Today was the most hectic day I've had on the floor yet. I was literally running around all day today, and I mean running, from floor to floor, room to room, without a chance to sit down, eat, breathe, anything. It was insane. The fact that I'm hacking away with a really bad summer cold really did not help the situation. After sign-out rounds, I came home, took two Sudafed, and promptly fell into a two-hour nap, during which time I had a dream that I was still on the floor, running around, frantically talking with consults and scheduling tests. Talk about working overtime.
So basically, I'm working like a dog, but, you know, like a dog that really likes his job. I'm working like a sled dog. Or a seeing-eye dog. But regardless, I really need a day off. Just a 24-hour period where I don't have to be in the hospital, a day that I can sleep late, rest my brain and my body, and get refreshed, really refreshed, for the next day's onslaught. That day off is going to be a long time in coming, though. I'm on call tomorrow, then again on Monday (yes, that's Q2 for those counting), and then again on Thursday. Then, thankfully, I have my golden weekend, with both Saturday and Sunday off to regroup. Too bad I'll be too busy sleeping to enjoy it.
Yesterday I had dinner with Jamal, so that we could catch up and spend some time together before he heads off into the wilds of Connecticut (read: New Haven) for law school. During dinner, Joe called me twice, with urgent news that he had to speak with me about. Turns out that he got the feedback that he's doing incredibly well in his Ophtho preceptorship, and the doctor with whom he's working is really pushing for him to look at some of the top programs for residency. Unfortunately, in his opinion, none of the really top-top programs are in New York City. So Joe wanted to see if I would entertain the idea of seriously applying (as opposed to half-heartedly tossing our hats in the ring) to either ______, ______, or __________.
I have my opinions about which city of the three in general I find the easiest to imagine settling in (and I'll just leave you to guess which one), but there are other factors too, including the fact that Joe has some family in one of the other areas. Unfortunately, the benefit of being near family is cancelled out by the fact that they live in the city that I would least likely ever picture myself living for any length of time, as I have gone so far as to say several times in the past, "Man, if I ever had to live in ________, I'd totally die, because that town fucking sucks." My opinion on this has not changed significantly since the time of these pronouncements, and while I'm open to change and trying new things, the idea of moving from Manhattan to _________ is not an idea I'm really relishing.
But what can you do, right? It's something that we have to at least consider. Joe is clearly an outstanding candidate, and I think that I probably have a reasonable chance of matching at one of these other programs, so if he really thinks that it's important for his career to match at one of these Big Name programs, then we should at least try. I mean, it couldn't hurt for me to go to one of the Big Name children's hospitals in those towns either, since I'm probably academia-bound and need to keep myself looking shiny for fellowship applications and whatnot. Of course, were it up to me, I'd set my goals on matching at the Big Name children's hospital that I'm at right now, and get to stay in New York to boot. I've always said, even when I was applying to med schools, that for me, location is the most important thing. Especially if the location is New York.
But it's not just me. It's the both of us. And in that, both of us need to conceded certain things. If he's a good enough candidate to get into one of the Big Name programs and he really wants to puruse that path, I will conceded living in one of these other cities for at least four years. And he's said that if I cannot tolerate any of these other Peds programs, either that I'd be truly miserable in these other cities, or that the programs there are not a good fit, then he'd concede a lower ranking of the corresponding Optho program in that town. We'll still have to work out what we're going to do. We still have to figure out what we want.
And we can always still decide to match in New York. Or if we leave, we can always decide to come back. New York isn't going anywhere. It will always be around for us to come home to.