It has been a little over a week since #MatchDay2022 and reality has started to set in for the soon to be doctors beginning residency this summer.
Within the past few days I’ve received messages from students who found the Doximity article I wrote a few years ago about my less than magical Match Day. (A reminder that anything you put on the internet stays forever!)
Many are upset, a few angry, all disappointed. These feelings are valid and expected if you didn’t have the typical reaction of joy we have widely seen on social media.
For those trying to navigate feelings of confusion and discontent, here are some tips that helped me get through Match Day and look forward to the next 3 years of my life.
1) Be proud of how far you have come
Getting into medical school, surviving, and passing all board exams is no easy feat!
Recognize your great accomplishment and be proud of what you have done!
2) Congrats on Matching!
The Match is an arduous process that is stressful for all involved; students, families, and residency programs. Be grateful that you are done with this process and can look forward to a new stage of life.
3)Everything happens for a reason
If you matched to a program that wasn’t your top choice don’t fret; all things work together for good. The most important thing to recognize is no matter where you go, you will receive quality and substantial training. Almost all residency programs across the nation provide appropriate structure and guidance to create qualified physicians who can take care of patients on their own in the future.
4)Residency is what you make it
You can be at the best academic center in the country and not learn anything. You can be at the smallest community hospital and leave with the knowledge of a well-seasoned attending.
You need to grab your own training by the horns and take control of your residency education. Learn from your colleagues, learn from your attendings, and most importantly learn from your patients.
5) Residency is more than time spent in the Hospital
The friends and connections made during residency can turn into lifelong relationships and experiences. Your co- residents will go through similar struggles and triumphs as you; a special bond most may never experience. This support system is vital to your survival. Enjoy these relationships and hold on to them as they will likely last a lifetime.
6) A positive attitude makes the difference
Residency is tough no matter where you are. There will be days where you question if you are even doing the right thing; if it is all worth it. No matter how long the days (and nights) may seem, eventually it will end. Have a willing and open heart to receive everything your program has to offer. A positive mindset will help you get through the thick and thin.
Despite these tips if you are still dissatisfied with your residency program consider switching after your first year. Many spots become available/ unfilled for second year residents so that is an option if you really are not happy with where you are.
On the follow up to National Doctor’s Day I applaud all 4th year medical students for making it to the end of this leg of the Great Medical Relay. No matter where you are headed, enjoy the last few weeks of medical school and begin to mentally and emotionally prepare for residency.