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Medicine Observations Reflection

My CV of Failures.

Several people on Twitter and Vox recently discussed “CVs of failure“.

We don’t like to share our failures, though we often don’t realize how our failures resulted in opportunities. (Or maybe that’s the narrative we tell ourselves so our failures don’t sting as much.)

Someone who provides wise counsel to me commented that sharing a CV of Failures is much easier to do when you’ve achieved success. I can see his point, though would argue that sharing a CV of Failures more reflects self-acceptance than success. Some people don’t ever think they’ve achieved success even though everyone else thinks they have.

So, in case it does provide inspiration for others, here’s my informal and abridged[1. This is most certainly an abridged version of my failures because (1) this includes only the professional failures I can remember, and (2) it includes strictly “professional” failures.] CV of Failures:

Universities I Did Not Get Into[2. Patients rarely ask me where I went to college or what I studied.]

  1. Stanford University
  2. Harvard University

Medical Schools I Did Not Get Into[3. Patients are even less likely to ask me where I went to medical school. The people who most frequently ask this question are physicians who work in academic settings.]

  1. University of California, Los Angeles (I cried)
  2. University of California, San Diego
  3. University of California, Irvine
  4. University of California, San Francisco
  5. Loma Linda University
  6. Stanford University
  7. Johns Hopkins
  8. Vanderbilt University
  9. Northwestern University
  10. Georgetown University
  11. New York Medical College
  12. Baylor University
  13. Tufts University
  14. Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  15. Case Western Reserve University
  16. Wake Forest University
  17. Mayo Medical School
  18. MCP Hahnemann University (now Drexel University)

I can’t remember the other schools I applied to. All told, I applied to 28 schools. Two offered letters of acceptance.

Residencies I Did Not Get Into[4. I don’t think any patient has ever asked me where I did my residency.]

Applicants “match” into a residency. Medical students apply and interview at residency programs. They then make a rank list of where they want to go. Programs also generate a rank list of medical students they want. A computer then “matches” the lists.

The lore is that “good” students will match into one of their top three choices.[5. Somebody who interviewed me at one of those programs actually asked me during the interview: “Were you abused as a child?”] I did not.

  1. New York University
  2. University of California, San Francisco
  3. Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Places That Rejected My Essays[5. I compare this list to the list of medical schools I applied to and realize that I should submit more essays. More attempts may lead to more failures, but increases the likelihood of actual success.]

  1. Bellevue Literary Review
  2. New York Times
  3. Salon
  4. Slate
  5. Vox

As a total aside, there was a time when I did not list my blog on my actual CV. About five years ago I did. I wish I had sooner.