It took a few hours for the post-Match Day margarita to wear off, and when it did the initial excitement of moving to Minnesota wore off right with it. Suddenly, we were moving across the country but it was Friday at 8 pm and there was no realtor or leasing agent or mortgage broker or bank or moving company available to help us move forward. Do you have any idea how frustrating that is? Well, frustrating for Y, the grown up of our relationship. My self-appointed Match Day duty was the somewhat less important stuff: to start making a list of restaurants to try, and sign up for Groupon, LivingSocial and all of the other eight billion daily deals in our new city. The internet doesn't just work 9 to 5, THANK GOD.
But honestly, I didn't realize how much I would have to do so quickly -- and how much I'd need to learn to move across the country. What is the Frozen Four? How do you grow things in a climate where lakes are sometimes SOLID? What is it that I'm supposed to be saying when I say "y'all"? How do you buy a house?
It's been pretty crazy over here. But I still plan to take you guys along for the ride - I just needed a quick break to drink my margarita, take some pictures in Barnes and Noble, and buy a house. Mission accomplished. See you in April?
Here's a little video about Match Day:
Remember that Disney World commercial where the most adorable children you've ever seen squirmed in their bed the night before their vacation and squealed about how they were too excited to sleep?
(This winter, Y traveled around the country interviewing for a residency position. I've been writing about his travels. For more notes from the interview trail, click here.)
Today was the day we found out whether Y matched. Not where he matched, just whether or not he actually has a spot somewhere.
I've been waiting for this day for months.
Not because I was worried about Y matching. I knew he would.(He did.)
I've been waiting for this day because Y told me that as soon as he found out he had a place somewhere, I could tell you this story:
It was a rainy, almost snowy, day in December and Y was at an interview in Pennsylvania. Not just any interview - an interview at one of the most prestigious programs in the country. It was just after this infamous night (to recap: flight delayed 4 hours; arrives at hotel at midnight to find he has no bed), and despite the less than optimal sleep he was on his game. Ready to impress.
The doctor conducting the interview looked down at his file. "You're from Louisiana, I see. Where else have you interviewed?" Y ticked off the list he had gotten so used to reciting.
The doctor nodded. "What made you interview at places so far from home?"
Y was relieved. He liked it when the questions were about his desire to experience something different from the South. He enjoyed sharing his love of travel. He had his answer fully prepared, but played it cool.
"I just, you know. I just wanted to spread my legs."
Shit, he thought, I played it too cool.
And that's why I don't think we'll be moving to Philadelphia.
I get a lot of questions about how many job offers Y has gotten, which one he'll take, etc, etc.
Apparently word hasn't gotten out that matching into a medical residency is less like applying for a job, and more like pledging a sorority or fraternity. Let's examine this theory:
Step one, in both cases, is the official Deactivation of the Facebook Page. No one can know about that time they wore a bow tie and posed with a Shake Weight.
Then, whether it's Rush or Interview Season, they travel from place to place in a short time span, dressed in their finest. In Greek life, the places are houses, situated several yards away from each other in a row. In medical life, the places are hospitals, situated around the country. In both situations sensible shoes are advisable.
The applicants/potential new members attend several events -- pink lemonade parties, grand rounds -- where they make conversation and imagine themselves fitting in with the house/hospital.
Then, they must make one of the most important decisions of their lives. Thoughtfully, they craft a list of their top 10 (or 3, or 5, or 15) places they visited to be turned in by a designated time. Potential new members of sororities and fraternities get a few days to think about this; medical students get several weeks.
Meanwhile, the residency programs and active sorority/fraternity members are making their own top whatever lists based on criteria like board scores and bubble writing. (I'm sure sororities look at more than handwriting, but can we discuss how sorority girls have perfect handwriting and I am doomed to be forever inferior?)
When the medical students and the residency programs turn in their rank lists, a far away computer performs some kind of algorithm developed by an economist at Harvard. I'm not sure how it works on Bid Day - perhaps the computer has a part-time gig during its off season?
Match Day is approximately one month after the students and residency programs submit their rank order lists. Every graduating medical student in the country finds out where they matched at noon eastern on March 16th. (Some fourth year medical students find out their matches in private, this post explains how Y's school does it. )
I've never been to a bid day, but I imagine it's similar...but pinker.
See the similarities? Apparently it's confusing for everyone involved - the social committee at Y's school is throwing a post-match party and accidentally used a leftover theme from a sorority party: Devils and Angels. How embarrassing.
After the medical students find out where they matched, med school still isn't over. It doesn't officially end until graduation day on May 26th. If you're wondering how medical students spend their final days before actually being employed, stay tuned. It involves a lot of sleeping. And in our house, a lot of Downton Abbey.
bid day photo via
I've had some disturbing dreams this week. Last night I was pick-pocketed in Italy. The night before, I was held at gunpoint at a mall. While the gun was to my head, I closed my eyes and tried to relax with yoga breaths, and when I opened them I was staring at the ceiling in my bedroom. I guess you could say yoga saved my life.