Thursday, December 27, 2007

would love some feedback - please!

greetings from sunny, balmy florida. christmas day was lovely but the day after was even more beautiful. blue skies, gentle breeze, a gorgeous early spring (winter?) day all around. if this is global warming - i LOVE it.

so, i'm in a dilemma - and i'm asking for opinions. i have a few regular readers - some in the vet scene, some not - but i want to know what others think. within 20ish days, i have to decide whether to stay in the match or withdraw. if i stay in, i will rank 6 places: 4 academic internships, 2 private. these will be 6-7 day work weeks, long hours, low ($25,000) pay without possibility of a 2nd job as a relief vet elsewhere, and no real vacation. due to lack of funds and my senior year being diabolically busy (boards, matching, plus my rotations) - i haven't visited ANY of these places and thus have no idea how or if i'll fit in or even like the place. BUT these internships will be incredible learning opportunities, i will really develop as a diagnostician - as well as refine my ability to treat and manage diseases in both acute and more long-term situations. i will be able to pursue a residency if i want to do so after one of these internships - but i can also work for a while. doing a competitive, top-notch, structured internship will make me a better doctor right off the bat. all are a 5 hour drive away from home, which means my long-suffering but patient and wonderful husband will have to commute 2 days a week to teach classes so that he can keep his stipend. thus, he will spend tues, wed, and thursday of every week away from me. lastly - and least importantly, i'm competitive and driven as hell and want to prove to myself that i'm good enough to capture one of these positions and excel.

my other opportunity is taking the internship offered to me already (outside of the match). it pays $30,000, i work a week then take a week off which means i can work as a relief vet nearby and make an "extra" $30,000-45,000 per year. it's only an hour and a half drive from our current home - only 3.5 hours from our real home, so husband can keep his stipend and assitanceship, have an easy commute, and come home to me at the end of the day instead of staying away (although mostly, i won't be at home because i'll be slaving away as an intern). i'm also not so far from my family - either of them. i love the place, i love the staff, i felt welcomed - i felt like a part of the team. it was a fantastic place for me - and the clinic is beautiful. it pays well, it's a good fit for me personally, but it's not competitive for residencies and may require that i do another one later if i decide to pursue that course. further, it's not structured at all - so teaching opportunities outside of being a real doctor are few. there are no structured case rounds, no journal club, no rounds of any sort - yet. the organization is a bit lacking at times, but it's something i can live with - i think.

so...i'm opening the floor to my few but faithful readers. what do you think - whether you're a fellow vet student or not?? i'm torn still. my heart seems to know the answer - but my head is trying to be stubborn and pragmatic...i'd like to hear how others feel.

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