Thursday, November 1, 2012

CaRMS Chest Pain

You know that feeling you get when you realize you may have made a major, life plan threatening mistake? When, in an instant you feel the blood drain from your face and limbs, and your stomach takes up residence in the back of your throat?

Yeah. I had one of those recently.

I was calmly working away at CaRMS, putting in all of my volunteer, work, clinical experience. Filling in dates, ticking boxes, clicking on drop-down menus. It was Saturday night at around 1am and I was starting to get very tired, losing my ability to focus. But I was buzzing from reading program descriptions and fantasizing about where I might be a year from now. So I kept on a little longer than I probably should have.

I wanted to finish this last section and then go to bed. I came to the program selection area and when I saw the big shiny "SUBMIT" button I figured it was just with regards to payment (my application far from being finished).

So I hit "SUBMIT" and then realised that I had, in fact, made a very large mistake. My body was instantly unsure of how to contain it's fluids. Sweat soaked my shirt, then I nearly vomited and peed myself at the same time.

In my mind I saw myself spending 2013-2014 with a micropipette in some dimly lit lab, tucked away under a hospital stairwell somewhere. Hiding from both the bank and my mother. I then remembered hearing stories of people who didn't match due to clerical errors, and those who missed a form here, a deadline there. I saw myself becoming a CaRMS urban legend.

I frantically sent a FB message to my friend Rob who went through this process last year, I think the word "crisis" may have been heavily overused.

Robert say, "nothing you can't fix". Grasshopper calm down.

He may look like a normal guy, but he's actually a little CaRMS Confucius. An Online Residency Application Oracle. Despite being on the drive home from a shift in Detroit he kindly messaged me back and called me as soon as he got in, talked me down from my window ledge and explained that all was not lost. I actually think I would have gone crazy if I'd had to wait until Monday at 0900h EST to call the helpdesk. By about 0300h my breathing had retured to my lung bases, gastro and urinary symptoms had disappeared and my tremor had resolved. It's nice to have 24h free support line!! So thaaaannnnnnnkkkkksssssss ROB!!!! (He is one of the 10 of you that hasn't given up on the blog!)

Oh I cannot wait to have this all finished and to start finding out about interviews.....eeeeeeeeeep!

Back to the land of tick boxes and drop down menu. Tedium, thy name is residency applications!!

9 comments:

PGYx said...

Number 11 here!

Albinoblackbear said...

:D xo

Elizabeth Shouldice said...

Don't forget one of my nearest and dearest matched the wrong letters with the wrong programs....she's now employed in her chosen field, happy and likely doesn't remember that. Everyone has a CaRMS story!

Albinoblackbear said...

Ohhhhh yeah!!! I remember you telling me that!! ***shudder***

nurse 8 said...

12 here! :)

Ryan said...

Still reading here! However, I've stopped trying to keep up with your acronyms...

Bethany said...

+1 Ryan, ha ha

Albinoblackbear said...

hahah yes...SORRY! Yes, I know, acronyms bad. Hey considering I can basically have a COMPLETE exchange in the hospital using only acronyms I am doing PRETTY well. ;-)

CaRMS. Canadian Residency Matching Service.

Solitary Diner said...

My personal CaRMS story was my program mixing up information in my Dean's Letter and then submitting it late, such that I was registered as having a late application. CaRMS is hell. Wishing you all the best through it!