Friday, October 27, 2006

Hold the Mayo

Is it a bad idea to post while intoxicated?

...Or is that one of those un-answerable, eternal questions? One that's either blindingly obvious, or else so rich with complexity and nuance that it's pointless to try? EDIT: It's okay, as long as you save rather than post, and then edit yourself a few days later.

Anyway. I am officially 2 for 3 on my list of CASPA-application schools. I got the rejection letter today from the school that I always figured was a long-shot, the school that's -- no lie here, kids -- more competitive than some four-year med schools.

(...And if that offends you, then you're likely to be a pre-med, specifically one of the sort I enjoy seeing other people make fun of -- props at this juncture must go out to PA Forums poster Crooz, who has used, and as far as I know may have coined, the term "pre-med-onna").

Hey, it's just math. Nothing to get excited about. I'm not as depressed as I might be. If you're a school, and you get 200-ish applications, and you can accept only 14, then you're taking like 7 percent of your applicants. If your state med school is this picky, then your state has mostly good doctors. Feel free to get sick from time to time.

So I will apparently NOT be training at the U of Wisconsin-LaCrosse/ Mayo Clinic PA program. The letter was very nice, and specifically said that it was a tough process. They only interview 60 for those 14 spots, and they already know plenty of people who would be otherwise excellent candidates just didn't get a spot.

I like to think they mean me. With each glass I empty, it seems more plausible. If anything, I'm stung by not being in the top 60 out of 200-ish. Then again, I have bragged about being the king of the statistical "middle third," because my GPA scrapes the "you must be this tall to ride this ride" line represented by the posted minimum. Mayo actually reads all the applicant files, which is extremely cool. Presumably they give each one a score of some kind as they go through. But even so, finding that 60 has to be more cold-blooded than picking the 60 with the best stories, the most maturity, or whatever.

My suspicion is, you fiddle with the minimum GPA requirement, and see how many of your applicants would "qualify" for an interview with each increase. At least, that's what I would do. Even if that's only part of the equation, it must be a big part. And considering that a GPA minumum that allows me to go forward in the process is by definition one that lets everyone go through... well, that's no help.

Surely they got to a number around 60ish when they used a nice high GPA, a decently high GRE score, and some measure of experience. I probably did well except for the GPA. I'll ask them all about it after January 1st; the letter also said to feel free to consult with them about how to strengthen the old app, just not right now.

So for now, I'm going to start the healing process. In the spirit of "he was no good for you anyway" and other advice my female friends are always giving one another, here is a little about


1) Gotta wear a suit every day in clinicals (except in the ER): I just don't own that many suits. I mean, I have a vintage thing I love, but it's too shiny for most settings. And I have the new one that is being tailored right now, in prep for the Chicago trip coming up, but ye gods, how many suits does a guy need? I'm not a VP of Marketing and Brand Management, and that's on purpose, dammit. No sir, I want my stupid short white coat and my cargo pants, plus or minus a tie with a button-down shirt. There have been times in my life I've worn more formal attire than was needed, but those were the times I was bullshitting someone.

2) LaCrosse is beautiful... for a weekend. It's no Red Wing if you're into antiques and inns, and it's no Winona if you're into history. In New York terms, it's like Troy, only without the adjacent Albany. It's like any randomly-chosen 10% of Madison. It's... awww, you get the idea. Living in a small town for two years surely goes beyond charming and into "yes, I'd love to do a rotation out of town... anywhere out of town."

3) Seriously. Mayo? Isn't that a little... I don't know... legitimate and respectable? I'm supposed to be this rebel, this non-traditionalist. I'm the new face of healthcare in America. I can't be, you know, the Man. It's a part of why I saw my mighty-high GRE score and thought "I could apply to Yale!," followed close by with "...but yuck, I don't want to go to Yale." No, it's a normal school for me.

Or even better, one with a history of educating those that other schools maybe didn't feel the need to make room for. More later on why the Chiago school is so cool.

Anyway. I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And I would have been great at the old temple of tradition. I won't get to say "Mayo" in answer to the question about where I trained, and that's too bad. I think I would have been able to finesse it to where I say "Mayo" but the other person hears "Mayo, you condescending jackass. I know less than you about some things, and more than you about some others, and let's not even go there, mm'kay?"

This way I'll simply have to do the same thing with another name. My new favorite school, the one in Chicago, has a really good name for that, actually.


Diablo said...

You're too cool for Mayo.

Trash said...

Yup - and too hip.