Hi there,

I went out today and paid for my graduation invitations. It was sort of interesting siging my name officially and having cards officially printed with my name and M.D. after it.

Besides the graduation invitations, I have to get fitted for cap, gown and hood. The “official” garb at Howard is green with a little round cap complete with little gold tassel. Our hoods are green, white and gold. It started me thinking about a good hairstyle to go with the green. My hairstylist let me try out a purple rinse so I have grey hair with purple sheen to wear with my little green hat and gold tassel on graduation day in two months.

Match Day is two weeks away and seems an eternity. I just want to open that letter and know for sure where my life will lead from here. It will be more anti-climactic than graduation or “Honors and Oath Day” as it is called here at Howard.

I can’t really make moving plans until I know where I have matched. I won’t know where I have matched until March 21st. We all gather in the infamous “Red Room”, a large red auditorium where our names are called one by one. We are handed an envelope that is sealed. We file back to our seats, take a deep breath, and open the envelope. If you didn’t match, you know before the envelopes are handed out. If you matched at a preliminary slot but not at your residency, you know before Match Day. This allows you to get your information ready for the scramble.

On the night of the match, we have a huge party (called a “Smoker”) complete with skits, liquor and roudy loud music. It is our send-off for graduation. Traditionally, the second-year class is responsible for sending off the graduating class. At the end, the graduating class, stands on stage and drinks champagne. It does get wild. Faculty and administration are not allowed into the party. It is given by students for students.

Match Day in two weeks…

what a great end to a fantastic journey Nat. Sounds like fun!

Hi there,
Here’s another update:
We had our last full class meeting before graduation. Topics discussed here were application for medical license and DEA numbers. You have to apply for a license to practice in the state that you are doing your residency (for me Virginia). The applications are variable but generally, application after taking and passing USMLE Step III, you are eligible for a medical license and DEA number so that you may prescribe narcotics.
All of the forms for license have to be approved through the Dean’s office so your dean and medical school will be with you through residency and into practice. Everytime you move from state to state, you have to change your license if you want to practice.
We also got a look at out diplomas which are written in Latin. We will be furnished with one copy and a translated copy for our office walls. It looks pretty good to me at this point :D
We were told how to march in the Graduation Processional and how to wear our academic garb (hood and tam). So it’s 27 days and counting to graduation. :D :p :D

Hi all,
Today I finished my last official day of medical school. :0 From here on out, I have a couple of weeks before graduation but I have all of the medical school training that I will ever have, at this point. :)
In many ways, I am going to miss the grind but in the best way, I feel ready to go on to the next step in my training. I can honestly say that I have been well-taught and well-trained at Howard University College of Medicine. While I am going to miss many friends and classmates, I will make new friends and new relationships. One of the reasons that I am happy to be going to the University of Virginia, is that I think I am going to enjoy working with the residents in General Surgery there. I know that the faculty is highly-rated and that I will be able to concentrate on learning all of those things that make a good and safe surgeon.
From here on out, I am studying and working out on both the treadmill and free weights. I have send out inquiries for moving companies. I am moonlighting in respiratory therapy for extra cash. There is just so much to be done and mastered before I hit residency but I am really happy and fortunate that I have had the strength to make it to this point. “Let’s Roll!” :D

Congratulations Natalie!!

Reading this thread not only makes me very happy for you and very proud of what you have accomplished; but it also brings home the fact that my day in the sun is right around the corner. You know, you spend 4 years buckled down, focusing simultaneously on the immediate requirements of training and learning how to effectively learn & teach yourself medicine; all the while shifting a carefully measured portion of your efforts to address longer term issues, such as contacting residencies, networking with mentors and other things to make your personal & professional aspirations come to fruition.
In this melee of manipulation of focus, it is very easy to become rather short-sighted and lose the vision that brought you into this journey. Your description of the conclusion of your tenure as a medical student heartens me and forces me to lift my head and see where I have come from, what I have accomplished and solidifies the personal knowledge that I have succeeded and will accomplish what I set out to accomplish.
You will not be solo in the first official almnus class of OPM…but you are the most involved and I just wanted to tell you that we all have appreciated your leadership and the time you have invested in OldPreMeds. We all look forward to your continuing your involvement as much as you can. And, I personally hope that I will find your name on the registry books in Dallas in late May.

Your friend & fellow Reg Resp Terrorist,

As I sit here contemplating my own completion of a simple, little bachelor’s degree, I am totally in awe of your accomplishment! You are an inspiration to all of us who hope to follow in the footsteps of you, Dave, Rachel, Mike, Jeff, and the many others who are now in medical school.
Congratulations and, when the day arrives, please have someone take some great digital pictures that you can post to the site, enabling all of us to enjoy your day with you! :p