My Match Fears – As a First Year Medical Student

Is it weird if I told you that I’m a first year med student who already knows her match date? March 20th, 2020. A pretty cool date if you ask me :). The Match, which takes place the 3rd Friday of March, is a date when 4th year medical students find out where they will be training. There is a lot that goes into this very important date but that will be saved for another post. Basically, it is a huge ordeal because tons of time, money, effort, and sacrifice all come down to an email telling you whether or not you matched, and then a piece of paper sealing your fate of where you will train for the next 3-7 years.

I’ve been searching and searching for someone who has or had similar fears of mine. I’m sure someone is out there and maybe if they stumble across this, they can share their Match story. The short story is that I have goals of matching in a specific location. That sounds easy, right? People will say, “there are a ton of hospitals everywhere, America needs doctors, you’re a smart and qualified candidate”.

But one problem is that there are more applicants than there are residency spots and people go unmatched every year. Another problem is that even though there seems to be hospitals everywhere, not every hospital has the training program you are applying for. Some specialties have a very limited number of training facilities, inherently making it even more competitive.

To narrow down my already limited options by wanting a specific location is SO scary! So why do I want a specific location? I guess the simple answer is family. When I graduate, I will want to be close to my boyfriend and family and have their support throughout what people say is the hardest part of the medicine journey: residency. I’ll want to move on from the long distance chapter of my life and start a new chapter of being close.

One thing that gives me hope is that there is a statistic that says about 80% of med school seniors match into one of their top three choices. Even though this is literally 3 years away, it’s so typical of me to already try to plan things that are in my control.

Anyways, I thought I would share this perspective of the match to see if anyone has similar fears or dealt with this in the past! I’d love to learn any tips specific to matching in a certain location!

 

 

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Life Update: neuro edition

I am feeling SO good after such a relaxing block weekend. (reminder: a block weekend for me is the weekend after an exam where I have absolutely NOTHING to do!) I was able to visit my boyfriend, sleep so so much, have dinner with my parents, and catch up on some criminal minds!

I’m writing this life update today because I’ve been pretty absent on Instagram due to this neuro filled semester! Let me explain what this semester looks like for me! It’s a 7 week condensed course with both a lecture and a lab component. There are exams after the first 2 weeks, then the next 3 weeks, and finally the last 2 weeks. At the end, there is also a NBME shelf exam that tests your knowledge and compares it on a national level. I just came off a semester where I had an exam after 6 weeks… so a 2 week block is a whole different pace.

Everyday for the past two weeks, I actually went to class (before, I would just watch recorded lectures) and then lab after. Usually, our day started at 8 and ended at noon. Then I forced myself to stay at school most days to study that day’s material. I made myself go to class this time around because I knew of how fast paced this semester would be and did not want to get behind. I haven’t gotten my test scores back yet, but one thing I can say is that while taking both the written and practical portions of the exam, I felt prepared! Now I just have to wait and see if I passed!

I’m hopeful that I’ll have a little more time to breathe this break since it’s 3 weeks instead of 2. I also have a lot of fun things coming up! I have the Girls on the Run 5k late May, my class olympics on cinco de mayo (our team name is “Lord have MRSA” hehe), and my class is going to a MLB baseball game AND that game is showing fireworks!

The end of the year is in sight! It’s so crazy to think that in 5 short weeks I’ll be done with my first year of med school! Then on to 8 weeks of OB/GYN research! Lots of amazing things to look forward to! I’ll be sure to have more “life updates” along the way 🙂