Congratulations to all the fourth years that matched! Have you ever been so anxious in anticipation of something that you couldn’t sit still and couldn’t focus on anything else? I sure have, but these past four days were not it. I can’t explain why, but my brain seems to have downplayed one of the most important days of my life. I even managed to forget that Friday is Match Day several times this week! I can only comprehend it as a defense mechanism. My brain’s strategy: I cannot under any circumstances let the anticipation get in the way of everything else I have to do before Match Day arrives. I mean, I’m still planning my wedding, in the process of buying a home, packing my entire life and getting ready to enter the real world – did I mention I was totally calm this entire week? Okay, so maybe I wasn’t calm and it definitely was a defense mechanism to not think about Match Day and just displace my nervousness onto other things.
How about my colleagues? I know some of them are growing increasingly anxious. My fiance had moments of extreme excitement and joy mixed with periods of intense fear. We couples matched – he in anesthesia and I in OB/GYN – and while we are hopeful that we will be together and at a mutually desirable location, there is the slim possibility that we end up on opposite coasts. I also have other friends that are vaguely calm the entire week. Maybe they are like me? Calm on the outside and a psychological mess on the inside? Or maybe they are more evolved and just don’t have the same roller-coaster emotions like the rest of mankind; we’ll never know.
All I can say is that this long-awaited day has finally arrived. And in the seconds before I open my envelope, the moments of my life that brought me to this day flash before me. Some of these events I’m proud of, like when I took special care of my patients,and extra special care of the one who was homeless. But there are times I’m not proud of, too, and they mostly include losing my temper. I realize now more than ever that after tireless effort and sleepless nights, the best physicians aren’t the ones with the grades or the scores, but the ones who care. And I couldn’t be happier to recognize myself as the latter. With that, I’m hoping for four wonderful years as an OB/GYN resident at UTMB and many more to come!