The time has come to set my schedule for fourth year. I was lucky and was assigned the first registration time, so I chose my courses first thing in the morning on registration day. Having such an early pick time was helpful because it enabled me to build some flexibility into my schedule. I slotted my required courses early in the year so that I should have a more relaxing second half of the year. I scoped out some cool electives that I’m excited to add to my schedule in the future (we only had to schedule our required courses at this point).
The trouble is that I’m still not sure what specialty I want to pursue. So, I decided to front load my schedule and plan for my most competitive specialty selection. I realize I still might change my mind, but I think it’s better to keep my options open. With that strategy in mind, since I am actively considering general surgery as a specialty, I scheduled an acting internship (AI) in general surgery during the first block of fourth year. This enables me to be more competitive for an application in surgery, because doing an AI in the first couple of blocks of the year is important for getting letters of recommendation. If I decide not to pursue general surgery, I still should be able to do an AI in another specialty – maybe OB/Gyn or family medicine. Those are my other two specialty considerations right now.
It is a little challenging to try to prepare for all the possibilities. I’m also a bit jealous of some of my friends who are more settled on their career choices. It is still exciting to plan for fourth year, even with the enormous uncertainty. I honestly can’t believe that in about one year it will be my Match Day. I’ve booked my appointments for Step 2 CK and CS. I bought study materials. Soon it will be time to start outlining a personal statement and gathering letters of recommendation. I also need to update and polish my CV.
These next few months will be important as I try to finally decide what specialty to pursue. Once my internal medicine clerkship is complete in a few weeks, it will be time to start OB/Gyn. I think it will be very interesting to try since it combines elements of other specialties I’ve enjoyed – particularly family medicine and surgery. Furthermore, I’ve always had a strong interest in women’s health. So we’ll see! I’ve set my schedule for now, but I’m still open to change. Hopefully everything will become clear over the coming months. Keep wishing me luck!