Just when you think residency has sucked as much out of you as it possibly can, you get a slap in the face to remind you that there's always something else waiting around the corner. You might remember me bitching about all the residency-related costs we had to pay for back in December here. Well, I thought after paying for the written Boards and all Jeff's fellowship interviews that the worst was behind us, right? Wrong.
There's a Board review course in Chicago that all the Ortho residents go to in order to up their chances of passing. Not required, but who wants to be the only one to not go and take that risk? What if you don't pass and always wonder, 'What if I had gone to the Board review course?' $1300. Yes, that's $300 more than the actual test itself. Oh, plus the flight to Chicago, hotel room, food, etc. In the past, the residents have gotten a company to kindly pay for their expenses out of their education fund. But it seems that since times are tough, funds are low.
Ok, that sucks. But, whatever, right? All of this will be worth it when we can sit back at graduation and share that much-deserved moment with our families and look forward to all that is to come! Wrong again. We were just informed that each graduating resident can only bring one guest (ME!) and any other family members that would like to come have to pay $150. Are you freaking kidding me?! That would amount to $900 for both of our families to be there (it's at the Ritz so I guess you're paying for the name, because I can assure you the dinner is not worth $150/person). That is unless the program decides to have it somewhere cheaper. But after 4 years of watching other classes graduate there, am I wrong to want Jeff to have that same experience? Why should his be the class that has to sacrifice?
So to everyone in med school, or in the early years of residency- go ahead and save up a good $10K for your last year. And don't be so silly to think you can use it to by a house, or perhaps reward yourself with a nice vacation when you're done. Just go ahead and think of it as being lost forever to the black hole that is the cost of becoming a doctor. Maybe if you're lucky, you'll have a couple thousand leftover to move for fellowship. If not, there's always more loans.