Update on Match Week + How COVID-19 is Impacting It

Wow it’s been a while since I posted on the blog with an update on medical school! This has been a crazy week with it being match week AND with the COVID-19 situation. I can’t believe how much has happened in the past several days. All that has happened has made me realize how many things I take for granted, how fortunate I am for my health, and to appreciate my loved ones.

For the past few months, I have gotten lots of questions about if I could share tips and advice to prepare and get through supporting your loved one with the residency match process. I plan on doing this in the near future, as I want to wait until the process was over before I can share my experience with it. But until then, I thought I’d give you an update about how this week has been impacted by coronavirus, since no one imagined so many things would change in just a week.

The Match 101

In case you aren’t familiar with the residency match process, here’s the Cliff Notes version:

Fourth year medical students apply to residency programs early in their fourth year, and then (if extended an interview) travel all over the country to interview for residency positions during the late fall and early winter. In February, students submit a ranking list of where they would like to be a resident at (ranking the places they interviewed at). Residency programs do the same and rank student doctors they interviewed . And then some algorithm, that I’m sure has a hint of wizard magic behind it, matches residents with programs and on March 16th, students were notified if they matched or not (students still don’t know quite where they are going). This is a BIG email… if students did not match, they have to “scramble” and find a position in residency programs with open spots. Often this process results in students taking residency positions in a specialty they did not have an interest in.  SO SCARY RIGHT?! I had no idea there was this must anticipation and stress to determine if a students gets to pursue a residency in the field they have a passion for. Thankfully, Brandon got an email on Monday that he did in indeed match! This means that he matched a program on his list, and will be on his way to becoming an Anesthesiologist! To say I’m proud is an understatement!

Another email will be sent Friday afternoon letting us know exactly where we matched, and I am so excited!! We obviously have a few favorites on the ranking list, but truthfully we will be happy to go anywhere on our list, and I can’t wait to know where we’re headed on this next chapter together!

How COVID-19 is Impacting Match Week

Thankfully, students are still receiving emails Friday letting them know where they matched – BLESS! But, unfortunately, like many other events around the world, Match Day celebrations have been impacted by the need for social distancing.

Typically, on Match Day (this Friday) fourth year medical students and spouses get together and celebrate where they matched. I mean, this week is just a HUGE week for the students. All of these students have put blood, sweat, and tears into becoming physicians (not to mention YEARS of school), and matching into a residency program is a big mile stone! Unfortunately, the Match Day celebrations have been canceled in an effort to follow the social-distancing protocol to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This is absolutely necessary during this pandemic, yet it is still sad for these students. We’re also concerned if graduation will be impacted in May… and for now I’m going to choose to not stress over that one since it will be heartbreaking if it is canceled, and there is simply nothing we can do about it.

Though the celebrations are canceled on Friday, I plan to decorate the house for Match Day and do a little something at home (I’m eyeing THIS vegan funfetti cupcake recipe). We had talked about going out with a small group of friends on Friday, but now I am thinking we will need to stay in (although I would still love to support our small businesses in the area and order takeout)!

That’s it for now! I will be updating you next week where we are going, I am so excited to find out!! We are so grateful that this week has been filled with some good news in an otherwise bleak time.

Stay healthy and safe girlfriends!!!

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