First, let me apologize for stepping away from the blog these past few weeks. I have been so incredibly nervous about match day that I shied away from basically all social media.
As most of you know, I am a fourth year medical student (the final year) and I am hoping to become an ophthalmologist.
Applying for residency involves lengthy applications, letters of recommendation, traveling for interviews, making a rank list of all your desired programs, and finally, matching.
My ophthalmology interviews ended on December 17th and so I had to make a rank list of all 13 programs with whom I interviewed. I pretty much LOVED 10 of the programs, and only felt so-so about the bottom 3. But I figured that even if I matched at one of the bottom 3, I would still be an ophthalmologist and life would still be great.
With residency matching, you don’t get multiple offers from programs. You submit your rank list, the programs submit a list of their top students, and a computer system matches you. For most specialties, you get an envelop on match day in March stating into which program you’ve been accepted.
Ophthalmology (for reasons unbeknownst to me) is different and does match day all on their own in the middle of January.
We were told that at 4am we would get an email simply stating, “Match” or “No Match”. Then at 8am the official results would be released to medical schools and programs. We could ask our medical school dean where we matched, or we could expect a phone call from our new program director welcoming us into the program.
I didn’t have to be in lab until 9:30 so I figured this would work perfectly! I could find out where I matched, have time to process it, and then go into lab.
UNFORTUNATELY, the timing was PACIFIC time so 8am was really 11am!!!!! I was so bummed when I realized this.
I didn’t sleep at all the night before- I woke up every hour on the hour and finally woke up at 4am unable to get back to sleep. I got on my treadmill for an hour, cleaned my room, and tried not to freak out. I had been so anxious all week- my stomach was in knots.
At 7am I got an email: “MATCHED”. Yes!!!!! I breathed a huge sigh of relief knowing that no matter where I ended up, I would be an ophthalmologist. I’ve wanted to be an ophthalmologist since I was 17 and to have it become a reality was incredible 🙂
At 9:30 I had to go into lab and holy moly was I nervous. I told my lab professor that I needed to keep my phone on me in case I got a call from my new program director and he said that was okay.
Right around 11am my phone rang and my heart stopped. I ripped off my gloves and ran out of lab. I pulled my phone out of my lab coat and looked at the area code: Rochester Minnesota.
I answered the phone and Dr. Cheryl Khanna, the program director said, “Hi Andrea! It’s my pleasure to welcome you to Mayo Clinic. We are so happy you matched here.”
I matched at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. I will be a Mayo trained ophthalmologist. I can’t believe it.
For some reason, I really wasn’t expecting to match at Mayo. I ranked it because I loved it, but I never really thought about actually going there. Now that it’s a reality I have to tell you- I’m freaking out. I can’t process that I’m going to move to Minnesota. I’ve been so comfortable in Indianapolis for so long and I’m going to go to an entirely new place.
I am going to be a very very small fish in a very very big pond.
I am scared. I’m scared I won’t be as smart as everyone else there. I’m scared I will have to work long hours and I’ll be tired. I’m scared it will all be too much.
But I’m also excited- SO excited. I am going to have amazing training from some of the best physicians in the world. I will be in an environment where people work hard because they love it. I will be challenged to be the best version of myself. I will be pushed harder than I’ve been pushed before. And it’s going to be awesome.
I have so many things to do now- sell my house in Indianapolis, find an apartment in Minnesota for Kyle and myself, prepare for residency…. ahhh!!!!
This is a big transition period in my life. Transitioning from medical student to physician, from single to married, from comfort zone Indianapolis to way way out of my comfort zone Minnesota. With this transition period, I am really focused on my future. I’m thinking more about my career in medicine, and less about blogging and being a student. I have some decisions to make about the blog and what its future looks like.
But that was a long enough story!
I can’t thank you all enough for your kind words and support. I was blown away by how many nice comments I got on instagram (adoctorinthehouse) and Facebook. Thank you so so so much for sharing this journey with me.