First up, I have two new ways that you, by beloved readers, can keep track of updates on this blog!

After a great deal of thought and a little bit of prodding from some good friends, I now have a twitter account: @cura_te_ipsum. You can follow me there, or, if you’ve not converted, you can see tweets on my blog just under my beautiful caduceus quill icon.

For the non-tweeters, I also added a link for those of you who might wish to receive emails when I update. (It’s just below the archive on the left there.)

I’ve just returned from my whirlwind visit back home, including one lovely day spent at the beach and a lot of bouncing from friend to parents to friend. I am now slightly tanner, much better rested and ready to buckle down and get myself organized for the upcoming school year.

Part of this process involves trying to secure my volunteer position for the year.

The town I’m living in is, more than anything, a university town. A good university too, with a medical school and a hospital and thus a very large number of people who need to fulfill their volunteer requirements at one of the few health institutions in the area. This makes securing a position with patient contact something of a challenge.

But no worries; our program began in the summer, which meant we have a jump start on all the little undergraduate premeds who will be descending on us in late August. We all cast our nets out early, and bit by bit my cohorts have begun to settle themselves into various positions in the hospital or the free clinic.

For myself, I took some time to weigh my options and eventually decided that I would like to volunteer at Planned Parenthood. A previous student from the program gave me contact information, and very quickly I was in for an interview. My job would be as an “options educator” on the Fridays and occasional Saturdays that were their “abortion days.” I would sit down with the women who were planning to have the procedure and lay out all of their alternatives; ensuring that this was the choice they wanted to make.

This job appeals to me on a number of levels. My background at a small college that was largely female has predisposed me to take an active interest in women’s health, particularly controversial issues like the right to choose. I also have a background in psychology, which seems well-suited toward the type of compassion needed to lay out a list of options to someone going through a stressful experience. Plus it would give me direct experience dealing with patients who need to make a difficult medical decision, and, according to the women I met with, I would be allowed to stick around and help out the doctors in the procedure rooms once I was done with the options educating.

Brilliant! Except for one small detail; classes. The earliest I could make it to the clinic on the days they want me would be a good hour after they needed me there. Which might still work, or might not but I haven’t heard back one way or the other yet. I’m sitting here, biting my fingernails wondering if I’m going to have to start this search all over again. Classes start in a week, and I would much rather be settled into a volunteer position than have it still up in the air. Not to mention the influx of undergraduates who will be descending upon us and quickly taking up any other possible positions in town.

I have two choices; I can cut my losses and see if there is another volunteer opportunity that will suit me in the next few days. Or, the way I seem to be leaning, I can keep trying to get in touch with them in hopes that there can be some other job I can do if the options education doesn’t work out. And hope that whatever that job is, it involves something actually related to medicine.

Who knew trying to help people out would be such an uphill battle?