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!