Tuesday, February 12, 2013

No more gaps

I kind-of promised a few posts back that I would explain how I came to have my RMO (or residency) job this year.  It's a long, fascinating story in a short and boring kind of way.  And it goes a little something like this:

I wanted to do a year of General Training this year.  General Training means you're in no specific training program.  This is because:
  • I am indecisive, and can't commit to a future career,
  • I am cowardly, and am too afraid to apply to a training program in case I am rejected,
  • I wanted to do some more psychiatry,
  • I wanted to do some anaesthetics, and
  • I am lazy, and didn't want to have to do any study any time soon.
So I applied for a year of General Training at the hospital I did my internship at.  Naturally, as an outstanding and handsome young doctor I was hired and my every wish came true - not.

What happened was that four thousand other people also had the same plan and the hospital decided that they should hire a bunch of bozos so they could be closely supervised before someone got hurt - meanwhile the superior interns such as myself were thrown back on our resources since we could so obviously cope with it.  Or something like that.

So I was stuck without a job. The process in the arse end of Australia is that we get three preferences for different jobs throughout the state.  The advantage of this is that if you don't get your first preference, they know that you're a hopeless dud and they throw your application in the bin while laughing maniacally and sucking on a giant cigar.

Then after about a month of bitter self-recriminations, I got a phone call out of the blue from another hospital that I hadn't applied to.  They wanted to interview me for a job.  So I said yes, sedated all my patients, and drove to the other side of the city for the interview.

The interview went for half an hour and mostly consisted of the 3 members of the panel discussing between themselves what would be the best route for me to take in the mornings to bypass the rush-hour traffic. The other bits consisted of them hanging shit on each other, and in one case almost falling off his chair.  They asked me the expected questions, prefaced with "I'm sure you'll know the answer to this one but we have to ask", and then after I started to answer they would interrupt me and say, "Yeah yeah yeah, blah blah blah, that's great."  I was watching out of the corner of my eye as the departmental secretary filled out her evaluation form, just running down the page ticking all the boxes marked EXCEPTIONAL in a perfunctory way.  Seriously.

It was pretty clear to me that somebody had unexpectedly quit their job and they needed a replacement pronto.  Somehow they had got their hands on my resume and they liked it (I know this because we discussed some of the research I did in my prior life as Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile) and decided to offer me the job as soon as they saw I didn't have three heads and wasn't a serial killer.

Which is all great.  Except that halfway through the interview I realized (by peeking again at the evaluation form) that this wasn't an interview for General Training.  It was an interview for Physician Training.  (For Americans, this means Internal Medicine.  For non-medical people, a physician is a medical specialist like a cardiologist or a neurologist.)

Physician training is intense, scary, competitive and I had repeatedly told many people that there was no way I would do it.  So when they offered me the job, I accepted it.  I accepted it because:
  • They pay me a salary.
So that's what's happened.  I got a job I didn't want by not applying for it at a hospital I didn't want to work at.  So far, all things considered, it's going pretty well!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds an awful lot like shit magnet luck to me.