Match Day 1

#MatchDay2016 #MatchDay #iMatched #Match2016 #Match

The day of matching. The first day of the rest of your life. The alpha. The omega.

What is there to say?

CONGRATULATIONS! You matched into Specialty X at location Y. Whether it was at Podunk College in BFE or Ivory Tower in Awesomeville, you have now officially embarked on your journey to being a “real doctor”. Bask in this moment and enjoy it.

Go out with your friends and drink lots of alcohol. Tonight is your night.

Just make sure you have a designated driver or money for a cab. There is usually a few 4th year medical student DUIs or DWIs on Match Day/Night.

Don’t let that be you.

Don’t worry about what comes next… yet.

Don’t read the rest of this post. Bookmark this site and come back later.

Ok some of you are still here and wanting to read this post. As doctors, the majority of us are type A personalities who can’t stop, won’t stop. But I beg of you, please take a break, go out with your friends and get a drink. This webpage and this information will be here tomorrow, I promise.

Did you leave yet?

Are you gone yet?

Please leave now and come back after.

Ok, I’m hoping this is the next morning and you had fun with your friends and you’re hung over maybe just a little bit. Go get whatever your hangover remedy is and pour yourself some coffee and chug an energy drink or whatever you need to do to sober up.

Are you ready now?

Ok. Back to reality.

It’s time for the real deal. Sit down and take a deep breath.

You’ve officially left your time at extended kindergarten.

The time you left home and went to school when you were 5 should have ended when you were 18. But it didn’t. You went to college. Then it should have ended again. But it didn’t. You went to medical school. This is all under the assumption that you went straight through. For the non-traditional med students who already had  “real jobs” before going back to medical school, this post may not really apply to you quite as much, but I still think it’s worth a read.

Whether you are going to Podunk College or Ivory Tower U doesn’t matter. Everything starts here:

As a pre-med and as a medical student your path was laid out for you, and your responsibilities, while not unimportant, were mostly weighted toward one thing and one thing only. Learn the material, get good grades, and get to the next level. Sure, you picked up some things along the way. You know how to do your laundry, pay your bills, buy take out, and you’re really good at telling Chipotle “Yes, I know guac is extra” before they even ask you.

Real talk now. You don’t know shit about Africa. Your other friends from college have already been working for years. They will have nearly a DECADE head start on you by the time you finish internship, resident and fellowship. Hell, that kid in high school who didn’t go to college and took over his dad’s business? He will have almost a 15 year head start on you. If you add on to the fact that you have an exorbitant amount of loans… you know the ones with high interest rates that will continue to accrue during your training? The ones you have to at least pay some of back during residency? You are behind and desperately need to catch up.

Sensei, wtf mate? Why are you being all Debbie Downer on me?

I just got into my dream specialty, and I’m going to be a real doctor. My life is all on track, I’m where I want to be. Life is beautiful.

Trust me, I realize all that. I was there back in 2007. Unfortunately, I cannot apologize.  This is not the time to be complacent. Real life starts now. This is not like “the old days” when medical school wasn’t so ridiculously expensive and doctor salaries were good enough to rationalize the long training. There was a light at the end of the tunnel back then.

Nowadays, there is no light, there is no end of the tunnel, and there is no spoon. This is real life… sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a train. As a 4th year medical student who has just matched into your specialty of choice, you have firmly affixed yourself into the middle class. Not upper class, not upper-middle class… most definitely middle class – the middlest of the classes.

Before someone complains that doctors make a ton of money and that we should be thankful, please understand that I am not complaining. I am very thankful for everything medicine has given me and I thoroughly enjoy my work. However, I am just speaking from experience.  I, like many before me, and many more after me, thought that I just needed to stay the course, finish school, get into residency, get a good job and the the loans would somehow disappear… They don’t.

You need to prepare now for your future.

You need to prepare yourself for what your expectations are, what they should be, and what your compromise(s) will be.

I am not here to just talk standing on my soapbox. Do not believe anything you read on the internet. Not even me. Take everything you read anywhere with a ton of salt.

Question everything. What is the source? Is it reputable? Why should I believe this guy? I am not asking you to believe me, I will be sharing my experience(s) with you so that you can make better decisions than me. I was the first doctor in my family and I had no one to prepare me for what was to come next.

Residency is difficult. Adulting is difficult. Being saddled with the debt of a small country is difficult. Any one of those things is difficult by itself.

All of them combined can crush souls and erase dreams.

This website is not the end-all be-all answer to all your questions. My hopes for this website are very modest. I simply want to provide guidance to this younger generation of doctors who will have it even more difficult than I did. I have made some good decisions, but I also have made more than my share of mistakes. If I can help those who come after me to make more informed, better decisions, and prevent this generation of medical students from making some of the mistakes I did, then I will consider this website a success.

Three posts a week with golden nuggets of wisdom – MWF at noon PST. Stick with me kids.

If you are ready for a small dose of real life, check out Student Loans


Congratulations on matching.

Real life begins now.

You are already hopelessly behind.

Prepare yourself.



Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

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