So much of the past couple of weeks has reminded us of living overseas. I lived in Thailand when the political turmoil resulted in a sit in at the Bangkok airport, shutting down all international travel. Around 50% of Thailand’s economy depended on tourism, so an international hub airport shutdown affected everyone domestically too. Tom was once detained and interrogated by authorities in another South Asian country for coming and going on a tourist visa too many times. Of course he’s amazing at diffusing any heated situation and after honest answers was released with the requirement he leave for at minimum 30 days before re-entry. That’s part of how we met and part of why we tend to not over stock on toilet tissue the moment we hear alarming news…And maybe why we took the risk to still go on our celebratory, graduating medical school cruise 10 days after COVID-19 was reported.
We loved our cruise with Royal Caribbean and felt they took preventative screening measures and encouraged hand washing. Thankfully we managed to return to dry land before outreaks increased. Our ship had no known cases. We have no signs of infection and we made it off the ship just in time for Match Week!
If you are not familiar with the residency Match process check out this quick video first. It’s like Eharmony for fourth year medical students who are applying for residency positions.
After a five month window of interviews, medical students get to rank the residency spots from the hospitals they interviewed. Normally ten solid interviews are desired. This year DO and MD students were merged into the same 2020 Match, which increased the number of openings but also increased competition.
We were very thankful Tom had multiple interviews at quality programs in the central and eastern United States for internal medicine. With lots of amazing options we ended up ranking each program by similar categories. We weighed pros and cons for academic teaching opportunities, economic growth, cost of living, cardiology fellowships, technology and research, preschool availability, coffee shops, diversity, social opportunities, and proximity to extended family. Though at times one program may have ranked higher for proximity and another for research. Praying through them before “certifiying” our ranklist gave us peace at the end of February.
Match Week starts on Monday, March 16th but… you don’t find out your Match location until Friday. This gap gives time for students who did not Match to a program on their ranklist to SOAP. Post-Match Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program, a process of applying to programs which have unfilled spots. Sometimes candidates are limited in available spots and have to apply to a different specialty then they originally desired, but matching to any residency program during SOAP is the best scenario even if it’s not the ideal.
We Matched Monday in Internal Medicine…
And then the Friday Match Day Ceremony was canceled and we went into social distancing quarantine, reducing our festivities to our family of four and virtual congratulations. Not exactly the hype we were hoping for to celebrate Tom’s past year of board exams and months of residency interviews, but I’m secretly thankful. I loved the concept of a Match Day celebration because it gathers everyone who moved away from rotations. It also meant seeing friends and their babies whom we have not seen in two years. Opening an envelope with the direction of the next 3-4 years of your life in front of 200+ people made me nervous just thinking about the complexities of all the emotions in the room.
Since you all have been a part of our journey, we decided to include our readers here at The White Coat Wife in our reveal.
We opened our email at noon today and….
We are ecstatic for matching at Internal Medicine at Carilion Clinic- Virginia Tech. Tom and I felt at home in Roanoke the weekend of his interview, confirming that we were to alter our origional rank list and put Carilion Clinic- Virgining Tech #1.
Roanoke here we come! Go Hokies!
If you or yours participated in Match Day, share your match with us in the comments!