The third Friday of March is a very specific date in medicine: The Match. While for many on the outside it’s joyous, watching the next generation of doctors determine where they are going to spend the next few years training, for those on the other side, it’s nothing but anxiety.
This is the first year I had good friends going through the current match process. For months I saw them stress over applications, interview, Step 2, deciding their rank list, living in hotels and AirBNBs, and questioning every part of their resumes. Even this last week, when students found out that they had successfully matched, I saw the anxiety precipitate, as they waited for 4 days in uncertainty that wasn’t “if,” but rather “where.”
And for all of them, it worked! They all are going to one of their top choice residencies. It was even better to see the anxiety quickly melt away into joy and relief. The unknown became known. I was genuinely excited for them.
And then it hit me–this will be me in just 2 years. I’m currently swimming in studying for Step 1, prioritizing the details of topics like fatty acid synthesis over friends’ weddings. It’s easy to drown in the small details. But when you have moments like watching The Match, you remind yourself of your purpose. It’s exciting, intimidating, and humbling to be a part of this experience.