs, and 30-hour call shifts.  What makes fourth year great, however, is that you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel—we will find out where we match on March 17! 

Interview season was largely a blur, and a rather expensive one at that.  I remember being remarkably nervous before my first interview, but by the time I got to #3 or so I started to fall into a routine—and became an expert in the art of packing a suitcase for a two-day trip.  I had thought that it would be prudent to spend some time reading up on health care reform and such prior to interview season, but as it turned out (perhaps as a product of the field I am entering into), the only current event I was actually asked about was the current state of Michigan football and my thoughts on whether Rich Rodriguez would be with fired following the bowl game loss.  Some places required us to perform manual tasks, such as constructing structures out of clay based on two different two-dimensional views while being asked questions rapid-fire style by interviewers, suturing wet hot dogs back together (after being told that they had gotten into a nasty bar fight the night before), drilling a screw through a Styrofoam ball and into a loop of wire using a fluoroscopy machine to guide so, and so on.  The one constant on all these interviews, though, was that no matter where in the country I went, I was greeted with some variation of, “So you’re at the University of Michigan…what a fantastic place!” 

Another unexpected perk of interviews was getting to meet some really great people.  Women are still very much a minority in the field of orthopaedic surgery, and it was not uncommon to go to interviews and be either the only female amongst a large collection of men.  After a few interviews, I started to see the same group of people again and again, and it was nice to compare notes on programs and hear their insights, especially as the deadline for rank lists drew near and I realized just how much many of the programs blended together.  

So, much like the thousands of other fourth-year medical students across the country who have likewise submitted their rank lists, I am now counting down the days until March 17.  Until then, there is much to be excited about—this weekend’s Smoker being at the top of that list, as well as the lack of call in the musculoskeletal anatomy course I will be taking next month!  I am also looking forward to getting back to the guitar lessons I took during my first and second years, as well as even some cooking lessons.  I have lived in the same apartment for four years, and I figure that it’s about time I actually made use of my stove and gave the microwave a break! 

I will keep you posted on the events of Match/St. Patrick’s Day—countdown is now at 2 weeks!