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Success and struggles

It's been a while since my last post. All has been well on the studying front, but life has been hard as well. I've made it through my internship. I spent eleven consecutive weeks in med school without calling in sick once. I got good grades, great reviews, my mentor told me he'd love to help me apply for a job at his department and, last but not least, I loved being back at the hospital. But (and it's a big BUT) it's not all kittens and rainbows. As mentioned in my earlier posts, my triumphant return to medicine is taking its toll on my relationship with my boyfriend. I leave home very early, get home late, eat and sleep. He does the same thing, except he works at night. In between we somehow find a way to bicker over absolutely nothing almost every day. Luckily we're mature enough to sit down later and discuss what's really bothering us (we're both scared of losing each other), but it's stressful nonetheless.

I haven't been able to make time for my friends either. I spend every weekday at the hospital all weekend chilling out by myself. Not everyone can appreciate that I choose to spend my free time either hanging out alone or with my boyfriend. I'm also reluctant to inform my friends that I NEED to spend this time with my boyfriend, to do some fun things, to balance out the arguments.

And the real kicker comes at the end: the doctor that supervised me these last five weeks told me to apply for a job at his department, on account of me being a really talented student close to graduation. So, I gathered all my courage and contacted the head of said department to ask about the possibility of a job, sending along the recommendation my supervisor (his colleague) had given me. Instead of replying to my email, the man located me in the hospital (where I happened to be working a very busy shift in the emergency room) and, during a perfectly pleasant conversation, informed me that he really appreciated my enthusiasm, but that the chances of me getting a job in his department were virtually none. Without going into details, one of the biggest issues was my age.

I'm 31 now. I don't feel old, but I'm aware that it's a little old to graduate. What I hadn't thought about before is that the specialties that interest me the most might not even consider me as a possible candidate for specialisation, on account of my age. In a few months, I'll be a 31-year old fresh doctor, with no published papers, no fancy committees on my CV, no powerful friends. I'll have to compete with 25-year olds with a PhD, influential parents and tons of useful experience. I've been working so hard on getting back into med school to finally get that medical degree, that I never stopped to consider the ramifications of my time off.

While I'm glad for the honesty I got in yesterday's conversation, today I'm sort of panicking. I know I'm really good. I know how driven and enthusiastic I am. But on paper, I'm pretty far from the perfect candidate. I thought my struggle would be over after attaining my degree but I've only just started to realize that the degree is just the start. I'm going to have to fight really hard to prove myself. I just need a chance.


I hope that it's just this one guy - I can't imagine that most people would care about your age! I had a friend who wasn't very motivated academically until after he was married and had a child already - then he started medical school - I think he was at least your age when he graduated. Last I heard, he was a doctor, professor, and researcher at a medical school at an Ivy League university. SO many people go to medical school later as a second career, I have hope you'll find the right position!

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