“Have you submitted?”
This question has been buzzing in the air among the medically-inclined crowd since the clock rolled over to 12:01am on September 1st. While I wish so much that this referred to submitting to an inclination towards regular exercise, or even submitting to the urge to eat loads of chocolate cake, what this is actually in reference to is the submission of ERAS—an online application for residency programs across the nation.
We submitted on Saturday. We submitted so hard that it cost us like $10,000.
Okay, not really... it actually only cost a fraction of that, but still. Beaucoup bucks, guys. We had to shell out just so these hot-shot programs will even consider looking at Dr. D’s application. Honestly, his app is so pristine that they should probably be thanking and paying us. I mean really.
Here’s the way residency applications work, as far as I can tell:
- You update your CV, complete with hobbies, and then realize that you can’t remember what your hobbies are because you’ve been in MED SCHOOL for the past three years. So you ask your wife to remind you what your hobbies are, and she tries to slip “loving your wife” in as a hobby and you’re like “Lol, cute. But not appropes.”
- You write a personal statement, and agonize over each word and its synonyms, only stopping yourself when you realize there is no synonym for “the,” so you might as well be done with it.
- You chew off all of your fingernails as you wait for the rock-star docs who agreed to write your letters of rec to actually submit the letters, and pray about ten times a day that they (a) remember to do it, and (b) put the correct name on the letter.
- You choose which residency programs to send your application to, and pay based on the number of places you send it. Some people research every detail of the residency program and its surrounding areas, and selectively and systematically identify which programs they want to work for. Others utilize their wife’s stink-face method (more on that later).
- You click submit and wait for the interview offers to come. And according to your loving wife, they will come.
Prayers and crossed appendages (fingers, toes, whatever you got) welcome. And for those of you who have submitted or are about to, congratulations! We’re so close!