It has rained either on the day of or the journey to every interview except the one in my home town, O Best Beloved. It was a beautiful sunny day when I came out of that interview, and that was my sign. I told you I was thinking I would stay at home and go to residency here. Suddenly, I'm terrified.
I stopped by school today and cleaned out my mailbox. There were three green slips - grade sheets - for three different rotations. Emergency medicine: Honours. I knew that. Sub-I at $other_residency, the one where I love the residents and like the program and would go if I were inclined to move, but I'm not: High pass, with comments:
"Is an extremely bright student with knowledge well above the average student at her level of training. She was very self-motivated and took on responsibility well. She was well-read about her patients' problems. She was very caring towards her patients and showed much compassion. She will be an excellent physician." (Staff)
"Honest, caring, respectful, hard working, eager to learn...I think Nicole did a very good job in her IM rotation with us." (Chief resident)
I was elated. I should be. That's high praise. Then I opened the third one.
This is the evaluation for my rotation here at $residency, where I had a good month, felt like I got along well with the residents, learned a lot and had fun at the same time. Everyone seemed to enjoy working with me, once I got used to the hospitals I felt like I was a contributing part of the team...I felt good about it, good enough that I really had no regrets about deciding that I wanted to stay at home and not move. I felt good.
Pass, with comments:
"This evaluation was completed with input from the staff physicians and residents that this student spent time with. It is felt that Nicole has an adequate knowledge base and skill sets. It was felt that her attitude and demeanor need work. She at times is felt to be unreceptive and dismissive to constructive feedback as well as being abrupt with patients on occasion and not listening to them. Residents characterized her as "irritating", "unprofessional", "unaware of invading people's personal space", "didn't listen", etc."
It's been a long drive down to this interview, O Best Beloved, another four hours after I picked up my evaluations. I've been crying off and on the whole time. I'm alone. I don't comprehend, I can't understand how such a positive experience for me resulted in such a demeaning and horrific summation. This is the place I felt comfortable enough to say that I wanted to spend three years of my life, these are the people I thought I got along well with. Nobody said anything when I asked for advice. "You're doing fine. Keep working hard." Obviously, not.
I went to drop off some paperwork. I couldn't finish a sentence without bawling. "Maybe this is a sign," she says. God bless M, she has been my lifeline and my mainstay throughout three and a half years of medical school. She hugged me and listened to me crying, she read my evaluation in shock and dismay. "How can anyone meet you and say that about you? Maybe they've got the wrong person."
M thinks I should go to $other_residency. She saw my evaluation for it come through (maybe the one for this most recent month?) and based on what they said, she was certain my choice would be made. She was surprised to find that I'd been thinking to go to $residency. I've e-mailed. I'm hoping for a response, and relatively soon, so that I can meet with Dr. B, who put the evaluation together, and ask him what happened. Because I don't understand at all how things can seem so wonderful and come out in such a bizarrely twisted resolution, and all of a sudden I'm wondering if maybe this place I thought would be a very nice fit for me is something other than what I perceived it to be. What did I do wrong?
And now dinner is in ten minutes, with total strangers, here in this city where I don't want to go to residency and don't know what I'm doing here anyway. I need to go wash my face and put on some makeup.
I wanted to tell you a happy story. I'm sorry.