Things are moving along. I got approval from the ethics committee to go ahead with my paper. Still waiting to see if the abstract will get accepted but I'm relieved that the timing worked out with the ethics approval. Regardless of whether or not the abstract is accepted, I'll be able to start writing the paper and doing a thorough analysis now. Fingers crossed I can hobble together some sort of decent paper that will be good enough to publish.
I've also had some great classes recently. The pediatric gastroenterology department was fantastic and I learned so much. After that we had dermatology and I absolutely LOVED it. To be honest I was really surprised how much I liked derm and its the first time that a specialization appealed to me to the level where I'd consider actually pursuing it. However, even though I loved it, I don't think I loved it to the point that I'd want to take the risk of pursuing it. Dermatology is probably one of the most competitive specializations you can pursue in medicine, and there is no way I'd be competitive enough. Plus I can do dermatology within a family medicine practice and I think that I'd be totally good with that.
I ended up being able to volunteer at a vaccine clinic close to my house and will keep going there whenever I have a gap in my schedule. My job mostly consists of taking temperature, helping the patients fill out the consent form and answering some questions. I was also able to convince one patient's daughter-in-law to also get vaccinated when her time came. Its really crazy to hear what people read and believe about vaccines thats just total BS. To be honest I do worry that vaccine hesitancy will be too high for us to reach that critical herd immunity level we so desperately need to start getting back to some semblance of normal.
On the plus side, both my parents and our nanny have received their first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine so its been a huge relief.
Its looking more and more unlikely that we will be able to visit Canada this summer but I'm still holding out hope that I'll somehow be able to secure an elective rotation in September, and keep refreshing the AFMC website to see if there are any updates.
In some ways I'm so lucky that I'm in my 4th year rather than 5th year or 6th year because I have time to recover from the shit show that is this pandemic. It still a little disconcerting that this thing is dragging on so long and even with the vaccines, the time line is not nearly as quick for it to be over as I had thought initially. I do feel for some friends who are further along in their studies who were royally screwed over and have had to fall back on backup plans. One will be going to the UK for Foundation Training and another will be trying to get some experience as an assistant at a doctors office.
Overall I'm still just so grateful that I get to be studying medicine and still haven't regretted my choice nor how this journey has been playing out at ALL.