Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Okay, friends and readers.  I am experiencing a conundrum of what to do with my summer.  Yesterday, two opportunities availed themselves, and I have to decide by tomorrow morning which I am going to choose.

1) Vanderbilt Summer Research Program in Diabetes and Endocrinology.
I applied for this program a few months ago on a whim.  I did not think there was any way in the world I would be accepted - I think they might have forgotten to read the part that said I had zero research experience and 2.3 GPA.  But nonetheless, I got an email yesterday saying that I've been accepted into the program and I have to notify them within 48 hours (so, 24 hours from now) whether I am accepting or decling the offer.

a. This is a really crazy prestigious thing.  I am still really confused as to why they want me.  I don't even come close to qualifying for USA's summer research program.  But it would look pretty phenomenal on my resume which is kind of empty right now.

b. If I decide to go into pediatric endocrinology, which is a pretty big option for me right now, this would be an invaluable experience and it would probably help me get a fellowship.

c. It might be really fun and interesting and a cool way to spend my summer.

d. It's a little more money.

a. I have never done research, and to be honest, the idea doesn't really thrill me.  It looks like they are flexible as to what type of research you do, and it can be more clinically based, but it's all very vague and I wouldn't be able to know until I selected my topic and was assigned a mentor.

b. My brain needs a break.  I am not even kidding.  This would be literally my entire summer, probably from a few days after I get back from England until a few days before 2nd year starts, and while it could be really laid back, that's not the vibe I am getting.  I don't think it would be a good idea to go into 2nd year (which is supposedly way harder than this year) with an already-tired brain.  

c. Even though it pays more, I'd have to find somewhere to live and pay for a lot more food and stuff if I was in Nashville than if I were home, so I'd probably take home less of that money.

2) Family Medicine Preceptorship.
This is a really cool program where I basically get to work in a physician's office in a rural area (probably Guntersville or somewhere else close to home) and the Family Medicine sponsors me for it by paying me $2000 for the summer. 

a. This would also look good on my resume AND give me some good primary care experience, which would be invaluable if I decide to pursue primary care (another big option).  

b. I think it would be a lot of fun and probably pretty laid-back.  The thought of doing this excites me a lot more than doing research.

c. Maybe I will fall in love with rural medicine (doubtful) and get to take that scholarship thing where they pay for your med school.  

c. I'd get to stay at home, which is nice and free, and I'd get to hang out with family and friends on my last summer vaca ever.

a. If I decide to go into endocrinology, it would be a lot harder to get a fellowship with no research under my belt.

b. I might be crazy to turn down the Vanderbilt thing, because how often am I going to get that opportunity?

So I don't know what I am going to do.  Does anyone have any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

IMHO- Choose Vandy. You're going to need a boost to get the career you want if your GPA sucks. Its one of those "I hate to waste my last summer doing grunt work" moments that you have to suck up and deal with to get what you want later in life. Yes, it will be boring and repetitive but it has the prestige you don't get from attending South. I did a summer program at LSU and the research was ugh but I did meet fun people too. ~Christina

sharon tsay said...

i say vandy. i did something like #2 last summer... it was a great way to make a few bucks and it wasn't very time consuming (i got married somewhere in there...), but it didn't do anything for me. it was comparable to things i did before med school - shadowing. vandy will be tough, but i'll be worth it, a change of scenery, and an adventure. maybe you'll fall in love with research? maybe you won't. but either way, a different city will feel like a brain vacation. :)

Liz said...

"I'm about to make my decision. Yep, I've made my decision. Decision MADE. Kate, I want you to put your baby inside me."

Tricia said...

I choose Vandy. And I have several friends you could live with while you're there. Just let me know!