Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me A Match

Read this section in wiki for a primer on the Match.

This week is Match Week. Well, technically, only Thursday, March 18 is Match Day, when US senior medical students find out where they will be spending their residency years. Yikes!

I was telling Erika that it’s the culmination of all those hours of slaving over textbooks, the endpoint of all those board exams, and the reason for all the pre-dawn rectal exams I had to administer. So, yes, it is terrifying.

More terrifying than Match Day, however, was today, which was the notification if you haven’t matched. Not matching means that you have to participate in the “scramble” (real term!)

Now, the probability that I was going to have to scramble was quite low, but the level of crappiness (not real term) associated with having to scramble into a residency program is so high that even the slight probability was more stressful to me than the real Match Day.

At noon today, I received this email:

from NRMP Staff
to me
date Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 11:50 AM
subject Did I Match?

Congratulations! You have matched.

Short, to the point, simple. Now that I know that I’ve matched, I am pretty calm about Match Day. I mean, I say this now. Ask me Wednesday night, when I’m trying to sleep. It’s gonna be another Benadryl night.

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Reading material

The books Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science and Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance, both by Atul Gawande, have come recommended by several unrelated people. It sounds like people really like his books.

I don’t doubt that he’s an amazing writer and has really profound things to say via essays. He’s a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s in Boston, a former Rhodes Scholar, and professor at Harvard Med & School of Public Health, and is probably ridiculously brilliant in medicine and articulate in writing (more and more, I’m realizing this is hard to find amongst medical people — general punctuation is a struggle for my classmates).

But here’s the thing: I don’t think I want to become the type of person who reads about medicine. I’m already in medicine. What if I become one of those people whose life is, like, defined by being in medicine, and thinking about medicine, and reading about medicine (no matter how untechnical and philosophical it actually is)? I don’t know if I could handle it.

I already know that I don’t like reading essays. I have never finished reading Me Talk Pretty One Day, even though pretty much everyone I know is obsessed with the book and David Sedaris in general. I don’t know. I also don’t really like reading memoirs or autobiographies, I think. Biographies can by amazing. Historical fiction is awesome. General fiction is usually great. But memoirs and essays just leave me BORED TO TEARS.

But should it be different with this book? Shouldn’t it be especially of interest to me, since I say I’m interested in surgery and since I scorn my fellow classmates for not being self-aware or far too deeply devoted to only the science aspect of medicine? Who said that the unexamined life is not worth living? Socrates? I seriously doubt that the shallow navel-gazing that this blog currently exhibits counts as an examined life. Whatever. The Socratic Method is totally a bullshit excuse that professors have been using for years to abuse their students, anyway.

All this is to say that I’m probably not going to read those books. I guess I’ll be sticking with romance novels, and maybe the updated Sweet Valley High books. TAKE THAT, SOCRATES!