So for those of y’all who have been following my med school journey, this week is a pretty big week for 4th year med students around the world…
It’s Match Week!
Which means we all get matched with our soul mates.
Basically, this is the week we find out where we matched for residency.
To back it up–Med school is 4 years. During your 4th year, you’ve hopefully picked out your specialty (I chose Family Med) and you start looking at different programs for residency. You can even do rotations at some of those programs to get a better feel for them. Then you get your application ready so you can hit “submit” the day ERAS opens (that’s the online application portal). Then you start receiving interview offers and start scheduling them–pro-tip: Schedule based on location! Clump all the Carolina ones together, the west coast ones, the south, etc…as much as possible.
Starting around October, you start interviewing. Interview season is really fun until it gets tiring haha.
I met tons of awesome friends and we all still keep in touch and will hopefully be co-residents with some of them!
So after interview season wraps up in January, you have until the end of February (this year it was Feb. 22 at 9pm) to make a rank list. This is exactly what it sounds like–you think back on all the programs and rank the ones you’d want to end up at in the order you feel is best. This was by far the hardest part of the process for me. I had my top 5, then top 3, and then I got stuck. 2 of the programs were fairly similar, 1 was a bit different…and depending on the hour, I was sold on each one. I kept trying to imagine my life at each program and could picture a good life…just a different life at each one.
I prayed and talked ad nauseum about my options. And I still had no clue what to do!
I was losing sleep, had no appetite, and just overall stressed about this decision.
As is almost always the case with me, I finally felt the Lord make things very clear…at like the last possible moment. Sometimes I wonder if God is giving me a taste of my own procrastination medicine…other times I convince myself that procrastination must be godly if it seems like God does it too (mostly joking because obviously God’s timing is perfect).
But yeah, I pulled an all-nighter praying in my closet (fun fact: my closet is my go-to place for crying and for praying without distraction)…and around 5am, I felt the Lord speak to my heart pretty clearly about what I need to do and how I need to rank. I journaled about it immediately because I know I’m prone to forget. I felt specifically convicted that I should make a decision based not on fear, but on delighting in the Lord, obeying Him, and trusting that He is going with me.
So I finally certified my list at like 5am (pretty sure I get the award for stressing out my school the most…I really waited way too long to certify haha). And then I fell asleep, woke up a few hours later and freaked out, then talked to a sweet friend (who I had already told about my decision and who knew I would second guess everything…man, praise God for people like that who know when to call and what to say to help us trust God!), then prayed again and felt convinced that I need to leave the list as is and trust that I’m following the Lord to the best of my ability.
Then I actually made some calls to people from the other programs, sent some emails, and wrote some texts. I felt that so many had loved me so well and been praying for me, so I wanted to be upfront and tell them how I felt the Lord leading me to rank everything. They were encouraging beyond belief and prayed for me and cheered me on. Immense blessing to have such amazing support from so many people I didn’t even know before interview season started.
So back to the timeline, rank list was submitted on Feb. 22. Each program submits a rank list too, ranking all the students who interviewed with them. Some nebulous computer algorithm plays with everyone’s rank lists and generates a match list that is supposed to be in the applicant’s benefit.
Monday of Match week (i.e. tomorrow) at 11am, we’ll all get an email saying whether or not we matched. Ideally, 100% of applicants matched and all the programs fill, but in the event that someone didn’t match, there’s this thing called SOAP that becomes really important…essentially, students find out which programs have openings and attempt to match with them. But let’s be optimistic and idealistic–so tomorrow, every med student gets an email saying, “Congrats! You matched!” (or something like that)…
Then we wait until Friday…which is Match Day. This year it’s on St. Patrick’s Day which is pretty fun. IU does this awesome Match Day ceremony where we all gather together with friends and family, then we each pick up an envelope with our Match info. At the same time, we all open our envelopes and find out where we matched. Then we have the option to announce to everyone where we’re heading for residency. It’s a sweet celebration of lots of hard work and support!
So yeah, it’s a big week for us! And not gonna lie, I’m mostly excited about our exclusive matching T-shirts that a group of my friends and I will be wearing:
Thanks to all of y’all who’ve been with me through this process–super grateful for those of y’all who’ve stuck by me through thick and thin.
God’s grace in my life today:
Somehow He graciously brought me to this point.