We headed into town this morning and caught the bus to the Foundation House (Will Mayo’s former home), where we joined Chris’s friends and classmates in the elegant stone house. Sipping on cider, soda and sparkling water, we discussed our excitement about the upcoming revelation.
We climbed the stairs to the wood-paneled dining room. One after the other the medical students received their blue envelopes. Then right at noon everybody opened their envelopes, and the administrators uncovered a map of the United States with labeled pins in the places that people matched.
Mayo!! We’re staying at Mayo!
(Yes, I did tear up!)
The next half hour was a flurry of congratulation and chit-chat as everyone discussed where they were going. Some people of course were happier than others – we were as happy as we could be and thankful and excited. We have put down roots here and met so many neat people. It will be great to go through the difficulties of residency in a place where we already have a support network.
So to everyone who went through the Match – congratulations!! And good luck!
Some of these are borrowed from my facebook statuses over the past 3.5 years.
1) Husband is in Anatomy: You are vacuuming the floor and have to move a real human skull out of the way!
2) Husband is in Peds: He comes home humming the theme from Blues Clues. Also, he sings the words from The Amazing Swedish Diet but changes the words to refer to the seizure-reducing and butter-heavy Ketogenic Diet
3) Dinner table conversations with any other med student, or medical person for that matter, quickly disintegrate into discussions about obscure diseases that you have probably never heard of and don’t want to hear about
4) You learn all kinds of great terminology, e.g. medical students get “pimped” (or asked tricky questions) on “rounds” which are when the team visits the patients. Those who work really hard are “gunners” or overachievers. Then there are the Steps (the two tests students have to take), First Aid (books most often used to study for the tests), the Match (see previous post about rank listing), etc etc.
5) You tell your spouse, “I have X symptom” and s/he quickly works up a differential including several diagnoses that could kill, cripple, or maim you. (If in third or fourth year, will add a disclaimer that your symptoms probably reflect Y unconcerning ailment).
I am so thankful to be married to this particular med student, however, and I can cheerfully overlook all the minor inconveniences. I hear residency will be considerably more difficult… Kudos to you, medical spouses everywhere!
It’s that time of year for 4th year medical students: rank list submission time. You see, medical students don’t get to pick their residency so much as they get to enter a raffle. They know they are probably going to get a residency, and residencies know that they will get students. Students rank the programs they interview at, programs rank their interviewees, and a computer makes the connections – known as the Match – in March. The results are announced this year on March 15.
You can imagine how much fun this is for medical students who have pretty much controlled their entire lives with their minds and decisions… suddenly, not so much agency! I would think it was a cruel psychological experiment but it’s been going on for 30+ years and seems to be working.
Often, students know exactly which program is at the top of their rank list and which are at the bottom. But sometimes all the options are good and it’s hard to pick. Sometimes, you just need to figure out the middle order. Here are some ways you could use to make your rank list.
1) The MATSH Method (like Match, get it?): If you were ever a seventh grade girl, you probably played MASH. Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House. (The T stands for Tree house in our version). For our 2 rounds of MATSH we used the categories of “Residency,” “Type of Fellowship,” “Where to Live Long-term,” “What kind of dog to get,” “Where to vacation,” and “How many children to have.” Apparently we are going to vacation in Mexico, have 1 child, own a labrador, and Chris will do a C-section fellowship.
In other versions, we’ll have 18 children and own a capybara… I guess we’ll see!
2) Magic 8 Ball Method: I used my iPhone Magic 8-Ball app and we kept shaking it while asking “What about X residency?” However we got bored of this quickly as we came up with a lot of “Ask again later” responses and not enough residencies were getting eliminated. (I think of it as a modern day Urim and Thummim, although apparently not as effective).
3) The Polling Method: We didn’t try this but I kinda wanted to post a poll on facebook and see where people thought we should go. We had informal polls going of course but mostly people seemed to vote for the place farthest from where they lived… interesting… 😉 Just kidding!!!
But I think it is hard to get an unbiased response on “where do you think we should go?” I think it’s hard to say, “I’d like you here and yet… I think you should probably go FAR, FAR AWAY.”
4) The Random Bible Verse Method: I tried this with my Bible application on my iPhone and I got John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Very true but not exactly what I was looking for. But God works in other ways…
5) The Pros/Cons and Prayer Combined Method: This method worked for us. Chris looked through all the program information and we worked on a comprehensive pros/cons list for our top five. Then we prayed for discernment and guidance, and began to feel more and more settled in our decision over the weekend.
Of course just because we have our rank list doesn’t mean that it will happen like we think. But we are feeling a lot of peace about our decision. Thanks to all of our friends and family who have supported us through this whole process. You are the best! The great thing is that all of our choices are good and we are going to be happy wherever we end up.
I for one am excited about the next step. I know residency will be tough but hopefully God will give me the strength and guidance to be a good support for Chris during the rigors of residency and whatever other challenges lie before us.