Last Friday I started getting all these emails regarding things that need to be done, like the graduation rehearsal, financial exit interview, voice recording with my name, pink slip pick-up etc. The one that made me jump from my chair was one from Student Services starting by telling us, “Only 28 more days until graduation!"
There’s also the split feeling between wanting to start practicing right away and wanting a very long vacation.
I guess my motivation comes from two main things. First, I believe that it’s so much easier to get into practice mode right out of the school clinic. You already have a routine and rhythm established--and even if you don’t plan on having the same setup as in school, everything is still fresh. Plus, you’re already used to working and seeing patients on a daily basis (at least for me with my eight clinic shifts).
Second, statistics say about 55% of graduates end up not practicing in the end. Some of them don’t even finish boards, some open up a practice and are not able to make ends meet, and some who start working as associates give up, because pay is quite low and they can’t live on that. A lot of them just go back to their previous job/career, or start another program. I guess this is just showing once again that it’s all about planning and preparation, but also about taking actions at the right moment--plus a lot of what they call “adulting”.
So, taking everything into account, I decided on a shorter vacation which is not even a real vacation, because I would still have to work on my website, marketing etc. I will start practicing as soon as I see my license, and I will also continue my education with a doctorate program.
If you are graduating after September 1, things will be a bit different, because the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) just decided that only graduates can apply and take boards. It will require more planning and might delay some of your plans, but I still think it’s do-able as long as you make sure you study for boards before graduation, and then start taking them immediately following.
For any questions, you can always find me at email@example.com and I will see you in two weeks for my last post as an NUHS student!