It’s that time of year again, when all medical students who are transitioning into doctors go through a rite of passage called the Match season. I can’t believe it’s been a year already since I went through mine. It hasn’t been that long since I’ve been on this side of the Match, and already, I will be interviewing applicants like me not too long ago. Thinking back on how stressful the whole residency application process was, and how many things could have gone wrong but didn’t, I am so thankful to be where I am today. I couldn’t ask for a better program, with people I enjoy working and hanging out with, in a specialty that I feel honored to be a part of, and in a place where I want to be.
Just for fun, here are some of the thoughts that may run through your head during the Match season:
- I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with this personal statement. Rewrite!
- Let’s see, so how do I fluff up this ERAS application?
- Am I fluffing it up too much?
- Did I apply to enough programs?
- Forget the application costs…adding more programs.
- T minus 20 seconds until ERAS opens up for application submissions!
- ERAS is open!
- Oh no! Why can’t I access the ERAS site?
- ERAS is down! >:o
- Been waiting for hours for my application to submit. Why isn’t it going through?
- Forget it, I’ll submit it in the evening!
- Yay! Got my first…. oh wait, rejection.
- Why is everyone else on Facebook getting interview invitations?
- Finally got my first interview invitation!
- This could be THE place!
- Don’t mess it up! This could be my only chance!
- Ok, calm, relax, be cool.
- Remember, don’t mispronounce the program director’s name!
- Wow, awkward question.
- … and an even more awkward answer. Definitely didn’t see that coming.
- Alright, who all did I talk to that I should send a thank you note to?
- Should I email or handwrite it? If I email it would I seem too…? If I hand write it, would it be too…? Wait, is my thank you note long enough? Wait, was it too long?
- Oh man, did I sound too desperate on the thank you cards?? Oh well, too late, already sent :/
- Yay, more interviews!
- This one went way better than the last one!
- Mom, I think I found the one. <3
- Going for a second look!
- Should I send the program coordinator a New Years card? Would I come off as too bothersome? How much is too much? Can’t decide!
- Another interview invitation? Wow, I’m exhau$ted!
- Wait, no dinner provided?
- Ok, I think I got an idea of my top choices.
- Double checking my rank list.
- Triple checking my rank list.
- Rank list submitted!
- What if I don’t match into my top choice? Oh no! What if I don’t match at all??
- OK, I’ll quickly read over the SOAP process, in case I have to go through it.
- Fine, I’ll stop thinking about the Match until Match Day… la la la la la.
- Can’t sleep… Match Day tomorrow! Longest night ever!
- Longest morning ever! *click refresh* *click refresh* *click refresh*
- Did I match? Did I match? I matched!
- Facebook status changed! It ain’t official until it’s on Facebook! *like*
- Where did I match? I hope it’s… I hope it’s not…
- Yay! First choice!
- First day of residency.
- What did I get myself into?
During the residency interview, it’s important to dress to impress. While you can act and speak professionally, wearing jeans or a mini skirt to an interview can ruin the program’s impression of you. For every interview you go to, it’s important to bring two types of outfits:
Business Casual – to wear to the dinner with residents the night before interview.
With rounds, daily progress notes, grand rounds, afternoon clinics, day calls, night calls, morning reports, presentations, and teaching sessions, there are several things that had to be put on the back burner these past two months into residency, and blogging happened to be one of them, as you’ve probably noticed from my hiatus.
Morning after a night call
There’s so much I wanted to write about, like my experience during orientation, my first day of residency, Lyra’s 3rd month “birthday,” my first overnight on-call shift as a resident physician, my first paracentesis, and my struggles finding my way around the hospital system. However, it’s been 4 weeks since I started orientation and 2 weeks since I starting seeing patients,…
So we packed up the U-Haul, buckled Lyra into her carseat, and made the move north to my hometown of Macon where I am starting my new career as a family medicine resident physician. Seeing where all my other classmates have matched for residency, this 2.5 hour move from Irene’s hometown of Valdosta to Macon is a relatively easy one I’d say.
Me, Chris, and Arif as Anatomy TAs at AUC in 2010.
Earlier this month, my good friends from med school, Arif and Chris, drove down to visit Irene, Lyra, and me here in Georgia. Chris was coming from his pathology residency up in Pennsylvania and Arif was coming from his surgery program up in New York, so it was a lot of driving on their…
This year’s graduation ceremony is finally here and I’ve waited a long time for this. This is the time when we all celebrate the culmination of the last four years and the beginning of our career in medicine. We recite the Hippocratic Oath (or at least the modern version that does not reference Apollo), and profess ourselves to do no harm.…
I remember when we were pre-med students, we looked up to those who were already in med school and thought that their life was smooth sailing. Then once we proudly got into med school, we became “firsties” and looked up admirably to the fifth semester honor students as they walked across the stage during white coat ceremony, having their words of…
Three mothers and their children – L to R – April, Leah, and Irene Ho.
Ever since I became a parent, I appreciate more than ever the patience, dedication, and sacrifice that you made in your life to raise us to become the individuals we are today. Being a mom is not easy, especially to four boys. You taught us…
Can you find me?
Unlike US medical schools that have only one start date per year in the fall, Caribbean medical schools typically have 2 or 3 start dates. At AUC, students may start medical school in January, May, or, September. I’ve gotten quite a few questions about the difference between start dates and so I’d like to address the answer here in…
Med school is no doubt very expensive, and for international medical graduates like me, living in the Caribbean where cost of living is high and traveling around to different clinical rotation sites does not help the amounting debt that we build up during our training. After four strenuous years, I now have an MD degree, a Dr. in front of…
As I write this, Irene, Lyra, and I are taking a road trip up to Macon for a few days, getting some important things done for our move up to this town in the next few weeks. It’s been over a month and a half since we’ve been in the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World (or so we proudly…
Residency interviews wrap up in late January, and by mid-February, you should already have an ordered list of how you are going to rank the programs you interviewed at. How you order your Rank Order List (ROL) can make a difference in where you go for residency. Here are some important tips on what to do and not to do…
From the moment I met Irene, I have been impressed by her free spirit, dedication, and her ability to always make me smile, and I married her so that I will be smiling for the rest of my life. Irene is a strong woman and for the past nine months, she has been a trooper, not giving up a day…
It’s not everyday that you turn 30 and find out you landed a residency position to your first choice program. But that’s what happened yesterday, and I couldn’t be any more ecstatic. Yes, I’m happy to announce that I have matched into Mercer University School of Medicine’s Family Medicine Residency Program! This means I am going back to my hometown…
If you haven’t noticed from our Ecuador babymoon pictures, Irene and I are expecting our first baby soon! Irene is now at 38 weeks, which is considered at term, and so we’re preparing for our little girl to come any day now!
For the past few months, Irene and I have been living in two different cities. I’ve been working on-and-off…
I now have my first job as a family physician for the next three years! I want to thank my family, friends, and especially my dear wife Irene for all the endless support you all have given me these past few years. And to AUC, thank you for giving me this opportunity to pursue medicine, and for constantly challenging…
Use simple cards to write follow-up messages.
Post-interview follow-ups are considered standard etiquette and a good way to continue communication with the residency program after the interview. Because programs are often bombarded with thank you notes and follow-up letters, the trick is to write long and specific enough to show that you’ve put some thought into it, but short enough so…
Late October through early February is a crucial time for those applying for residency programs. It is the interview season. In these past few months, I have visited several different programs. I have put together a list of questions that I have been asked during my interviews, as well as questions that I have asked the interviewers. The questions you…
As an IMG, the short answer is at least 100. The long answer is that it all depends on the attractiveness of your application, the competitiveness of your desired field, how much choice you would like to have, and how much you are willing to spend on applications.
One mistake that some applicants make when applying to residencies is overestimating…