I MATCHED

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I never gave an update! I ended up ranking pediatrics over anesthesiology. It was a tough decision- one that involved many sleepless nights and hundreds of convos with friends, family, and the hubs.. but ultimately, I made the right decision for me and my happiness.

And I’m happy to say that I matched to my #1 choice: Tulsa Pediatrics at Oklahoma State!

While it pains my little Sooner heart a little to think of wearing black & orange, I am THRILLED to be moving close to my family and in-laws and friends, especially while bringing a baby into the world!

 

I started adult neurology this week… I’ll give an update soon because it’s super interesting stuff!!

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The Match

I wanted to write a quick post to capture how I’m feeling at this moment, these last few hours before The Match happens.

The Match (in caps because it’s THAT big of a deal) is tomorrow. ((The Match is when medical students are “matched” to a residency program. So, after all of the audition rotations & interviews, each student submits a rank list of the programs they liked in the order they liked them… And residencies do the same- they rank the medical students who interviewed with them in the order they liked us. Then the data goes into a computer and BAM- each medical student gets matched to exactly one program. Think sorority rush Bid Day or Harry Potter’s sorting hat.)) To me, tomorrow is more important than any other day of my med school has been. You could argue the day we all passed boards or the day we got accepted were bigger deals, but I really believe The Match is bigger. Some people even think it’s a bigger event than graduation.

There are so many emotions. I am all at once so nervous! And excited! And scared. And thrilled for my future. And my classmates’ futures. And worried people won’t end up where they want to. It is one of the strangest feelings I have ever had to know my entire last 8 years of education and training and sweat and tears and motivations and pep talks from family and friends has led up to this point, to tomorrow, when I find out where I matched and where I get to complete my medical training.

And for me, this news will have an added element of surprise and excitement. Not only is this where I get to learn the specific ins and outs of being a doctor, but I’ll get to raise my new baby wherever we end up matching! We get to buy our first house where I match! We get to put together our baby’s nursery in the city I match! It adds so much more anxiety and fulfillment knowing that tomorrow I’ll get to know where my baby will spend his or her first few years. Tomorrow’s news is literally life-changing!

Luckily I have next week off of work. The physician I am currently following is going on vacay and couldn’t have timed it better! I imagine the week will include some early packing of things we won’t need before the move, house searching, realtor calls, and excited/nervous planning!

This weekend to distract myself, and because we have the companion pass & David flies free with me for a year (and honestly just because), we went to Seattle. It was David’s sister’s birthday so we were able to celebrate with her. We got to see one of my sorority sisters & a friend of David’s who lives up here. We were also able to see the Ballard locks, tour Seattle Center and the Chihuly glass garden (David blows glass so this was especially fun), enjoy several breweries, indulge in way too much delicious food (all of the seafood I consumed was safe and not raw, don’t worry), and spend some quality time with my mom’s side of the family who live in Seattle! It was a wonderful quick weekend trip, and just what I needed as a distraction before The Match… Otherwise I imagine I would’ve been pacing the house waiting around all weekend for the big news!

Anyway, I am anxiously awaiting the (somewhat anticlimactic) email that is to arrive tomorrow morning. Several of my classmates & I have a dinner planned to celebrate. I will update more tomorrow! Wish me luck!!

 

Ignorance isn’t always bliss

Not knowing is sometimes worse.

Every week in my small band’s music rehearsal, we hear announcements. These are usually “pay your dues,” or “we’re meeting for dinner next week, come if you want!” But tonight a woman got up and told about her significant other being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and having to undergo intensive radioactive ablation therapy. She was in tears describing that they can’t sleep in the same bed for 5 days and then have certain precautions to follow due to the intensity of the radiation. She started to cry, and everyone around her was soon tearing up too.

I knew all of this clinically. How many patients’ thyroid replacement medications have I adjusted? How many people have I examined with a horizontal slice mark across their neck or a flat area where their thyroid had once been? How many people with palpitations, night sweats, brittle hair and nails, and a smattering of other symptoms have I helped by finding that perfect balance of thyroid hormone and tweaking their replacement medicine?

But I know all of this. I know the outcomes. I’ve seen the successes and the hardships after radiation to the thyroid. Because I was taught to know it. Because I was tested on it. And because soon, I’ll be paid to know it. And I find comfort in the knowing. I like being able to hear a diagnosis and see multiple examples of success stories & envision what the road ahead looks like. I have a complete picture.

But most people don’t. For most people, diagnoses like these are earth-shaking. They’re life-ruining. Because they only have one small piece of the complete picture. And I feel for them.

Tonight I realized how sometimes the burden of knowing the complete picture is heartbreaking. But sometimes it’s reassuring. And not everyone has that advantage. So I will keep this in mind next time I hear a diagnosis that a patient or family member is struggling with. I won’t dismiss it with “eh, they’ll be fine,” or “come on, just some treatments and meds and they’ll be good as new.” Because it’s a scary world we live in. Big medical words are intimidating. Physicians acting like a huge, life-changing diagnosis isn’t a big deal won’t help anyone. And sometimes ignorance isn’t bliss.