Introduction to 2011-2012 On the Trail

Hello urology physicians, fellows, residents, fellow applicants, family, friends, super gunner pre-meds, and whoever else manages to find their way to this wonderful website!  First, I’d like to give thanks to my two predecessors—UMUser and M.Arrowsmith—for sharing their “On the Trail” experiences over the past two years.  Their reflections were full of refreshing honesty, humor, and humility and were simply a pleasure to read.  Undoubtedly, these two anonymous bloggers have helped me and many fellow applicants mentally prepare for the roller coaster of emotions in the months ahead. 

Second, I wanted to say that I am truly excited to have this opportunity to share with you—anonymous urology audience—my anonymous thoughts from the interview trail.  I must admit that I am a little nervous about writing what is my first blog of any sort on such an intensely personal and career-determining process.  Nevertheless, with some encouragement from my family, friends, and significant other, I decided to take the plunge and give this blog thing a try.

My first thought upon the invitation to blog was, “Now how in the hell am I supposed to keep this anonymous?”  As those who know me would tell you, I enjoy telling stories.  In fact, I unabashedly share them—perhaps too often with a little bit of TMI.  As a result, I may unintentionally “reveal” myself to medical school colleagues, fellow applicants, residents, and/or faculty I meet on the interview trail with the content of my posts.  This means you won’t get completely raw and uncensored reactions to my worst experiences on the trail—if you’re looking for a blog as uninhibited as a narced-up patient making vulgar passes at female staff, you won’t find that here.  However, my plan for this blog is to share the highs and the lows of what really goes on during this crazy process.  My hope is to encourage fellow applicants dealing with the similar stresses and struggles, give family members and passerbys insight into the remarkably mysterious match process, and provoke all readers into a few laugh-out-loud moments along the way.

 Some of my posts will be “retrospective” in nature (on the exhausting urology sub-internship and painful ERAS application process, for example); others will be “play-by-play” updates on the process as it is happening.  Finally, a few posts will be written during interview season but posted after the match, allowing me a little more freedom to reflect on particular absurdities of the process, inevitably identifiable with particular institutions and people.  These, I predict, will be the most entertaining for me to write (and for y’all to read). 

A couple of notes and disclaimers:

1.  As you may have already sensed, I have a slightly nerdy sense of humor.  Blame my significant other who positively reinforces this personality flaw by finding it charming.

2.  My frequent use of “y’all” does not mean I’m from the South, but neither does it exclude that possibility.  Same goes for my fanaticism with Nascar (more on America’s greatest sport later).

3.  Feedback and comments are strongly encouraged.  Also, I hope these posts can spark some reflection and writing from fellow applicants so that everyone can hear other great but untold stories from the interview trail.  Let’s have some fun with this.

Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for your feedback.  To my fellow applicants:  best of luck—I look forward to meeting y’all on the trail.