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Diary of an FY2 – We Regret

March 13, 2016

So the Core Medical Training have made their decision. I don’t have a job come August.

I found out when I absently checked my phone, in the middle of a busy surgical ward. The FY1s were fretting over ECGs, the nurses were bustling to and fro, and a few patients were taking their IV stands for a walk. But all that faded into the background, replaced by a keening white noise when I opened my emails and saw the words, “We regret.”

I’m not sure why admissions teams think they need to bother with full emails or letters. After the words, “We regret,” everything else is filler. I’ve already got the jist, already read everything I need to read. And I’ve read it before.

2007: After an abortive interview at Cardiff, and no other offers, my aspirations to go to medical school are over.

2014: While everyone else around celebrates passing finals and completing medical school, I stare numbly at the email indicating failure instead of success.

2016: And now, my shot at Core Medical Training and up my SHO game has been stymied.

I’m beginning to see a pattern here.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t upset. It hurts. All my plans have been thrown into disarray. Now what do I do? Try and get a staff grade job? Locum around? Take a “sabbatical” and go travelling? With the guillotine blade of Jeremy Hunt’s contract for junior doctors poised to drop in August, do I even bother with medicine anymore?

I could run away and join a bookstore. I could have a series of text-based adventures. (Sidenote: Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan is a charming little book on that exact theme. Check it out)

That timeline above shows a depressing cycle. Apparently, first impressions are not my forte. However, that timeline is incomplete. Let me now fill that in:

2008: Interviews at Imperial College and Nottingham University. Then, an unconditional offer to study medicine at Imperial College, ranked consistently higher than any medical school I applied for the year before. There, I met some of my closest friends and my soon-to-be-wife. And one guy who occasionally pelted me with oranges…but it was mostly good.

2014: PACES-Focussed course then re-sat that exam. And then…well, you know what happened next.

2014: Stood up in front of 200 high school students and explained how I got my medical mojo back by re-applying to medical school.

2016: And now.

And now. And now, I apply to Round 2 of Core Medical Training applications. Because filling all those SHO jobs is so tricky, I’ve got a second chance to grab capricious fate by the scruff of its neck and make it see eye-to-eye. And I fully intend to do just that.

Humans are story-telling creatures. It is a fundamental, quintessential part of what makes us us. We use the events of our past to tell stories to make sense of who we are. Call it your personal brand if you want. If you look at the first timeline, my story would be that of a failure, marked again and again by “we regret”. But if you look at the second timeline; it’s a different story. Resilient is a word you could use. I’d prefer to say stubborn and pig-headed. Point is, I suck at first impressions but second impressions are a different story.

And that’s my story.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Roo permalink
    March 13, 2016 4:46 pm

    Ttrrrrrruuuussstttt gggggrrrraaadde: out of training is under rated by peers but good for the soul.

    I’ve turned down run through training twice now. Plenty more fun to be had.

  2. March 13, 2016 5:08 pm

    Well you always make a ‘top’ impression with me – but then perhaps I’m biased! That said Rhys they say the best things in life are worth waiting for and all the more sweeter for it, and so I’ve every faith that you’ll get that all important *start* you’re waiting for !

    Perhaps its fete – remember if you had got in to Cardiff first time round – you wouldn’t have gone to Imperial and you wouldn’t have met Eve – and so perhaps it is all meant to be !!!

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