deep. breaths.

Hi, and welcome to the first day of my yearlong panic attack.

Today, the class of 2011 found out where they would be spending the next 4 years continuing their medical education as residents. Here's how it works:

1. 4th year medical students go on interviews for residency at hospitals across the country.
2. After the interviews, they rank their top choices
3. Once the choices from every graduating medical student across the country are in, some fancy computer program matches the students' ranks to the feedback from the residency programs.
4. Students wait impatiently, hoping the system matched one of their top choices with a spot at a program.
5. Match Day is the third Thursday in March. On the Monday before Match Day, the students find out whether or not they matched. They don't, however, find out where. AS IF THE SUSPENSE WASN'T BAD ENOUGH.
6. If a student doesn't match, he has to "scramble" to find an open spot in any program across the country

7. On Match Day, all of the graduating fourth years, their families, and pretty much anyone who feels like watching, gathers to watch these poor souls find out in front of everyone where they matched.

8. Someone draws the name of a student from a hat. That person gets to stand up in front of everyone and open The Envelope.

9. And so on, and so forth. As each student's name is called, they drop five dollars in a jar. The $500 or so collected by the end goes to the last student whose name is called.

I'm already nervous about next year's match day, where Y will find out where he matched and where we'll be living for the next 3-4 years. Call me crazy, but there's something about not finding out a slightly important detail of your life until the very last minute... in front of everyone. Obviously it's stressful for everyone involved -- more for Y than myself, I'm sure -- but I think I'm struggling with the control issue. The issue being that I have none. It might make me feel a tad better if I could dress up as Y and do the interviews for him.

Or, uh, scratch that, because here's a story for you: Recently my boss and I visited a gastroenterologist's office. The doctor showed us a video from a PillCam (a pill with a camera, in case that wasn't clear) and I may or may not have said out loud, "It's just like the Magic School Bus!" (But seriously. It was.)

P.S. If you don't know a lot about the Match process and want to, Match Day by Brian Eule is helpful. Admittedly it's not exactly on my top 10... or top 100 books of all time, but it did kind of help decode the process.