No, this isn’t a day celebrating those perfect little wooden sticks that make fire. Match Day is the day every medical student finds out what kind of physician they will be for the rest of their lives, and where they will train for residency. It’s official; I matched into a general surgery program, and I could not be happier!
As of now in the United States, there are actually two Match Days, one for DO students in February, and one for MD students in March. There is talk of merging these momentous days into one, but it likely won’t occur until around 2020. In case you did not know, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the governing body of DO education across America, has recently agreed to come under the governing power of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the governing body of MD graduate medical education. This is a huge step for physicians-to-be. Beginning this year, and hopefully being completed by 2020, all DO and MD students will be able to apply for any residency program they want to, whether that program is an AOA or ACGME program. Previously they were largely segregated. The details of this “merger” are still playing out, but hopefully there will be a single, unified Match Day in the near future. More info about the merger can be found here.
Matching into my top choice general surgery residency program was the best news I have received since my acceptance into medical school. It was not easy to choose which speciality to apply to, since I did not have any bias towards any field of medicine prior to starting medical school. I decided to pursue the field of general surgery after my 3rd year rotations in surgery. Although I enjoyed my surgery rotations so much, it scared me to think of the strenuous, long hours that residents work in general surgery. However, every rotation I tried after surgery had me wishing I was downed in the operating room. I look forward to the five years of residency, not as strenuous, but as exciting opportunities to grow.
I hope you will also figure out which field of medicine to go into by experiencing your medical school rotations with an open mind. Surgery is certainly not for everyone, and you will find that within medicine, prestige and respect come in many fields of medicine. Fear is the worst motivation one can have. Use logic when planning your life, but always follow your passion.