Friday, March 15, 2013.
Today I watched as one by one, each of my classmates was called to the stage and handed an envelope sealed with their fate. I watched as each opened their letter and read aloud their assigned location and specialty. Pediatrics in North Carolina. Anesthesia in Florida. Orthopedic Surgery. General Surgery. Internal Medicine. Family Medicine. Emergency Medicine.
It was a parade of suspense and surprise, triumph and satisfaction. One friend summed up her nerves on her way past me to the stage: “I’m gonna puke.” The elation she showed afterward was bigger than the pit in her stomach beforehand.
Another classmate found out that she did indeed match at a program in the city where her husband already resides for training. They have been living several states apart for the last year. Imagine her excitement and relief!
One of the guys got up, said what he applied to and where he hoped to match. He opened his envelope, and matched somewhere else. I could not decide if his face was one of confusion, surprise, or disappointment.
My name was called, and my husband and I walked on stage. I opened my letter, and rejoiced at what I read. These months of angst and waiting are over. I am going into a surgical specialty and have a residency spot at one of my top programs. We could not be happier!
In two months, I will graduate. In four, I will be a new intern, praying that my patients survive despite my inadequacies. I wonder what I will think six months or a year from now as I look back on this memorable day.
Melanie is a wife, graduating medical student, future resident in a surgical specialty, and hoping to be a mom someday.