My Journey to Match Day

A whole month later, it is finally sinking in that I actually matched and that I’m starting residency again in less than 2 months! After reading the following series of events, maybe you will understand why I didn’t quite believe it for so long:

March 2013 – I leave surgery residency.  The following week, I have my first eye surgery

April 2013 – I spend the month recovering and catching up on sleep. I have no intention of ever practicing medicine again since I can no longer be a surgeon.

July 2013 – I have my second eye surgery. Still no intention of practicing medicine. I take up other hobbies while I think about other career options.

November 2013 – I find myself casually looking at medical missions trips through Global Health Outreach and actually wanting to go.  I’m pretty surprised, since I thought that I was done with doctoring. Must be from God.

March-April 2014I freak out at the thought of applying for and doing residency again.  I am afraid of how hard it’s going to be, and what my future will look like.  My small group prays for me and my fears are settled, so I forge ahead with starting to gather my application materials.

September 2014 – I submit my application to ONE program only.

October 2014 –  I panic after not receiving an interview offer and quickly submit my application to 10 other programs.  I almost immediately get rejected from 2 programs because I didn’t read their websites carefully regarding deadlines.  Oops.

November 2014 – I receive two interview offers! But not from the ONE program.  My confidence is boosted after attending both interviews and I end up loving one of the programs.  I buy myself a medical book and start reading for a couple hours a day.

December 2014 – Still no word from the one program.  I am starting to resign myself that I will not hear from them, despite multiple phone calls and emails.  At the end of the month, I reach the peak of my anxiety and frustration with the whole situation.

January 2015 – Not a peep from the one program…….until I receive an email out of the blue on January 8 offering me an interview. WHAT?!? I start ugly crying.  My interview is scheduled for the second to last available date.  During the interview, I am told in so many words that I am only there because I was “persistent” and that they are somewhat doubtful of my ability to practice medicine after 2 years off.  My confidence goes way down.

February 2015 – I submit my very short rank list. And wait.

March 2015 – I find out that I matched at the ONE program!  I cry again. Husband takes me out to dinner to celebrate 🙂

This timeline is a reminder of God’s incredible provision over these past 2 years as I found my way back into medicine.  I really think that the odds were stacked against me; my grades and test scores are just average, and my CV is pretty bare.  But as I keep telling people, God wanted it to happen, so it did.  I’m so thankful that my heavenly Father has been so patient with me as I struggled with fears and doubts, anger, frustration, and sometimes apathy.  I’m also incredibly thankful for everyone who prayed for me, encouraged me, wrote letters of recommendation, edited my personal statement, made phone calls, etc.

So now, I plan to take full advantage of the next 2 months of freedom, and then onward to the hard work of becoming an excellent internist. Hurrah!