Well, I’ve had a chance to cool off after the shock of yesterday’s news. There were 14 of 90 students who fell out of this lottery, which is higher than usual, and I’ve been wondering since yesterday how much of this can be related back to the MEP placement changes announced last year. In the end, those changes were later relaxed because of intense student outcry, but the process for the separate-but-still-combined site lotteries has been unclear and confusing ever since. Most of the information I’ve received about it has been through the student grapevine, with official documentation being changed as we go through the process. I feel out of control and sad, but certainly going to make the most of things; I can’t even imagine what I would do if I had a family and was trying to do this.
Rant over, and back to yesterday. In the hours after hearing the news, I was quickly scooped up by senior student friends who had been through the same thing and was rushed to the nearest sushi restaurant to talk through my options. I’m definitely not one to sit around and feel sorry for myself.
We walked through what each of the available regions was like (lots of, “Ohhhh! So THAT’S where Grey Bruce is …”), and how I might decide on where to go.
Today, I executed THE SUSHI PLAN and spent the entire day driving all around Southern Ontario to some of the top spots on the list. This process helped me immensely. I got a sense for driving distance, rurality, clinic-to-hospital timing, and general atmosphere in the communities. I even saw a horse and buggy in Ontario’s Amish country! Could it be that I’ll be working in Amish country?
I would have never been able to make a decision without this travel time, and the support of my senior student friends. Today at 6pm on the nose, I submitted my top 14 choices. It’s all up to life and karma now.
My largest fear is that I will be allocated a summer placement (May – August). I feel this way for a the following reasons:
- I’ll have to find something to keep me occupied from January to April. I will be stuck in Ontario for 4 months, in the winter … travel anyone?
- I’ll be separated from my class. We would watch the action online for 4 months before we actually got to participate in our own smaller version. There would be tiny tutorial groups that would not benefit from working collaboratively with a class. Benefit: driving in the summer to hospitals and homes is much, much easier. And. Ontario in the summer is much, much nicer.
- I’m afraid I’ll burn out. The most terrifying. The attrition rate in the MEP is unbelievably high as it is, but doing a summer NC placement makes the likelihood of burn-out even higher. If I was allocated a summer placement, my subsequent schooling would look a little like this:
- Normal Childbearing: May 2016 – August 2016
- Third year intensives and placements: September 2016 – April 2017
- Fourth year clerkship: May 2017 – May 2018.
Back. To back. To back. To … Sonia-huddled-on-a-street-corner-with-anxiety…
I don’t want to burn out. I’ve been careful to work on self-care this year, and I’m feeling less anxious and overwhelmed than last year, so hoping to see that trend continue. Of the choices we were given for this second lottery, 8 of them were summer placements, so ultimately, if the lottery randomly assigns me to a summer placement this year, I’ll have to make the most of it … for now, though, I wait until Tuesday.