As a medical student, the process of the Match is something I’ve learned about throughout the years of medical school. At first it was a mythical system that seemed impossibly far away. Then, after hearing more about it and interacting with fourth years in the midst of the process, it became more familiar. As a third year, it was tantalizingly close and when I attended the Match Day celebration I wished that it was my turn because the thought of knowing my future for sure was so appealing. Now in fourth year, I’m barreling towards Match Day and although I now have a good understanding of the system, I find myself having to explain it to others frequently. My grandparents, friends, and acquaintances have all gotten an overview. Outside of the medical profession, few people seem to know about the Match and they marvel at how we do not have the ultimate power to select our next training site.
While I’ve largely come to terms with the uncertainty, there are a few wrinkles to the process. For one, my fiancé needs to find a job in whatever city or town we land in for residency. But since he won’t know where I Match until mid-March, he can’t really start looking seriously until then. Another problem is when each program starts. Some programs have orientation programming that starts in mid-June, while others start closer to the traditional July 1st start date. We are getting married in mid-June, so the start date is of great importance to us! Depending on when orientation begins, we may or may not be able to have a honeymoon and where we go and how long we stay is totally up in the air. Right now we have two lists: where we will go if we only have a day or two, and where we will go if we have the luxury of a week or more.
Once Match Day comes, we will have to spring into action – planning a honeymoon, finding an apartment, and job hunting! It’s going to be a wild ride once that day arrives, but for now, our lives are firmly on hold.