Match day was one of the most memorable days in my life.
The day started an hour before match (9 am on the west coast) as our class, accompanied by friends and family members, gathered in an auditorium on campus. An air of tension and excitement was omnipresent – you could read on people’s nervous faces, their restless shuffling, their clenched hands. The deans of our medical school were making some formal remarks, but it largely fell on deaf ears. Above them, a map of the country was projected on the wall, with pins depicting where our class matched. The implications of some of the locations only added to the tension in the room.
Finally, as the clock reached 9, the match envelopes were revealed to a chorus of applause. My classmates and I all gathered in the front of the room as we grabbed the envelope bearing our name off the wall. Soon, a chorus of joyful screams filled the air. Everywhere, people were jumping, yelling, hugging each other in a happy mass of humanity. Off to one side, one of my friends slowly opened his envelope, surrounded by a cadre of friends, significant other, and family members. “HARVARD!” he screamed – matching into his #1 choice in plastic surgery. Unfortunately, there were a few sad moments as well – a stunned person here, a sobbing person there – interspersed among the mostly smiling crowd.
I spent the next hour congratulating others, posing for pictures, and basking in the surrealness of it all. Four entire years of hard work and sacrifice, literally condensed into one moment. I am incredibly proud of my classmates and what they will accomplish at their future institutions. Personally, I will be staying around to complete a year of internal medicine before heading to Texas to pursue my residency in ophthalmology!