After 7 months of applications, interviews, love letters, and second looks, Match Week finally came upon us. For me, this was perhaps the most stressful part of medical school, because I no longer was in control. Unlike for an exam or a procedure, you can study up to the last minute. After mid-February, my rank list was in and I could do no more. The NRMP algorithm would be run, and I would have to wait. Particularly those last 3 weeks between submitting my rank list and seeing where I matched, was brutal.
What did I do to fill my time? A lot of time at the gym, skiing and cooking. Anything to keep my mind at ease.
Yet at the same time, I could not stop thinking about what would happen if I did not Match. Surgery this year was particularly competitive, and I was not confident. That impostor syndrome I previously wrote about was real. So after speaking with advisors, I planned out worst case scenarios, so I would not be surprised regardless of outcome. I was ready to go through the SOAP process if necessary.
The night before Match Week, I could not sleep. Friends came over and kept me at ease. The morning of was the same–I was surrounded by friends to be there when I needed it. In the field of medicine, we cannot do this alone. Up to the final 5
And then I saw it, in big red letters–NOT SOAP ELIGIBLE. It took me nearly a minute to realize this meant I had matched! What a relief! Within minutes I was inundated with nearly a hundred texts and phone calls checking in with me. Yes, I would be a doctor. Yes, I was accepted into a categorical surgical residency. For the first time in 3 months, I could breathe.