Thursday, May 5, 2011

at last, i'm going to be a doctor

Although this is in fact the abridged version, I couldn't totally marginalize the sequence of events that have occurred during the past eight months by divulging only the basics of where and when I will be matriculating to medical school.

The lab that I joined in February of 2010 grew very quickly between the months of April and August. We acquired two scientists, two postdocs, and a last-year medical student from Italy, named Giulio, who came for a three month stint to complete his thesis requirement for graduation. Though I vehemently disliked him for the first month of his stay, once I realized he was actually rather impressive, I (we) also realized very quickly that we wanted to spend our lives together. He returned to University in Italy at the end of October and we considered the best ways to make it work- either him pursuing residency here or me applying to medical school abroad. Merging our lives was the true priority.

There are three international (english taught) MD programs in Milan. The first is Giulio's school- the prestigious and private Vita Salute San Raffaele, the second, Milan State/Humanitas (public and also highly esteemed), and the third, University of Pavia (my current boss' alma mater). Entry to these schools is based only on the results of the entrance exam- the top 20 or 30 get in, and the rest go home. There is only one opportunity each year to sit for the exam.

I decided in December that I was going to move to Italy no matter what. Probabilistically, it would be easier for Giulio and I to pursue our lives hand in hand if he aimed for a residency in Milan and I aimed for an adjacent university. I felt a sense of serenity and confidence making this decision- knowing that I would eventually find a way to get into medical school, but that I would never again meet someone so perfect for me as Giulio. So, I took what some might consider a gamble, and bought a one-way ticket for Milan for the spring of 2011.

I have spent the past three months studying (after work and on the weekends) for the entrance exam for San Raffaele- the school Giulio will be receiving his MD from this summer. It was my first choice for many reasons ranging from its reputation, to its curriculum, and to its full integration of USMLEs into the program, thus allowing for the unparalleled option to eventually attend a US or European residency.

Last week I flew to New York City to take the exam. I was terrified, but well prepared. On Tuesday the results were posted, highlighting my name in bright yellow on the number 7 position of the ranking. I'm still in a euphoric haze and in need of ironing out some serious bureaucracy, but I do know that I will be matriculating in early October, and that as the glitterous haze begins to settle, I can see that everything has fallen perfectly into its right place.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me in any way, big or small, along the way. It's been quite a challenging and bitter journey at times, but the juxtaposition with this hard fought battle highlights the sweet taste of earned victory.

3 comments:

The Schumanator said...

CHILLS! EXCITEMENT! AMAZEMENT!! OMG-MENT!!!!

I'm very Happy for a very deserving (very hard working) lass. The world is your oyster!!!!!!

Elyse said...

Oh, I will miss you. And quite jealous of your new adventure. Despite my selfishness - I am so so so happy for you. XO, my love.

Liv said...

lets do a VIP microcosmic high school reunion in italy next year. :)