Driving over 1500 miles in 4 days for 2 dinners and 2 interviews, followed by a day’s break after which I then will drive a few hundred miles more to take Step 2 CS has made me edgy, dizzy, nauseous, and out-of-sorts. Plus being cooped up in a small rental car for hours and hours on end with no CD player and only the radio is enough to drive anyone crazy! I’ve come to find that I talk to myself a lot while driving – lovely. My advice? If you have more than a 4 hour trip by car - just fly. It's really not worth saving money if you think you'll throw an embolism from sitting so long or have to take hourly breaks to avoid the vertigo you get while driving in a thunderstorm, at night, with large trucks wizzing past you, and only your headlights to see.
In spite of this post-trip funk, the programs that I’ve interviewed with have been tremendous and really are screwing with my previous idea of what I would rank and where. I will have to take a long, hard, and completely honest look at all options and have insight from Wife before making any final commitments – what I thought would be high is being moved around a bit and programs I was a little wary of have been quite impressive. Damn...so tempting, but are they right for me? For us?
The interview trail is actually quite fun since you get to see a new city, meet some interesting people, and hear about interviews they've finished. The other day I heard about a program I'm interviewing at this month with the discussion being between two large city dwellers. Their focus was on the program's small city location and the interesting fact that, at times, it smells like chocolate. These candidates found it to be a tremendous program, but the area was just too small for them to consider it. They need a larger environment and this was more of a family place, I guess, so it might just be perfect for us - plus I've seen that there are lots of places where Wife could work within 30 minutes of the area...so it's all good.
What is the most fun, however, is to observe how people start acting weird once their level of anal-sphincter tightness declines. Sometimes they turn into real jackasses, helping you look a lot better and sometimes they are really cool and easy conversationalists. I'll be glad to have some time to just crash and not feel evaluated all the time, though. I really hate those dinners, not for the food, but for the forced social interaction with people I've never met and are judging me. For all their infamy, the interviews are nothing compared to those dang dinners - at least for me.
I've also had some programs ask me in a rather round-about way to explain why I'm at my school. It's not well known and has a somewhat, um, less then stellar rep in the medical field. I spin it very well, I think, but I find it interesting that I have to explain it at all. Perhaps they're wondering why someone with all of my obvious talent and wisdom wouldn't be at a more prestigious school - yeah right.