Well fellow readers what can I say? I received a notice from the match that it is time to put together my list and to rank them in order of preference. In about 1 month I will know where I will be going for my residency, hopefully. For those who do not understand, let me explain.
Back in August, I submitted my application to the Electronic Residency Application Service, or ERAS. It is an application packet that includes your transcript, resume, and personal statement. Then you need to select which programs you are going to apply to. Then you wait for interview invitations. If this is sounding a lot like applying to medical school, it is.
When you get interviews, they usually last about 20 minutes and you then take a tour of the facility. From About September until January it is interview season. Then both you and the programs submit lists of rankings. You submit your list of most to least preference and so do the programs. On match day, the computer compares the lists and the first time there is an agreement between the lists, you match. If there is no agreement, then the next day you scramble. Where you send out applications to who ever has any openings left.
The important thing to remember is that you need to be realistic. If you always wanted to be a neurosurgeon and your grades are below average and your board scores are below average, you will never match into a program. Simply because there are too few programs and too many applicants and they programs only want the best. This is why you should always have a backup plan. I did just that.
However, I am a believer that things happen for a reason. I have been an Emergency Medical Technician for 20 years. I have been involved in emergency medicine this whole time. And when I went into medical school I was sure that I wanted to go into emergency medicine. I also thought that I would be able to make up for not getting honors in any classes by showing my work ethic to programs. Unfortunately, my board scores were not in the competitive range for emergency medicine. But I still applied. However, I also liked Internal Medicine and I applied to those programs as well. Back in November, I did a month in the Intensive Care Unit. Wouldn't you know it, I fell in love with the ICU. And for the first time in my medical school career I felt torn between the ER and the ICU. This past month I was doing a sub-internship in medicine and I just happened to be a part of the pulmonary service. And let me tell you, it solidified my decision. I want to go into Pulmonology/Critical Care.
I was able to see 2 patients from admission to discharge this week and the best part was that as a sub-intern I wrote orders and the resident cosigned them. It was just like being a real physician, but without all the responsibility. I can now see myself running an ICU. Like I said, funny how life works out.
I pretty much made my match list. This I will have to keep to myself until after I match. Next time, I will talk about some tricks to living on a very very tight budget.