When I finally did my Pediatrics rotation, it was the end of the junior year. I hated all the surgical specialties, especially obstetrics and gynecology. I didn’t really like adult medicine either, but I loved taking care of kids. It was in just those last few weeks of clinicals that I knew Pediatrics would be the focus of medicine for me.
Since all specialty training programs can accept limited numbers of applicants there is a time-honored method of selection. Senior medical students pick and interview at their preferred training programs. Residency directors pick and rank students in the order of their preferred choice. Senior students pick and rank their favored programs in the same way. Once a year on match day, all these choice lists are fed into a computer and the highest ranking students are paired with the highest ranking program preferences.
Stacy and I travelled and interviewed at residency training programs at in Memphis, Tennessee, Kansas City, Missouri, Wichita, Kansas, Denver, Colorado, and Galveston and Dallas, Texas. It was the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock though that primarily caught my eye.
My entire senior year electives were spent at Arkansas Children’s Hospital though, and that is where my heart was. I enjoyed it immensely and it was only an hour from my home town. As a senior medical student I was assigned patients to care for just like the Pediatric residents. I had the first Pediatric diabetic patient there in Arkansas who I started an insulin pump. Though rare then, insulin pumps are common today.
I placed Arkansas Children’s Hospital first on my match list followed by Oklahoma University at Tulsa. To my initial dejection, I matched with the University of Oklahoma Tulsa Medical College Pediatrics program and not with the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. When I finished my training at Tulsa however, I felt that I had gotten a much better education.
For Laura, that education became her lifeline.