As Match Day 2018 quickly approaches, I can’t help but reflect on my journey to this monumental day. I remember the day I got the phone call from my medical school informing me of my acceptance. At the time I was finishing up my senior year of college at the University of Michigan. To be honest, the news didn’t really resonate with me right away. I think my white coat ceremony was the first time I felt really proud of my acceptance. The past (almost) four years have flown by. There has been hardship, triumph, but, most importantly, so much growth. Growth in the way of medical knowledge, relationship and communication skills, and self-reflection abilities.
Match Day is a time of great excitement, but also high standards for oneself. Everyone creates their rank list hoping to match at their number one residency program. Because of this, I think this is a great time to remind everyone that matching at your number two or even number ten program is NOT a failure. I repeat, if you aren’t first, you sure as hell aren’t last (sorry Ricky Bobby, you got it wrong).
In January I started a campaign on social media deemed the #failforwardcampaign. The movement was about bringing awareness to things that feel like failure, but ultimately end up moving you forward towards your goals. In the medical field we often expose our triumphs – getting into medical school, suturing our first laceration and getting that amazing scholarship. We don’t usually tell people that we didn’t get the Step 1 score we hoped for or we failed one our exams. The same phenomenon occurs around Match Day.
You see tons of people posting that they matched at their number one choice, while others, feel they have less to celebrate because they ended up somewhere that was less than ideal. So, I’m reminding everyone who is matching this week AND all the people watching us, that matching anywhere is a HUGE success. It is an enormous accomplishment worth celebrating to the absolute max!!
So, for everyone asking me where I want to match – the answer is simple. I’d love to match anywhere that I can continue learning to understand myself and the people around me, growing into a passionate health care provider and patient advocate, and having the best career imaginable. Good luck to everyone on Match Day 2018 and remember, your friends, family (including your Medelita fam), and future patients are SO incredibly proud of you.
—Aleah Chang, fourth year medical student