Wow. What a day. The Ides of March. Match Day.
It's been a crazy ride. I'm SO glad that my med school doesn't make students read where they matched out loud to the entire class. So many people would've completely broke down crying (in joy or sadness). Instead, my med school puts all the match envelops in a bin and chooses out names at random.
As each of my friends go up to get their results, I see their faces downcast as they matched their 6th or 8th place. Finally one of my friends matched her #1 and I was called shortly after. I was SO nervous - like nauseated and heart palpitations. Imagine my (shock and) surprise when I matched at my NUMBER TWO rank!! :-D
It's not my #1, but it's (obviously) the next best. I had psyched myself up for my #1 so much in my head that really almost all of my other ranks paled in comparison, which is unfair. It's unreal. Even now I can't quite believe it.
Actually I'm starting to have irrational doubts now. Will I be okay with the culture shock of moving so far away? Did I make the right choice in the order of ranking my programs? Did I lower myself as a candidate for not ranking more "prestigious" programs higher? Will I have the time and energy to have a social life outside the hospital?
Like I said, irrational. In retrospect, this may be the perfect match for me, even though it's #2. It's a smaller (but not "small") program without fellows, and so more attention can be paid towards teaching me and mentoring me. It still has all the sub-specialties represented and is a free-standing children's hospital - so my training is automatically solid. And it's still in the state I want to be in (albeit not quite in the area of the state I'd prefer to be in, but that's okay).
It was a tough match this year. Lots of disappointed people who applied to a surgical programs, or even medicine programs. The number of American med school graduates keep growing, but the residency slots are static (some programs may even have shrunk a little as a consequence of the crap going on at the federal government level). It's only going to get tougher but at the end of the day, most people match, which means most of us will become the clinical doctors that we went to med school to be.
In about 2 months, I will have an MD and have a spot as a pediatric resident. :-)