We thought it was only fitting to publish our very first blog entry during Match Week. We know there are so many of you out there right now anxiously awaiting the Friday's results. We want you to know that at EPPA, we get it, we know what you are going through and we're sending good vibes your way.
In honor of Match Day, we'd like to share the story of our very own Michael Bryant, MD, Director of the EPPA Scribe Program and his match day experience. It's a story all physicians have and a special one we'd like to share with you. We welcome your comments on his story and any potential match stories of your own.
Match Day -
This Friday marks an extremely important date for the students and families of the medical school class of 2017. Four years of medical education including; classes, labs, clinical experiences, board exams, audition rotations, residency applications and interviews have led to this Friday, March 17th. This Friday, graduating medical students will receive their residency “match” – a letter naming the hospital training program where they’ll spend the next 3-7 years learning their trade. As students and our former scribes anxiously await this exciting day, I thought I’d relate my personal match story.
Medical Schools may approach the announcement differently than they did in 2000 when I received my match letter, but I can still remember it like it was yesterday. After completing multiple audition rotations, sending follow up letters, and having a very strong feeling about where I'd end up, it came down to the envelope. At the University of Wisconsin, our entire medical school class gathered in our main lecture hall. Each student dropped their match notice envelope into a large bucket from which, the Dean of the Medical School would draw out one name at time. Many of my classmates brought their husbands, wives, kids, or other family for support. The lecture hall was packed with both people and anticipation. As the Dean began reading names, we would walk down to the front of the lecture hall, open our envelope and read it aloud.
During the week prior to match day, an equally important day in the lives of medical school students occurs – scramble day. On scramble day, you may receive a call from the Dean relating the unfortunate news that you did not match for a residency spot. These students then have a few short days before the official match day to attempt to find an unfilled residency spot.
This is a day you hope passes without incident. On Monday, scramble day, you are near your phone, but not too close. Despite having a very competitive application, there is still a small bit of fear that whispers at you. Each time the phone rings, you answer with a bit of anxiety. "Mom, stop calling me. You're giving me an ulcer!" For those whom the phone does ring, most will scramble into an open residency slot and have an envelope to open on Match Day. Some, about 3% nationally, will not.
Thankfully for me, the phone didn't ring on that Monday before match day in 2000 and I found myself anxiously awaiting my results while the Dean slowly read off name after name. After what seemed like forever, my name was called and I walked down to the front of the lecture hall. Virtually certain that I'd been awarded my top choice – a match in emergency medicine in Minnesota where I could return to train while living close to family and friends. I opened my letter with confidence, took a breath and read: EMERGENCY MEDICINE KALAMAZOO CENTER FOR MEDICAL STUDIES. A question mark in my voice was audible for all. Surprise! It was my second choice – and, yes Kalamazoo is the name of a real town. Thankfully, my wife saved the day with a; ‘hooray!’ My confidence in winning my first choice spot was shaken but I was able to quickly regain my composure recalling how impressed I was during my interview at Kalamazoo.
Fast forward 15 years to March of 2015 and my little brother awaiting the opening of his match letter. His match? EMERGENCY MEDICINE - WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY. Yep that's in Kalamazoo. Same residency, name upgrade. Western Michigan University has since developed a medical school which has assumed the all residency programs in Kalamazoo.
The Match is an important day. As you prepare for this day, you know that where you are going will determine your future career as a physician. What you do with the opportunity is up to you. Good luck and enjoy the ride.
Dr. Michael Bryant, MD -Medical Director of the EPPA Scribe Program
We hope you enjoyed reading Dr. Bryant's match day memory. We hope you have a positive story to share come Friday! You've got this!