Medical Education: Outcomes and Opportunities| Volume 336, ISSUE 2, P137-139, August 2008

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Curriculum Interrupted: A Student Perspective

      We just could not get away from the questions, and it was hard to reconcile the unfamiliar fact that New Orleans, for once, was the safe zone. For the most part, the fact that the residents of the Gulf Coast live and breathe the lingering ramifications of Hurricane Katrina on a daily basis means that we try to occupy our conversations with topics other than the storm whenever possible. However, as soon as we stepped foot away from the Gulf Coast to interview for residency positions, the questions started: “What’s it really like down there? Have things gotten any better?” Maybe the inquiries were out of curiosity, or maybe they were simply a conversation starter. We were something of a novelty, after all, having met as undergraduates at Louisiana State University, started dating during our first year in medical school, and weathered an unprecedented evacuation together before getting engaged on the New Year’s Day following Katrina—the ultimate act of optimism. It was probably inevitable that we—young, recently wed survivors of the storm—would be subjected to many questions that are not the norm in residency interviews. Indeed, our experiences as fourth-year medical students applying for residencies were overwhelmed by discussions of Hurricane Katrina, past and present.


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