When I’m writing this, it has been over a month since Match Day! If you don’t know by now, I matched at The George Washington University for Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency! My dream program!
Match Day was filled with so many emotions. Once the envelope was handed to me, I finally became nervous. Holding a piece of paper that held the next four years of my life and ultimately the beginning of my career as an OB/GYN felt surreal. I remember watching as the classes above me matched and celebrated- it felt as if I would never get to that point. It’s as if I blinked and it was my turn. When I opened the letter and saw “George Washington- DC” I literally jumped for joy!
Before application season officially began, I wrote a list of everything I wanted in my future residency program. Everything from the location, number of residents, training focus, etc. As I went through interviews, I took note of what each program had on my list.
Before interviews, I would attend the virtual information sessions that programs hosted so I could get an idea of what each program had to offer. You can often get a general sense of the training curriculum from the website, but hearing from program directors, faculty, and residents is much more helpful as you are trying to figure out where to apply. When I attended the GW info session I was slightly obsessed afterward. It seemed like the perfect program for me. I honestly did not think I would get an interview- not because I wasn’t qualified, but because I heard how difficult it was to get interviews at programs in that area. I mean I get it- who wouldn’t want to live and work in DC?! Some of my mentors who are current OB/GYN residents did not receive interview invitations in the region, so I thought there was no hope for me.
Then came interview release day. For OB/GYN applicants, there is one main day when interviews are released. When I saw the GW interview invitation I was shocked! Maybe there was hope for me!
Now, it’s one thing to get the interview it’s another thing to actually like the program after interviewing! The night before interview day, there was a pre-interview social with the current residents. I got a good vibe! They seemed like normal, down-to-earth people, that would help me out if I were struggling or needed help, but also would celebrate my wins and be down to go to brunch. Those are my kind of people.
Now for the interview day…
All of my interviews were basically perfect. By the end of the day, I felt inspired, like I would learn so much, leave as a well-trained OB/GYN, and hopefully make an impact! It felt as if each interviewer truly wanted to know more about me as a person vs quizzing me about my CV. Call it imposter syndrome, but even after such a great interview day I was still nervous they wouldn’t want me! This is not a completely unreasonable thought- programs interview 100+ applicants for 4-10 spots. The math doesn’t feel like it’ll math in your favor!
Now back to match day!
My jumping for joy quickly turned to tears of joy when I realized that God answered my prayers. In between tears and wiping away snot bubbles, I said “I’m gonna do good there” and I truly believe that in more ways than one. I’m so excited to start my career at GW!
My main piece of advice: access how you feel at every step of the process.
- Searching the program’s website
- Info sessions
- Pre-interview social
- Interview Day
- Any interactions outside of interviewing
Keep track of these feelings in whatever way works for you. I had a notebook dedicated to the process and always made sure to write down my thoughts! You may not remember when it’s several months later and you are trying to figure out your final rank list.
Moral of the story:
What I want you to know is that you can match at your top choice. No matter what anyone says- your STEP scores are low, you didn’t conduct enough research, blah blah blah. What is meant for you, won’t pass you.
Manifest what you want. Ask God to direct you if it aligns with His will for your life. Don’t count yourself out. Put in the work and pray.
Here is a Youtube video that shows how I was feeling at every step of the ERAS cycle from submitting my application until the big finale- finding out I matched at my top choice! Check it out for my real-time feelings about everything. You can also watch this Youtube video to see what actually happened on Match day!
I know residency is going to be challenging and honestly, I’m a little scared! The good news is that I feel like I ended up exactly where I’m supposed to be, so I have no doubt that I will thrive! I’m excited to take you guys on the journey!