Monday, March 30, 2015

Day 3247: A Lesson in Mitigated Expectations

To elaborate more on this post, I wanted to talk about expectations.

As I mentioned here, 80% of US seniors match in their top 3. I have no problem admitting that I was in the minority of matching US seniors. I truly, sincerely am happy about heading to Baltimore. I really loved the program leadership and the city when I was out there for my interview. And it's so stinkin' close to all of my East Coast friends...what a blessing! And I get to live in a bigger city again! So. Many. Pluses.

However, the title of this post should hint at what I am about to say. Despite my best efforts, I still wasn't ready for the email telling me where I was going to be for the next four years. I was preparing myself for my top 3, but I, of course, wanted my #1 program. No matter how many times I told myself (and it was a lot), "the Match will place me where I am supposed to be," I really wanted to go where I wanted to go.

Everyone tells you that once you get an interview, you are set. At that point, it is about making sure you and the program "fit." How arbitrary. Fit. What does that even mean? Like a glove? As in religious beliefs? I mean, it's so subjective. And impossible to have occur. I, personally, fit best with one program, out of the fifteen I interviewed at. The rest of the programs, I felt, I would fit fine. I would probably find people I liked and they would probably be my friends for that point in my life. But there was only one program where I thought, Wow. I could actually be friends with these people. By choice and not by circumstance. Speaking to others, it sounds like most people were in the latter boat. They fit in fine enough and would be happy enough going to a number of programs.

And let me tell you something, "fit" is not the only component. They do care about board scores. And clinical grades. And letters of recommendation. It isn't enough for them to interview you and like you. They probably like most of the people they interview. So, how do they choose? Well, probably on all those other factors that I just mentioned.

I am not trying to dishearten anyone about the process. I think, for the most part, this was a competitive year to match. I know several people who did not get their top 3, which is always a shock. But, I want to impart the importance of mitigating your expectations. Because, for me, I will never understand how I ended up in the Baltimore. It took me the majority of last week to stop myself from second-guessing everything that happened on the trail -- from my clothes, to what I said for this interview question, and how I interacted with that resident, and so on and so forth -- and to stop comparing myself to my classmates who were fortunate enough to match at their top choice. And, you know what, it's okay that I will never understand. Because, the Match placed me where I am supposed to be. And even though I'm not sure what that reason is, just yet, I know the University of Maryland will train me to be the best internal medicine-pediatrics physician I can be.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Day 3244: A week after Match

You would think that I would blog rightaway when I found out where I matched? Because I am sure you are all dying to know where I ended up. Well, most of you texted/contacted me, which I greatly appreciated. For those that didn't, I am pleased to tell you all that I am off to the University of Maryland for my internal medicine-pediatrics residency!

It was quite unexpected, but, as James Michener says, "We are never prepared for what we expect." So, to receive such unexpected news, was, well, surprising. It took me most of Friday, and the subsequent weekend, to process the news.

Overall, I am thrilled to be matched in to a residency I wanted (I can't say that for several medical students I know :\) and in a new city! I forget how close everything is on the east coast! DC, one hour away! Philadelphia, 2 hours away! New York City (my love!), 3 hours away! For all my east coast loves, we will be reunited soon, and often!

Anyway, thank you all for your kind thoughts and well wishes. I apologize for keeping some of you waiting, but I can't thank each of you enough for your support.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day 3234: Oh happy St. Patrick's day!

So, I'm -100% Irish. Yes, that is a negative sign before the 100.

Today's happiness is to inform you all that I have matched! What does that mean, you ask? It means I have a job come July 1st! Do I know where? No, of course not. The medical community likes to have incoming doctors sweat, squirming in nervousness.

Congratulations!  You have matched!

This is all I got in my email on Monday. How anti-climactic right?

Until Friday!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day 3227: Ups and Downs

Hey all, I am writing today to discuss the ups and downs of the Match.

I am, as we all know, a little emotionally unstable (read: a lot unstable). My moods go crazy in times of stress and the Match is about as stressful a time as any. Everyday I waver between "I would be thrilled to be at any of my top three programs" and "I am not going to get my first choice and I don't know how I feel about actually getting my top three." And then there are the other thoughts like, "WHAT IF I DON'T MATCH?" "WHAT IF I DON'T GET MY TOP THREE?" "WHAT IF NOBODY LOVES ME?" The last one isn't necessarily Match-specific, but it's still applicable to the Match, haha.

Anyway, most days, I'm fine. Most days, I can talk myself in to being calm about the process. I remind myself that the Match places me where I am supposed to be. It doesn't feel like that sometimes, but I know that it's true. I just have to remember that it's true. But some days, Danny and I fight because I am so up-and-down and he doesn't know why I am suddenly depressed as all get out and we fight and we're always fine in the end but it's all due to me and my emotional instability.

Just wanted to keep you all apprised on my current emotional state. Level orange. Unstable.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Day 3223: A Match Day Nightmare

I woke up in a tizzy early this morning after having a nightmare about Match Day. It wasn't anything awful, like the horror and stress of not matching; in my dream/nightmare, I got my fourth-ranked residency program. Which, hello, is excellent. I would be a well-trained med-peds doc if I went to my #4 choice. But the idea of not getting into one of my top three programs, which 80.8% of US Seniors get, was clearly distressing if I consider #4 to be a nightmare.

I just can't wait for all of this ignorance to be over so that I can start planning the next phase of my life.