Do you know how I know it is the Monday of Match Week?
My website views went through the roof this morning! People were googling “how to find out where you matched early” or “nrmp match results leaked 2014” and coming to my post last year about the drama surrounding early match results. In a nutshell, last year, applicants (we don’t know how many) discovered that they could find out where they matched by Monday of Match Week by looking into the source coding on their NRMP home page. I personally didn’t find out until after the problem had been fixed, after the NRMP sent out a universal email apologizing for the error I didn’t know had existed previously.
The real drama about Match Week for me wasn’t the waiting. It wasn’t the wondering where I was going. That was all there, trust me – I had agonized for what seemed like months from the beginning of the dermatology application process to the very minute before I opened my red envelope. But the drama of Match Week for me actually stemmed around that aforementioned blog post. Without going too much into details, I will share that I got into quite a bit of trouble for publishing a comment on that blogpost. I imagine the NRMP wasn’t happy with my publishing on the topic at all, but with my journalism background, I knew this was one current event story I needed to cover. A few days before Match Day I ended up on the phone with the Executive Director of the NRMP, I was verbally threatened a few times, and I had to ask Dean Gesundheit to step in and intervene. (As an aside, Dr. G is the best most patient Dean on Earth…of all things he was already stressed about during Match Week, I imagine my legal issues over my blog was not one he expected to add to the list) Messiness and lots of crying and hair pulling ensued. Where I matched actually became tied with this issue in terms of stress. Legal letters were sent. etc. etc.
That’s all behind me now, and I am more careful and guarded about what I let people post on my website. There was a lesson there, after all.
My real motivation to write this post is to send a message to the thousands of applicants arriving at my site to search for their results. I know this seems like the most stressful week of your lives and it arguably is. I just want to remind you that where you match, whether it is your top choice or your last, does not define who you are and all the successes you have had. I remember all too well the whole process of applying into dermatology last year, and how I had never felt so insecure, so uncertain of my future, and so unsure about myself and all that I had done working up to that point. I let the Match consume me and in a way destroy parts of me that I finally built back over a year. So know this: you are going to be a doctor. You are absolutely amazing for having made it this far in an incredibly grueling training process. No matter what happens on Friday, you will continue to do great things that will change the world and no one can take that away from you.
If you want some more motivational reading, please check out this NY Times piece on how to survive college admissions, especially the letter at the end from two loving parents to their son. The exact same lessons apply to residency.
Good luck everyone!