I remember my match day. I actually didn’t go to the ceremony because I was two years behind having done a year of PhD before quitting and was in the midst of my MPH at Columbia the year after graduating medical school. So my original class had matched two years before and I was in NYC during exam period on Match Day and not in South Jersey. So I didn’t experience all the “bells and whistles” associated with Match Day festivities. But I do remember the anxiety of wondering at first if I would match, and then after that fateful Monday after I found out that I matched somewhere, wondering where that would be. It’s stressful and yet at the same time, a relief once you get your match results.
Now, it’s three years later. I’ve matched to two fellowships for 2016-2019 at my first choice program and I have one year left during which I will serve as Chief Resident. Match Day seems like a lifetime ago, really. So fellow, future pathology residents, enjoy this time. If you do want to do some prep because you just *have* to study, then brush up on your histology at your leisure. You can’t learn the abnormal if you don’t know the normal solidly. The first six months is the steepest in terms of learning curve and it will be expected that you already know your histology. You don’t want to fall behind because you will be learning so many new things from the get-go. Or start prepping to get your Step 3 out of the way as early as possible because the further we get out of med school, the less we will remember patient care practices and procedures that we do not practice in every resident life.
Senior residents, think back to what you wish you had known or wish that someone would have impressed upon you as to its importance when you were a first year. These are the things to pass down to your incoming juniors to help them with the transition from medical student to pathology resident. I believe that things happen in this life for a reason. So match day will bring us in contact with each other, to somehow touch each other’s lives in some way – whether it is to teach or to support each other or to work together to advocate for and transform our profession. We’ve started the journey to July 1st when we the circle of resident life begins anew.
-Betty Chung, DO, MPH, MA is a third year resident physician at Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.