Friday, March 17, 2006

Match Day

Yesterday was match day for medical students throughout the country. On this fateful day, every 4th year medical student recieves notifcation of where they "matched" for residency. After having spent much of their 4th year applying and interviewing at various residencies, med students finally discover which residency has decided to accept them as a new doctor and a new employee. Its a very important and very nervous day for most everyone. These agreements are binding and once the student has matched, they must work at their assigned location. Many students feel that match day is the culmination of all they have worked for as a medical student.

At UTMB, all the students gather in an auditorium. All the envelopes indicating the student's residency are tossed randomly into a jar. One by one, each student is called out to collect their envelope. When they do, they put a $1 bill into another jar. The last student to be called gets the money. The second to last gets the pity of the class.

I lived through the match vicariously as had I opted to stay in America, I would have likely been a part of it all. I emailed all my friends to find out where they had ranked. I wanted to be as much a part of it all as I could, despite the vast distance between Galveston and Durban.

So this morning I found the match list on the UTMB website and read it carefully. For some reason, I was nervous. I knew so many fates had just been decided, and I wondered who was going to be disapointed, who would be elated.

All in all, the results looked promising. Most all of my friends got their 1st or 2nd choice. Many people matched in competitive fields like plastic surgery, orthopedics, and (ughh) dermatology. Others matched at competitive places like Duke, UC San Diego, and the Mayo Clinic. It was great to read about the sucess of my former classmates, and I am truly proud of all of them.

I googled "match day" and came across this article in the New York Times about match day at Cornell. I imagine their match day was quite different than UTMB's, what with the hotsy totsy champaigne and fruit and cheese brunch.


At 3/17/2006 07:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cully -

The dirty, dark side of the Match is the Scramble ("Rematch" according to Dr T). 6 of your classmates (most with spouses/others in tow to lend assistance and support) went through one of the most horrible, demoralizing processes of their career hoping to find a spot at one of the remaining open programs.

When you get back to the States, I'll give you all the gory details over a pint or five. In the end, I scrambled into a spot that was probably better then my 5th thru 8th choice, but it was a day that severely strained my new marriage and called into question the necessity for the NRMP at all.

I assume you heard that you were voted in as one of the Junior Marshalls. Can't wait to see you, man.



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