Sunday, December 31, 2006

Eid Mubarak!

Hope you all have/had(depending on when it was celebrated at where ever you all are) a wonderful eid.May Allah bless you all with His choicest blessings!Ameen.

p.s:Que sera sera and Rai...I shall get those tags done...:)...I have just been extremely caught up with stuff(and partly lazy I admit)...will update soon inshaAllah.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Seven Things...

The long over due tag by Writer's Creek.

Seven Things I want to do in life:
1) Become a practising muslim.
2) Go for Hajj with my family,inshaAllah.
3) Not forget what being a doctor is really about.
4) Become a great clinician-educator(a doctor who teaches as well;work in that capacity to reform medical education back home)
5) Learn Arabic.
6) Make Saad like me more than D(even if it means "buying" him into believing Aya is the bestest sister...of course that would be when I start making my own money and buy him stuff!)
7) Be content and be at peace with myself for the most part.

Seven Things I can do:
1) Cook
2) Sketch
3) Motivate people
4) Ride a bicycle.(I know people who can't and I think its actually a talent..heh)
5) Wrap gifts beautifully.
6) Drive my friends(and family) a little crazy with my worrying.
7) Kill a lizard.

Seven Things I can’t do:
1) Resist chocolate.
2) Make Saad realise I am not as mean and evil as he thinks I am.
3) Eat egg yolk.
4) Leave voice mails without thinking "I must've sounded like such a fool" afterwards.(which is why I don't end up leaving voice mails normally)
5) Pretend to be enthusiastic about something I am not really enthused with/about.
6) Talk a lot when travelling.
7) Dance.

Seven things I say the most:
1) Khair.
2) Please pray for me/remember to pray for me.
3) Alright/Ok.
4) Really?
5) You know.(at the end of a lot of my sentences!)
6) Nice to meet you/It was a pleasure meeting you...(as of now, at my interviews)..haha
7) Ummmm...

Seven Things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1) Intelligence
2) Religiousness
3) Patriotism
4) Humility
5) Honesty
6) Fortitude
7) Being well read

Seven Celebrity Crushes:
Too old for crushes(especially celebrity!) now...hmmmm...come to think of it I really haven't had any celebrity crushes(unless considering Jude Law good looking counts as a crush).

I tag:
DP(if he finds the time from his studying ofcourse)
O-C(if she finds the time from her globe trotting)
Que sera sera

Catching up

I am behind on blogging two interviews...oh goes:


I liked this program quite because I felt it was a place where I would get ample opportunity and encouragement to pursue my interest in academic medicine.The program director was wonderful...his slide show about the program more than made up for the not so impressive website.The program is one of the 17 programs across the US that have been selected to be part of the EIP. I was very impressed with the PD's interest in resident education .During my interview with him he told me in depth about the system of resident evaluation he had come up was all extremely thorough and unique...he told me about how his scheme had actually made its way out to other programs who had also implemented the same(all the applicants get photocopies of the evaluation structure...apparently applicants had passed it on to other programs).I was also interviewed by the chief of rheumatology...that went quite well too.Its a smallish program...most of the residents are IMGs but there is a lot of diversity ranging from people from Romania,Ukraine,China,Pakistan,Sudan and India.Research isn't really a strong point for this program but there are opportunities available for those who are proactive about it.The interns who took us out for the pre-interview dinner were really nice.I asked them if they'd ranked SIU as number one in their rank order lists...and none of them had ranked it as number was either number 2 or 3(I usually ask the residents what program they had ranked as number two provided the particular program they were at was indeed number one and then ask them about what was it about this program that made them choose it over the other) far this question has got me some candid answers and good insight into the program.Anyways,there were no major issues with this program per se that made the interns I talked to rank it lower than their top choice....just the fact that springfield is a small city and their isn't much to do there or they had family in another state far off from Illinois etc.Personally, I would be just fine if I had to live in Springfield...I don't really like big cities and Chicago and St. Louis are a 3 and a 2 hour drive away respectively if one needs to get away.I got a letter from the program director yesterday reiterating their strengths and that they would be ranking me highly and would be delighted to have me come in for a second visit.They probably sent the same letter to all the people they interviewed but it feels good all the same...:)

My interview at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago after this was quite an experience...(trivia...apparently, the county general hospital in the show ER is a factitious representation of this hospital)....more tomorrow(hopefully!).

Monday, December 11, 2006

For que sera sera

A couple of my father's paintings:

The UK Interview (part 2)

The rest of the day at UK after the one on one interviews pretty much flew by. Lunch with the residents was followed by a tour of the university hospital and the VA hospital.I couldn't help but wonder how easy it would be to get lost there especially with my adirectionia.
The greatest compliment to the program perhaps was the fact that the residents I met with on the clinical floors while touring the hospitals(so these weren't the "hand picked" residents who we had initially met with) said that they would definitely choose UK again if given a second opportunity.
I was very impressed with the program on the did offer the essentials I'd look for in a program.However,I must admit I didn't really feel like I connected...I am still finding it hard to put a finger on why exactly I felt this way because everyone I met with was friendly and warm.May be it was the fact that I didn't see any foreign grads there(they do say they have about 14 of them) or may be I am more of a small program person....guess I'll just sleep on this some more.
I've been lazy with posting about my interviews which really isn't good because its all pretty much a haze now and that kinda defeats the whole purpose of this exercise..hehe..but anyways...I interviewed at the Southern Illinois University this past Friday...more on that tomorrow.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The UK Interview (Part 1)

My interview at University of Kentucky (UK) went fine, alhamdulillah. I had emailed the program administrator a few days before the interview to find out about the faculty that would be interviewing me…..I have this morbid fear of mispronouncing people’s names…anyways…I got the expected “I don’t know yet…you’ll find out the morning of the interview” reply. D and I drove down to Lexington…a nice and straight three and a half hour drive. The program had arranged for accommodations and we got to the hotel in the afternoon. The dinner with the residents the night before the interview was nice…all the candidates (there were five of us) were there along with two chief residents (and their spouses) and an intern. There were three IMGs including me and two AMGs…..the other two IMGs were from India and Jordan. The residents were all easy to get along with…and so were the rest of the candidates…although the guy from Jordan didn’t say much at all through out the dinner. I found out later that the poor guy had traveled over ten hours to get to Lexington. One of the AMGs was desi….I’ll call him the “talker”….he talked a LOT. When he first introduced himself to me I asked him where he was from originally….and he said… “Indian/Pakistani….take your pick”. So, call me weird or whatever but I just don’t like it at all when people say things like….”oh brown hair brown eyes…Indian/Pakistani…same thing”…..that just doesn’t go down well with me. Anyways I just smiled back and asked him where his parents were from…turns out they were from Pakistan…so he was Pakistani! Heres where I stop with my ranting and continue.
The interview day started at 8:00 a.m the next morning with the morning report which was well presented and very interesting. After that the PD gave a presentation about the program…which was mostly a rehashing of what was there on their website…and was boring. The PD somehow seemed a little distant but he did manage to get across all the progressive changes that had come about in the program over the past few years. From a little background reading that I had done on the PD I knew he was big on medical education and has quite a few research projects going on about how to effectively teach and evaluate residents during training. I had asked the residents I met the night before about the didactics at the program and they were all praise for their attendings in this regard. The emphasis on teaching is one of the things at the top of my list…that along with the fact that whether the residents have “full ownership” of their patients or not….because that is how one learns. I’ve heard people ask the question “do you get time to read?” from interns and residents…In my opinion, while that is important…but practically speaking I am sure there isn’t much time that one can read during their internship year….and even if there is…you’re so dead tired…you’d rather catch up on sleep…..which is where the entire “learning from the patients” comes in and the most effective way to do that is when you have ownership of your patients. I did see that at this program. Another thing that impressed me was what they called continuity clinics where the same faculty supervises the residents for almost their entire residency….this is a good thing too because every attending would have a different way of doing things…and well..if you have a different attending every other week…you’d not really be learning a whole lot but rather ending up learning each attending’s pet peeves. I ramble again!Back to the interview day…I had two 30 minute interviews with two faculty members. The PD did not interview me…I guess that’s how it works at the Uni based programs or does it?....may be the PD just interviews people who he thinks are real strong candidates. My interviews with the faculty went well….one of them asked the standard questions…Why medicine? Why internal medicine? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? Her and I connected when I told her that I wanted to eventually go into academic medicine and teach….She was doing a master’s degree in curriculum development and I really enjoyed the rest of our talk from there because it was more conversational then…until she popped the “how have you or would you handle a situation where you don’t agree with what a senior is telling you to do or is doing?” I think I managed to what DP would call “BS my way” through it…heh. The next interview was with this doctor from the allergy/immunology department. I knew he couldn’t really be bothered with the interview when the first question he asked me was “do you have any questions for me”…I hate it when they do that….somehow I feel it shifts the focus from you to the program and at the end of it all you leave feeling like they didn’t really get to know you any better as a person than what your application told them about you. He then went on to relate the strengths of the program and how he loved it there….it wasn’t all that bad….he did tell me about this formal research program they have at the university which no one had talked about through out the day….that was interesting.. I think the somewhat impersonal tone of this interview was part of the reason why I was a little queasy and unsure about how I felt about the program at the end of the day…and so the elaborate blog entry….I am hoping writing it all out will somewhat clear the fog in my head…..have to be off right now…the rest of the days story(and more of what I liked and did not like) tomorrow inshaAllah.