What is the best thing you've looked forward to in your life?
Getting my medical license.The process is so painful that sometimes I feel like stabbing myself in the heart and gouging my eye out, and jumping off a bridge at the same time. And the most frustrating part of it is that there’s not a single thing I can do to speed things up.The website isn’t very user friendly.They request way too many documents. Like, you need to submit 6 different things to prove your citizenship. Can’t it be assumed that if the Federal Government gave me a passport, they know that it’s because I’m a citizen? Can’t it also safely be assumed that if I graduated from a residency program, I must have graduated from a medical school at some point?The website doesn’t tell you everything you need to send. After you’ve filled out the application online, there is a PDF you’re supposed to find somewhere. The PDF was the old application form. You’d fill it out by hand or by editing the PDF. If you did that, you’d see an number of appendices that told you what other documentation you were supposed to supply. But if you apply online, there’s nothing to let you know what you’re missing. So, you have to call them. When you do, they tell you that you need a bunch of stuff you’d never have guessed: a background check, forms you’re supposed to submit to your residency programs, etc. Why not put that in the online application?Then, after you do all that, you might wonder if your file is complete. So, you call. They’ll tell you that your application hasn’t been processed yet. How long till it gets processed? 3 to 4 weeks! So, they won’t even look at your file for 3 to 4 weeks. And, 3 to 4, of course, means 4. Then, when they look at your file, it might even be week 5 by the time they respond to you. At that point, they’ll tell your that your file is missing some stuff.You ask for clarification about the missing stuff, because you’re pretty sure you’ve already sent it. You hear nothing back for a week. You call them, only to hear that they thought they’d emailed you what you were supposed to fill out… You submit what they’re asking for, having wasted another week waiting. Then, they tell you that your file has been submitted for final approval. YAY!Then you’re told that, since you used to be a nurse, you should also submit a nursing license verification. Okay, no biggie, you think. You did a similar thing for Iowa a few years back. You’ll just go online and have the state of Michigan send the state of Tennessee some information about the nursing license that expired 6 years ago.You get on the Michigan website, and things are so disorganized that you can’t for the life of you figure out how to submit the verification request. Oh, and the process has changed. In 2015, you could use the Nursys verification site. But Michigan has pulled out of this process, because… just because. Now, you have to call during business hours, realize that you’re supposed to download and fill out a form, attach a money order (you can’t pay online anymore), and mail it to a P.O. Box.You do that, sending it by express mail. You call the next day to see if it’s been received. Now you’re told that if you want to send things by express mail, there’s another address you should have sent it to, an address that was never communicated to you when you talked to the Michigan people on the phone. You learn that sending mail to the P.O. Box means that it will sit there for a week, after which it will be processed by the Cashier’s office/Finance office/Treasury office, then slowly make its way to the Bureau of Licensing… this process might take 2 weeks. At this point, you’ve sent your initial application 8 weeks before. You wonder why it is that the process couldn’t be more streamlined. Why couldn’t they be a uniform process for all states? Why couldn’t they at least be a central database where healthcare providers could send their documentation, so that whenever they apply for licensing in a new state, that state can immediately receive all the relevant documentation. You’re powerless. You try to think of other things you might do.You remember that Iowa must have a copy of your nursing verification license. You wonder if you could talk to them and see if they’d share it with you. You’re told that they will emphatically not release the document to you. Why? Who knows. Anyway, they might consider releasing it to the Tennessee people if they are contacted directly by their Medical Board. You sheepishly ask the people in Tennessee if they’d be willing to contact Iowa, giving them a phone number, email, and fax number, knowing full well that it will be to no avail.You decide that maybe, if you were to track down the cashier’s office in Michigan, you could fly there and make the payment in person, in a bid to speed up the processing of your license verification request. It’s after hours now, so you can’t be sure. There’s a plane early in the morning. You could fly to Detroit, rent a car, drive to Lansing, and give it a shot. But… what if it doesn’t work? You decide to wait until the morning and call the office to see if getting there in person would make a difference. You are told that it is impossible to make a payment in person, because… rules. There’s literally not a damn thing you can do.And that, my friends, is the story of my life right now. The most frustrating part of this saga is that not only can I not work, but I’m sort of homeless right now. Let me explain. A while back, I bid on a house. I used what is called a physician loan. What my lender did not tell me is that you need an active medical license. So, we were a week from the closing date before I learned this. At this point, I had three options:Walk away from the home purchase and rent. This wouldn’t have been a terrible idea.Prolong my temporary lease at the place I was renting. I would not do this because I hated, hated, hated them with their nickle-and-diming tactics.Wait for my license.I opted for number 3, because I thought it couldn’t take much longer until I’d get my license. My belongings are currently in storage. I’m staying with my sister in Florida. It’s not the worst thing that’s ever happened to anyone in human life, but it’s still really frustrating. The only bright spot is that I get to spend time with my family. I have a nephew and two nieces here that I hadn’t seen in 9 months. They’re growing so very fast. I am constantly peppering them with mental math questions, but they seem to love me for some reason. So, all in all, things could be worse.
How is an average person expected to get through life in the US without a bureaucracy consultant to advise on how to properly fill out all the paperwork?
The lawmakers expect a reasonable average person to be able to guide self through the maze of laws and regulations.Still, some people value their time or are truthful about their abilities to comprehend things, and instead of getting a self-taught degree in taxation or legal intricacies of a company formation (and accounting/financial issues associated with that), those people choose to hire a professional specializing in those areas.I am personally an accountant (corporate accounting) which is as far away from personal taxes as you can imagine; my tax returns are tied to my spouse's and due to presence of several items which are not a common occurrence in an average person's life, I am not even trying to complete our taxes.I do my due diligence with all the information gathering, schedules, support documentation, record retention and such but I can't spend days pouring over it all to come up with a final number.So, I pay a professional to be on time, on spec, and on budget.With respect to legal advice, laws in US vary by state, so me being able to spend 3 years in law school, and then more years trying to be admitted to each of the Bar associations, and then have the ability to research cases for precedents - that's just not reasonable.Still, there are others who actually love this process, are knowledgeable, and can tell me a solution to my problem within 20 mins. Isn't this worth my money?
What was the most ridiculous mistake that a College/University admissions department has made?
True story.My son applied to Purdue University. The person he interviewed with asked him why he applied because his grades weren’t good enough to get in. My son was P*ssed and said he would never go to Purdue.My older son was a Full IB Diploma (International Baccalaureate Degree) student, one of 5 in his senior class. There are only 2 high schools in my state that offer the IB program at the time. Now there are many.IB Diploma Programme - WikipediaThe interviewer obviously never heard of the IB program but the Admissions Office of Purdue did. In about 2 weeks he received early admission even though he did not apply for it. My son tore up the acceptance and said he would never go there. He went to the University of Michigan. We chose Michigan because it has a good engineering school and the art school was also ranked in the top 20. My son wanted a degree in both art and engineering.Facts & Figures - The College of EngineeringAt the UM, students who want to major in engineering, have to be accepted by the School of Engineering. So we interviewed with the Asst. Dean of the School of Engineering. We asked him what percentage of students from outside of Michigan (we live in another state) are accepted into engineering. He said the odds were 1/14 = 7%.We then interviewed with the Dean of the School of Art and she told my son he needed a portfolio of his art to be accepted to the School of Art and that his high school portfolio was not enough.He was admitted to UM as an engineering student and took art as a summer school student and was accepted with that as a portfolio. In his second year he took the freshman art classes and was selected by the art department for an award as the best freshman art student. But the UM would not allow him to be awarded as the best freshman art student because he was technically a sophomore in credits because of his freshman engineering courses.Yes, they rescinded his award!He graduated with a dual degree in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design (art dept degree). Here’s the thing, designers know how to make things ergonomic and beautiful but they know very little about material science and manufacturing, Engineers know the opposite. They know about materials and manufacturing but little about design and ergonomics. My son has degrees in both and while he was still at UM, the university asked him to help them decide what combined courses from art and engineering should be taken and in what order for a formal dual degree program. Here is what exists now.Dual/Joint Degree in Art & DesignMy younger son was also a IB student and wanted to go to the Tisch School of Art at NYU. After he applied we got a call from Tisch and the lady on the line said that she was sending a Tisch Scholar application. We told her that our son had not been admitted yet and so there was not reason to fill out the form. She said she couldn’t say anything about his admission but that he should fill out the form so he did. Of course he was admitted and was selected as a Tisch Scholar. he went on to become the second student from Tisch to ever win the first prize in student animation - the Student Oscar and a Student Emmy for his senior animation project.The contrast between the interviewer at Purdue and the admission officer at NYU were night and day.
How can you get your family doctor to fill out a disability form?
Definitely ask for a psychologist referral! You want someone on your side who can understand your issues and be willing and eager to advocate for you with the beancounters because disability can be rather hard to get some places, like just south of the border in America.Having a psychologist means you have a more qualified specialist filling out your papers (which is a positive for you and for the government), and it means you can be seeing someone who can get to know your issues in greater depth and expertise for further government and non-profit organization provided aid.If seeing a psychologist on a regular basis is still too difficult for you, start with your initial appointment and then perhaps build up a rapport with a good therapist through distanced appointments (like via telephone, if that is easier) until you can be going into a physical office. It would probably look good on the form if your psychologist can truthfully state that you are currently seeking regular treatment for your disorders because of how serious and debilitating they are.I don't know how disability in Canada works, but I have gone through the process in the US, and specifically for anxiety and depression, like you. Don't settle for a reluctant or wishywashy doctor or psychologist, especially when it comes to obtaining the resources for basic survival. I also advise doing some internet searches on how to persuasively file for disability in Canada. Be prepared to fight for your case through an appeal, if it should come to that, and understand the requirements and processes involved in applying for disability by reading government literature and reviewing success stories on discussion websites.