Now that the dust has settled on the 2012 Residency Match, I’m still totally overwhelmed and just a little incredulous at what just happened.
As you may or may not know, the NRMP sends out “Did I Match?” emails at noon on Monday. (No, really, that’s the subject line. It’s like the Magic 8 Ball — remember those? “Signs point to yes.”) In a lot of ways, this is the big email, especially as most of my friends were matching in very competitive specialties. Myself, I was worried about preliminary medicine spots. I had weighted my list toward categorical programs (which include the required 1 year medicine internship) but you never know…. Luckily, though, we all did alright.
Then on Friday, we, and 18k of our closest friends around the country, find out *where* we matched. I was feeling perfectly fine until Thursday night — a large group of us went out for dinner/drinks to celebrate, and even though I didn’t stay out very late, I couldn’t get to sleep that night until around 5 AM. And then I woke up 3 hours later, nauseous and crying for no good reason.
Our school does a Match Day reception, where everyone stands around nervously for a quarter hour, picking at the terrible Chinese food the administration had ordered. (Really, administration? You know people are in adrenal crisis, and you choose to feed them Chinese??) Shortly before noon, the envelopes are wheeled out on two or three tables, in alphabetical order. There is a countdown, like New Year’s Eve, and then a mad rush to the envelopes.
My friends and I hung back until the stampede passed, then wandered up pretending to be nonchalant. Someone suggested we all open them together, so we hid in a corner to do so. When I saw that I’d matched to my top choice, I shrieked and nearly knocked over my heavily pregnant friend standing next to me. I’d agonized so long over this decision that it hardly seemed real that I should actually be going there — in some ways it still seems like a lovely dream.
The rest of Match Day is a bit of a blur of phone calls and food-seeking — we went out to lunch at what passes for a classy restaurant in our neck of the woods, then dessert/coffee at a bakery across the street, then out to dinner (good), dessert (better), Art after Dark at the Guggenheim (disappointing), and a couple of bars (surreal).
Since then, I’ve been utterly checked out at work. Next week is my LAST WEEK OF MEDICAL SCHOOL, another fact that I just can’t seem to wrap my head around. Helping a friend stuff wedding envelopes yesterday, it occurred to me that things are ending and changing and morphing, and that it’s time, at last, for something completely different.