Monday, April 30, 2012

Decisions, Decisions.....

I recently completed my first audition rotation for a residency program in the area of medicine I hope to practice.  Every program has its pros and cons, but of course these are not equal.  The best strategy I've developed so far is to assign a point value system to help me decide where I want to go.

I start by making a list of characteristics that I want from a program, this could be anything from the time I would start each day, the pay, the benefits, the time off, the type of patients I would see, the number of patients I would see, to the area in which I would have to live.  I then assign an importance value for each of these characteristics as they pertain to each program.  I then add all of the values for each program and I now have a numerical or quantitative way to rating each program based on my own preferences.  It might look something like this:  I assigne a value 1 through 5 to each category for each program.  1 being I'm not really a fan of the category in that program. and 5 being that I am very happy with that particular category for that particular program.

                                             Program 1                                  Program 2                        

Type of patients                           3                                                  2                                      

Number of patients                      4                                                  3                                      

Where I would live                      5                                                  4                                      

My supervisors                            2                                                  3                                      

Pay                                              3                                                  4                                      

Benefits                                       5                                                  2                                      

Time off                                      5                                                  3                                      

                                                   27                                                 21                                    

So, while I was trying to qualitatively measure and compare each program, I found it really difficult to tell which one I like more, because they each had different aspects I liked.  By putting it all into numbers based on my qualitative observations of each program, I have now found that there is one clear winner in this situation.  I enjoyed more aspects of program 1 than any other.

This sort of decisions making can be used with almost anything.  I hope that it might help someone else out there that is having a difficult time making tough decisions.  This has always helped me.  Of course, you could always try flipping a coin and right at the moment when you send the coin flipping into the air, you will know which choice you are hoping for.

Have a great week everyone,

-The Atheist Physician.

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