I thought I was “retired”. I turned 66 years old, the kids were raised, and the mortgage paid. I was planning to “coast” for the twilight years of my life. But then something inconceivable came to my attention. Something that would cause me to undergo one of the steepest learning curves of my life! Suddenly, “coasting” was no longer an option.
My credentials are NOT in the Medical Field. I have a Masters in Education, taught in Special Education, and have tutored all ages to adulthood for the last 35 years. I particularly enjoy analysis of learning gaps and how to remediate them, the differences in learning modalities and how to utilize them to assist in learning, etc.
So how did I become interested in this topic of Medical Education? I have been on the sidelines of Medical Education for nearly 50 years. 3 members of my immediate family are doctors. I have watched the process of their educations from beginning to end. I have listened to the stories about medical residencies for at least 40 years. My husband is currently and has been either faculty or Program Director for OB/GYN residencies for over 25 years.
I have heard the intricacies of resident applicants, their extra credentials and life experiences, and how the candidates were ranked in the National Resident Matching Program. I would await the results of the “Match” and hear how far down the rank list the program had to go for their matches. And then there were the “unfilled” slots which were filled by a “Scramble” (before S.O.A.P.), and many phone calls to fill the remaining slots. So this topic is very familiar to me.
When I became aware of the huge deficit in residency slots I was incredulous! How could this be happening? After all it takes to gain acceptance into medical school and complete all the necessary steps to becoming a doctor, how could the “SYSTEM” allow the breaking of our “SOCIAL CONTRACT”?
In the course of my research, I have come to realize there are a lot of misconceptions about the residency shortage. Many doctors who are aware of the residency shortage just say, “Let them re-apply next year…” or “They must not have been a strong candidate…”
If you asked me whether my “passion” was Medical Education, I would have to answer “no”. My passion is in recognizing a series of events which have resulted in a grave injustice, and telling the Nation what is happening! Most people have not observed the process of Medical Education over a nearly 50 year period. Most people would not be in a position to “connect the dots” to discover where the breakdowns in the process are occurring. Most people might not have heard about the devastation and incredulity experienced by unmatched doctors like I have. Someone needed to pull this whole situation together and get the real story “out there”! I am that person. I could not let this travesty go on without a fight!