Oh, Yeah, I Matched… No Big Deal

70d1c68bf37b450aa8e6910d4fe96d13_400x400Yesterday, Friday March 18th was Match Day.

Match Day is referred to as the “NFL Draft of Medicine.”  It is when fourth year medical students – after countless hours, blood, sweat, and tears, and dozens of interviews – are assigned their residency spot.

It’s actually a weird process if you don’t know anything about it, and I encourage you to check out the article I linked to above.

I’m just going to give the Cliff Notes version here.

When you’re a fourth year medical student, you choose your specialty and apply to all the programs you’re interested in.  A given number of programs then offer you interviews, and you accept the one’s you’re interested in.

At the end of all that – which includes lots of traveling and smiling and shaking hands and etc – you and the programs will all *rank* each other.  AKA, you will sit down and rank the programs you interviewed at from 1 to 10 (or however many) in the order that you would like to be matched there.

The programs will in turn rank you and all the other students they interviewed from 1 to 200 (or however many) in the order that they would like to be matched the students.

Then a computer algorithm will assign each student a residency position such that the greatest number of people and programs are most satisfied.

And, on Match Day (yesterday), all the fourth year students from around the country open an envelope that tells them where they will be spending the next 3 to 7 years of their lives as residents.

No big deal.

But seriously, that’s crazy, right?  You open an envelope and can be sent to any one of 10+ programs that may be in totally different areas of the country.  I mean, I personally interviewed everywhere from New York City to California to Texas to Wisconsin.  Look at a map.  The ground covered pretty much includes the whole country.


No big deal?  Right?

Big deal.  Very big deal.  Very, very scary, terrifying (and exciting!) big deal.

I matched yesterday.

I have been a wreck all week.  I have been terrified.  I loved my first choice.  I wanted it so badly.  I have been trying to mentally prepare myself for the idea of failing to land there.  I have been trying to mentally prepare myself for the idea of landing even farther down my list, at one of my last choices.

Yesterday afternoon, I struggled to rip open my envelope with my whole family around me.  I finally got it open.  My fingers weren’t working properly.  I scanned the page until I found the right words, and then I threw my arms up into the air and screamed.

I matched at my first choice.

I’ll be going to the University of Wisconsin to be an Emergency Medicine resident.

Ummm… hell yeah!

2 thoughts on “Oh, Yeah, I Matched… No Big Deal

    • Thank you, CJ.

      I’m very excited. I think EM might be an unusual choice for a writer, but, at the same time, I think you tend to encounter the most interesting stories in these acute environments.


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