Tomorrow is Match Day. That’s when soon-to-be allopathic doctors, and pharmacists, learn which residency program they “matched” into and whether the Match will lead them to a clinic down the street or hospital across the country. Osteopathic med students learned where they matched last month. The Match may determine where you spend the rest of your career, and, if you apply in more than one specialty, it could determine which one you ultimately practice.
This day is the culmination of months spent creating pro-con lists that become rank lists, a season spent completing applications and traveling around the country for interviews. Here on the blog, we’ve collected the experiences of Match applicants for years.
Before some fourth-year medical students can even think about rank lists, they must first choose a specialty
. We’ve heard from soon-to-be doctors choosing between paths as divergent as surgery and family medicine
. And we’ve heard from others who have no doubt why they’re choosing family medicine over specialties such as dermatology
. Still, many struggle to choose from among the slightly more nuanced options of family medicine
, internal medicine
, and primary care
Choosing a specialty only opens the door to more decisions that must be made: Where do you want to train? Applicants have shared with Progress Notes which factors they considered when compiling their rank lists. Of course, specifics of the individual programs are a major consideration. Med students have cited residencies’ commitment to healthcare transformation
among their top priorities. Some look for programs that emphasize training leaders
. Others lean towards programs where they see potential role models
. Still others give high marks to programs where they feel a chemistry with the residents
already training there. And yes, pharmacy students do residencies, too
But the program itself is by far not the only consideration. Medical students are open about the crucial role that their personal lives play in the creation of their rank lists. For many applicants, the rank list reflects both professional and personal goals
. Some rank programs based on their proximity to family
or a partner
. Some couples
apply jointly through the Couples Match to ensure that they’re accepted to residency programs in the same metro area.
While many factors figure into rank lists, in the end, applicants often
go with their gut
And while applicants anticipate Match Day with butterflies in their stomachs, they can rest assured that their future program faculty
are almost just as anxious
to learn who their residents will be
If you’re applying for the Match next year, many of the young doctors in our community have practical tips
to offer you.
And if you’re matching this year, we wish you all the best!
-- Progress NotesFor more on this year’s event, visit our Match Day 2017 webpage. And please consider investing in primary care by making a donation in honor of those eagerly awaiting that envelope.