Plan A-Jonthan completes Semester 4 on April 25th and begins studying for his Step 1 (his first and most important national board exam to become a doctor). He returns to the states sometime in mid June to take the Step and then begins Semester 5 in Miami on June 23rd. Rachel stays in Dominica to finish out the academic school year which ends the last Friday in June and then she returns to the states to get things squared away for clinical rotations.
Plan B-Well...Jonathan still completes Semester 4 on April 25th, and he will still begin immediately studying for his Step 1 exam. *But* he and I BOTH will be returning to the states in the last week in May! Some things got tossed around at my job at the prep school. Suffice to say that after much contemplation, Jonathan and I decided that working there was not good for my state of mind or my health. It was shaping up to be a pretty miserable working environment. So after receiving a pretty upsetting email (which I will not go into detail about) on the morning we were leaving Puerto Rico to return to Dominica, he and I decided we were all done with the prep school and would be leaving at the end of April. Ok, so new Plan A.
Plan A-The Womacks return to the states in the last week of April and Jonathan starts immediately studying for the Step 1 exam in the states. He takes Step 1 sometime in the second week of June and then Rachel and Jonathan together go to Miami for Semester 5 in late June. We return to OKC in August and begin the process of IVF (read my new blog for details about that). Jonathan begins clinicals in September.
Plan B-Well...Ross decided to move the start date for Semester 5 up to June 1st. So in order for Jonathan to have the appropriate amount of time to study for Step 1 (which is arguably the most important test of his life), he would have to be taking the Step in the middle of his 5th semester. Either that or he would have to rush through and take Step 1 less than 4 weeks after his comprehensive final here at Ross. While we KNOW he is going to totally rock the Step, we don't want to risk even 1 point on it. So neither of those options worked for us. The advantage to trying desperately to make this upcoming 5th semester work is that he would match (ostensibly) with a residency in 2016. The reality of that notion is that it is practically impossible for Jonathan's current class to match in 2016. Or if you miraculously do, you have to sacrifice some potentially great learning opportunities and networking opportunities because you have to scramble and get the majority of your clinicals done before May 31st of next year. He wants to be more selective in his rotations. We believe that will boost his CV...which is critical when he's wanting to specialize. So Plan B is that we are deferring our 5th semester and we won't start until September 15th. I was asked to help with a homeschooling co-op here in Dominica and therefor agreed to stay and help teach until the end of May. So once I'm done there, we will be returning to OKC...
"Ok Womacks, so what now? What are you doing between April 26th and September 15th?"
Ok, so get ready. God really did a number on our plans! At first I was really annoyed and Jonathan was having to talk me out of going to administration at Ross and giving them a piece of my mind. But thankfully Jonathan is so much more logical and even keeled about things...he laid the picture out beautifully for me and now I'm REALLY excited about what's to come in 2014! So here goes...
April 25th - Jonathan takes COMP (Comprehensive Final...he has to get a passing score here in order to register to take Step 1)
April 28th - Jonathan begins his intensive study time for Step 1, Rachel continues teaching with the co-op
May 27th - Rachel and Jonathan leave the island for good and return to OKC
May 29th - Jonathan hunkers down in OKC to finish his last 2-3 weeks of studying for the step
2nd Week in June - Jonathan takes Step 1
June, July, August - IVF Treatments and procedures with a hopeful transfer date sometime around the 1st or 2nd week of August or sooner
September 15th - Jonathan and (a hopefully pregnant) Rachel go to Miami for 6 weeks for Jonathan's 5th semester
October 31st - Jonathan completes Semester 5 and can begin his clinical rotations any time after this date
**GIANT ADVANTAGE TO PLAN B**
Jonathan gets to be completely and totally responsibility free from the time he takes Step 1 until September 15th. Effectively freeing up all 3 months for he and I to focus on our IVF cycle!! Also, since we are now shooting for a residency match in 2017, Jonathan will be able to be much more selective about his clinical rotations. And an additional bonus there is if we are successful in getting pregnant during this IVF cycle (*crossing fingers*), he will have much more flexibility in his time schedule for when the baby(ies) comes. We won't have to worry about him not being able to be there for the delivery. Hallelujah!
After October 31st, who knows where we will be! The loose plan is that we will rent an apartment or house in OKC that will be our "home base". We are seriously considering buying or renting an RV for Jonathan to travel around to rotations in, but that's not hard and fast at this point. A lot is weighing on the success or failure of our IVF cycle this summer. That could change everything!
We will keep you posted as we go through the year. For now, if you're the praying type, please add us to your prayer list! What a big year of changes 2014 is going to be for the Womacks...no matter what...