Now that Match Day has passed, I’ve been thinking about the things I wished I had done. Here’s a list of them:
- Schedule third year clerkships with letter writers and away rotations in mind: It can be really difficult to know what you want to do a year in advance, but I think the rotation schedules that end early enough so that you can take Step 2 and fit in sub-Is and away rotations are the best. It gives you the flexibility that I didn’t have since I was still finishing OB/GYN in June!
- Have your letters in by the day ERAS opens or at least as close to that as possible: Some programs don’t look at your application until it’s entirely complete. I think this hurt me at some places because one of my last letters didn’t get in until late October!
- Apply more broadly: I definitely applied to a big mix of programs. Since family medicine residency programs have such diversity, it was good for me to apply to a whole bunch of different programs: opposed/unopposed, urban/suburban, OB heavy/not OB heavy, etc. That way, I was able to figure out what I really liked and what I didn’t really like. However, I wish I had applied to more West coast programs, since I seemed to like that family medicine philosophy so much more. But, at the same time, it would be hard considering I was not from the West coast and had not researched these programs in depth. If I could do it all over again, I would have tried my hand on the West coast more heavily and maybe not have concentrated so much on the East coast.
- Be okay with canceling interviews: I went on way too many interviews. A part of it was because I had this ungodly fear that I wouldn’t match because I wasn’t interviewing at enough programs. Another part of it was I felt like I couldn’t be sure that I didn’t like that program unless I went to the interview. I just got so tired and I should have saved some dates for places that I really wanted to explore. I had to cancel some because I wasn’t able to make those available dates b/c I had other interviews in their place…