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Wednesday Mar 11, 2015

The Envelope, Please: Waiting for Match Results

We are almost there, mere months from realizing a dream we have poured our hearts and souls into for years. Although thoughts of graduation are in the backs of our minds, something else remains at the forefront: the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).   

Match week(www.nrmp.org) activities start March 16 when we fourth-year allopathic medical students find out whether we have matched to a residency, and programs find out whether they have filled their positions. We won't know our specific results until March 20.

It's been a long and sometimes grueling process since Match registration opened six months ago. We have fretted over letters of recommendation, decisions about which residencies to apply to, travel and other expenses, interviews, and ranking our residency choices.

All this led up to officially submitting our rank order lists on Feb. 25.

Whew. Take a breath. That was a lot. So now what?

Now, we wait.  

And wait.

My husband also is waiting -- somewhat patiently -- to see where I land so he can figure out where we will be living and, thus, where he will be working. He's a Pennsylvania state employee, so the majority of my 14 interviews were with in-state programs.

I have faith that wherever we end up will be the right spot for us. I feel confident that I'll be able to fit in anywhere because of the passion family physicians share for primary care, our patients and our communities.

I also think residents get out of a program what they put into it. We not only have a lot to learn but a lot to give, so my plan is to give my new program everything I can and become the best doctor I can be. If that happens, I'll be happy with the final result.

Since I submitted my program rankings, I've completed an obstetrics rotation and started another in emergency medicine. The good news is that I'm too busy during work hours to think about the magnitude of the letter I'll be opening soon.

There are 23 days from the time we submitted our rank order lists until Match day. As I post this, I am keenly aware that there are only 10 days left -- but who’s counting? (Well, actually, many fourth-year medical students likely have it calculated down to the second.)  

As the anticipation grows, and the Match draws closer, find solace, my fellow fourth-year students. We are ready. We have done everything we can. I'm happy and excited to take the next step in my training, and the wait is almost over.

Come back to the AAFP website on Match Day for NRMP results and AAFP News coverage of those results.

Kristina Zimmerman is the student member of the AAFP Board of Directors.

Posted at 09:40AM Mar 11, 2015 by Kristina Zimmerman

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