Hey fourth years, how great has fourth year been for you? Amazing right? I told you it would be. Like all good things, fourth year must come to an end, and the beginning of that end is, of course, RANK LISTS. Rank lists are due February 20 (and if you didn’t already know this, you need to step up your game yo), and I’m sure you guys are all freaking out about them a little bit.
A close friend of mine e-mailed me recently about her rank list decision making, and she said,
I have been expecting to have a “big moment” of sorts where the lights come down from heaven and God says “this is where you are supposed to go.”
We all hope for that feeling. That moment when it’s all clear.
So far, that hasn’t happened for her, and I imagine it hasn’t happened for many of you. I had my own little rank list crisis last year (btw, I matched my first ranked program, but I won’t tell which of those two it was), so I totally understand the frustration and the worries and fears associated with making this list that will determine the course of your next 3-7 years.
So here’s a little advice to consider in your decision making:
1. Work like crazy until interviews are over. Then chill like you have never chilled before.
2. Store up that vacation time for the end of the year if you can. Moving takes 3 times as much time and effort as you think it will.
3. Do an away rotation (or three!). Even if it’s not at your top program, it will teach you a lot about other hospital systems and will help you figure out what you like and don’t like in a program.
4. Pick one piece of clothing in your interview outfit that will make you memorable. It can be bling, but tasteful, of course. Maybe shoes with a little pizzazz. For me, it was a scarf. Guys, go with a brightly colored tie (again, mad points for the bowtie) or pocket square if you’re classy like that.
5. Be nice to the hotel staff and support staff at residency programs you’re applying to. If you’re rude, it may come back to bite you. People check up on that sort of thing.
My grandma on graduation day: Hey, look at my foot. Look how swollen it is.
Me: I see! It’s been a week! I told you you should have a doctor look at it.
Grandma: Oh ok. Hey doctor, come look at my foot.
and I got this hugebig award and I’m keeping it a secret from my family so they’ll be surprised when it’s announced at graduation tomorrow. More on the awards later. Squee!
Also, if you didn’t catch it in the last paragraph, GRADUATION. IS. TOMORROW. Like I’m gonna be a doctor. For reals. I have lost all ability to can.
EDIT: And it’s the jam. It was my #1 pick and I’m super excited, can you tell?
that my professor wants to turn it into a research project…
He was all, “Would you like to survey the faculty on blah blah blah..”
And I was all
If only I weren’t graduating in 31 days…
eleven pages y’all.
I was all up in the coffee shop like
Hey med students, I’m interested to hear if your schools have any fun traditions on Match Day. My school does a golf tournament the day before. Oh, and on Match Day we all put $5 in a bucket when we go up on stage to get our letters, and the last person who gets called gets the money. I was 4th from last. Just barely missed getting the dough.
So what does your school do?
I figured I’d answer both of these in one post.
So here’s how the match works:
1. Med students apply to residency programs of their choice (any specialty). Many people apply to the programs at the hospitals where they did their 3rd and 4th year training, but most people apply across several states. I applied to programs in 6 states and didn’t apply to the program affiliated with my school.
2. You get invited to interview at places you applied to (hopefully)
3. You interview
4. You rank all the programs you interviewed at that you liked (never rank a program you wouldn’t be happy going to!)
5. Residency programs rank all their interviewees
6. Everyone submits their rank lists in February
7. A computer program matches up students and residency programs, giving preference to the student’s choice. That means that if I ranked a program #1 and another person ranked them #5, but the program ranked that person higher than they ranked me, I still have a good shot of going to that program. This way you don’t end up at your #10 program just because they ranked you high.
7. On the Monday before Match, students and programs get notified about whether they matched (or if a program filled all their spots), but not where they matched. If you don’t match, you go into the Scramble, now called the SOAP, which I explained in an earlier post.
8. On Friday, you get a letter from the NRMP saying where you matched. Schools do the ceremony differently. At my school, we all walk on stage and get our envelopes and then go back to the audience and open them with our families. Then at the end they announce what everyone got. We have people going to every corner of the country (NY, LA, Denver, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, SC, GA, Chicago, etc).
I MATCHED MY #1 RANKED SPOT!!!