Thursday, March 19, 2009

Match day, again

I really shouldn't take a minute away from what I am doing, but I just wanted to comment on today. It's Match Day. Again. For those unfamiliar with the medical school system, it's the day where fourth year medical students find out where they will be doing their residencies. It's a national system, so all medical students (except for those doing early matches) across the country find out at the same time. It's a stressful and exciting time--as a student, your job was to rank the programs you'd be willing to go to. It's a bit complicated, but basically if a program wants you and you want them, great! If not, there's a complex computer program that ranks your preferences compared to each program's preferences for applicants, and the computer spits out a match. You are obligated to go to any program that you rank. It's a tricky game--you have to rank enough places so that you get a position, but if you rank 50 programs, you agree to go to any of those programs if you match there.

Anyway, this is now several matches beyond when my original med school class matched. They matched in 2006, which means many of them are finishing residencies this year. That means they can be attendings in July. And here I am, still in graduate school, still having two years of medical school to finish beyond graduate school. This year, most of the MSTPs matching were a class ahead of me.

This, of course, means that the vast majority of my MSTP class will match next year. They are finishing up third year at the moment. I am likely going to be two years behind them, due to the whole three-labs-to-get-a-degree thing. And while I have to say that my latest lab is head and shoulders (and knees and toes) above any other lab I've worked in, it's still very depressing to think that even my MD/PhD classmates are moving on.

It's just a downer day, and I am sure this day next year will be worse. I just want to move forward in my life. It's depressing to be nearing 30 and not even be done with med school yet! I am glad that I am in a lab now that has me enjoying science again, and I am thankful that I still get some clinical exposure every week at the VA. But I am so, so, so, SO ready to be done with the PhD and go back to med school. That probably won't be until next July. But, someday I will be done. I hope.

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