The week before the DO (AOA) Match Day, I remember feeling the worst anxiety I have ever felt in my life. I always talked about gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) with patients but it was the first time I had stress-induced GERD (I understand the annoyance of this now). My phone was riddled with text exchanges between friends and classmates attempting to calm each other down but let’s face it–everything we have done in the last four years of medical culminated in one email we had no control over.
I kept telling myself that everything would be SO much better once I knew what I was going to do and where I was going to be in the next several years for residency. The day came. I matched. I was SO happy. That happiness lasted an entire month but before I knew it, the post-match highs started to wear off and reality hit–I am going to be a doctor. I am going to be in charge of lives. I am going to be hit with a huge learning curve in intern year. I am going to be moving away from my family again and this time for longer than the four years I committed to for medical school. I am moving to a place where I don’t have a physical support system.
Why did I feel so bad after something so good happened? I must be the only crazy person to feel these things.
I am so incredibly grateful for everything that has happened in the last four years. There are so many who would do anything to be in our positions and we signed ourselves up for this life. But, after talking to many fellow MS4s post-DO and MD match, I realized that we all had the same feelings. Many of us have to prepare to make a big move to a new city and with that: many worries of finding housing (renting vs. buying), making new friends and potential love interests, working 80-hour weeks, and so much more! I think one of my biggest fears is having Impostor Syndrome. What if I didn’t learn enough in medical school and for lack of better words, suck as a resident?
After self-reflecting days on end, I realized that the source of all of this anxiety and stress was thinking that things will get better when XYZ happens. This happened when I applied to medical school. I will be so happy once I get into medical school. The same thing happened during Level 1/Step 1 studying. I will be so happy once I get the biggest set of boards out of the way. But, stress continued after these events. I think the biggest thing is getting out of this mindset as I head into residency. Because once residency is over, I’ll have another set of worries as I grow as an attending.
My goal in the next two months before residency is to practice mindfulness and turning every “worry” into something positive. I get to move to a new city. I get to meet new people. I get to treat patients. I get this incredible opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming a surgeon.
I am looking forward to this new journey and excited to share it all with you guys very soon!