Monday, December 3, 2012

Let The Journey Begin

And so it soon begins, the traveling across the country to visit and interview at residency programs.  And then to create a rank list from my most preferred to least preferred programs.  And finally, letting the Match dictate where I'll end up for the next 3 years of my life.

One interview down, nine more to go.  First to southern California, then to Michigan, then to Philadelphia, then Delaware, and then Chicago.  I didn't get interview invites at several programs I really wanted to have the opportunity to interview at (i.e. Kaiser North in Oakland, CA, UCSF, U of MI, UW-Madison, DC programs), but no matter; 10 interviews is plenty to match.  According to NRMP statistics, I only "need" to rank about 8 programs to virtually guarantee myself matching somewhere.

You may wonder what "matching" means.  Basically, I get interview invitations from residency programs that I send my application to.  Of the programs I interview, I create a rank list of which programs I most to least want to end up at.  Meanwhile, the programs create a similar rank list of which med students they want as residents from most to least desirable.  Then each party submits their list to NRMP and through some computer alchemy, it matches applicant and program.  This is a binding contract, so wherever the match dictates, the applicant must go for residency.  I've heard that the process favors the applicants, insofar as most applicants get one of their top 3 choices or so.

Still, it's a daunting thing.  I've come to accept that I'm almost a second-tier applicant and hence am out of the running for many of the more competitive residency programs.  And that's unfortunate but whatever.  I'm hoping to fall in love with a few programs, as people keep saying will happen.  We shall see.

Let the journey begin!  But first to finish packing . . .

11 comments:

kwakamole said...

Good luck on the interviews and matching! I'm seriously jealous of all the fourth years out there!

Biki said...

There is something to be said for not being a first tier, I think quite often the next rung down often delivers a better product. Why? Because these places try harder, work harder at turning out a top notch doctor, the other places you could just become a cog in the endless machine.

Pay attention to the faces of the people you see working there as you tour the facilities, that is a great way to gauge how they feel about working/learning there. Happy faces, most likely a good place to be. But in the end, try to pick the top three places you felt most comfortable in, and it should be a great good match!

Good luck!

Mike said...

Best of luck!!! You were in So Cal? Near me?! And didn't call?! lol

Best of lucky anyways! I am excited to know where you end up since we've been friends it seems for so long!

Aek said...

Mike: I'm not there yet!! I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Fresno first, then to Orange. That's south of LA, right?

madmanMD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madmanMD said...

ok reposting..good luck on the interview trail. you'll get a gestalt for what program fits you once you do a few. i wouldn't be too down on not getting your top choices. people tend to put too much emphasis on the 'top-tier' programs and i'm not really sure they turn out better clinicians anyway. i felt i was a second-rate candidate but i ended up at a place i'm really happy at. just stay open and really try to define what you want from residency so you can figure out which place will be the best for you.

fan of casey said...

Don't obsess over 1st or 2nd tier, just do your best to get into a program that you like, matches you and would be a good fit. It's not like you are going to be tied to your first program forever anyway. Most people often change jobs throughout their careers. Get your foot in the door and make it a positive experience. You can always change later. Good luck.

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Mind Of Mine
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naturgesetz said...

Here's hoping you get into a program you like and that turns out to be as good as you hoped.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the differences in programs has to do with research dollars and size of facilities. None of which correlates to happiness or resident's quality of life.

So much of medical education has to do with in depth reading on your own.

. said...

Here's wishing you the very best Aek...I am sure you have a lot going on...keep us posted!! Oh yeah and I'll post more pictures on the blog...Happy Holidays!!