Not the sound of my biological clock, although contact with 3 women in various states of pregnancy yesterday could certainly tend to bring that on. It is the sound of the ticking seconds, minutes and hours of anxiety about medical school. Every time someone asks how things are going, they look completely crestfallen at the news that I haven't heard anything. It is enough to depress any optimist and I've never claimed to be an optimist.
One of the MDs asked yesterday how many schools I applied to and when I told him four he shook his head and said the average was twenty. Now, those of you following along at home heard a little about the price of this whole process and could do the math that 20 schools would mean at least $2500 in application fees alone. No wonder they want to know in the app if anyone in your family is a doctor, otherwise you're probably out knocking off 7-11s to get the cash to apply.
I have a reasonable reason for 4: I'm not spending the cash to apply to a school I'm not willing to attend and right now I'm not ready to move across the country to go to school. I'm no longer a carefree undergrad willing to let the winds of the application process blow me across the country. But I live in a state with no public medical school, which means no preferential admission just for living here. The one school in NH reports that 94% of their students came from out of state.
One of the schools even still shows my application as incomplete because they claim not to have received the two reference letters that were sent in OCTOBER!! I've emailed, called, and still gotten no response from them as to whether that could possibly be true. I'm beginning to wonder why I even bothered to try. I felt like it was a long shot and was somewhat swayed by the enthusiasm of those around me to try anyway. The crushing thing is that I'm not sure I would have a better opportunity at PA (physician assistant) programs I was considering before I started the AMCAS process because I'd have to be able to explain why I want to be a PA and not a MD and they explicitly tell you that not being good enough to get into medical school is NOT a reasonable answer.
So, tick tock...every day that goes by without an opportunity for interview is one day closer to knowing that I'm not going to med school this year and to having no idea what I'm going to do in the next 8 months to make my application better for next year.