Well, it has been a long two weeks. I have been to Redding, Merced, Fresno, UC Davis, and Methodist (Sacramento) for interviews. Redding I had to do two sets of interviews because they have two tracts. Each time, I have had to meet the current residents at a dinner the night before, sometimes stay in a hotel, be enthusiastic and pleasant and sociable for an evening and then even more so the next day in a suit walking around a hospital and discussing "Why X program is the one I want and why I think it would suit me super well."
It gets tiring... lots of free meals, but it does come with a price.
On the plus side, I now know a lot more about those programs. Problem is, everywhere I go, no matter where it is, I feel like "Yea, this would be fun!" It's all part of them selling themselves, but each time I think to myself "I should go to this one." Then I think at the next site, "Yknow, this one might be THE one I like most!" And it keeps going on. My requirements are not very exclusive as far as these programs go, and the fact that they are all Family Medicine programs in California = lots of nice people who I could get along with whom I probably have much in common.
In case you are curious (this entry shouldn't be visible to any would-be googlers) my current preference list in descending order...
Sutter Sacramento (Sacramento Tract)
Sutter Sacramento (Davis Tract)
Redding (Shasta Tract)
Redding (Traditional Tract)
Salinas / Modesto
I haven't yet interviewed at the last three, and I am still waiting to hear from Contra Costa in Martinez. I am not really holding out hope for them, and I don't know how high I would rank them anyway. I've heard some negative things about them, like I have about Salinas. Modesto... it's more because it's just another central California program. Reno because it's far away and out of state, so it means it'd be a headache to get licensed to practice in California after I complete my training.
It might seem odd that I rank UC Davis lower than two community programs, and I must say the facilities were huge and super impressive - it reminded me of UCSD a lot - but something didn't seem right. I want to have a close knit group of faculty members and residents. The way they did it was a little too manufactured at UC Davis for my tastes. I would put UCSF Fresno above Redding because they have a patient population more to my liking and better didactics... but I would probably enjoy living in Redding far more than Fresno.
Anyhoo, I now have a short break from interviews - Sutter Sacramento on the 27th and Salinas on the 29th. I should reserve a hotel for Salinas...