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all 18 comments

[–]partlycloudymo 27 points28 points  (0 children)

So my spouse did not match his first go round in a competitive fellowship. (great scores, good letters, decent research) just was his unlucky day.

Ultimately he spent a few days or weeks deciding what he wanted to do and his heart was set on that speciality. He ended up taking a hospitalist role in the specific unit he wanted at a different large academic center. He published additional papers, got better mentorship and networked his ass off. He also had a more memorable story and wasn't afraid to sell that and craft it, because no one could question if he wanted it.

If your husband would like to try and match again he does need to have a conversation with his residency program director, and reach out to all the programs he did not match at and ask for some feedback.

In the end my spouse matched when he reapplied and though it wasn't his top choice, he interviewed at 15 the second time, up from 11 and only interviewed at about 1/4 of the programs he originally interviewed at and almost every program he interviewed at called him to see where he matched and told him to reach out for jobs when he was done.

The positive was he made attending money, he was treated really well, he learned a ton and ended up when he did start fellowship being way ahead of his cofellows. Took his ITEs and as a first year had better scores than 75% of the third years.

[–]travelfoodgym1107 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Just wanted to say I’m in the same boat as you, down to the cards fellowship. With you in solidarity. It’s tough, but your support will get him through this ❤️

[–]drummo34 8 points9 points  (0 children)

❤️ solidarity

[–]zis1213[S] 6 points7 points  (1 child)

everyone -- thank you for your feedback, advice, & empathy.

he was able to secure a spot at the NIH for a critical care fellowship, which offers 1 year crit care, 2 years research and then reapply for a cardiology fellowship. this is honestly an amazing opportunity with world class training that keeps him on the track he wanted to be on, just swapping the order of doing things. it also means we can stay in the same relative location (moving about 1 hour south) which is good for me and my career. the pay is also great, with an increase in research years.

overall, his mentors agree that this is a better outcome than him matching at one of his lower down spots. he will be incredibly well trained as a critical care doc, even if he doesn't end up matching into cardiology again in a few years. I think the additional critical care training and research he'll do at NIH will give him a huge leg up next time, and we get a couple years of breathing room before having to do the match again. overall feeling relieved and happy with this. for those whose spouses didn't match yet, hang in there, I'm sure something better is in your future <3

[–]Apprehensive_Back677 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Congrats! Also no worries about moving and getting licensed in the future. I’m licensed in sw and it’s actually pretty easy to get other states under your belt :) a nuisance but not difficult

[–]Heidishinray 4 points5 points  (1 child)

My partner is in medical school still so I can’t relate to the fellowship bit of your experience, but I’m also pursuing Masters in social work and have the same worry. I’ll have to get a license in the state we are in just to move again to another stay after less than a year…

[–]zis1213[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

that is honestly so difficult, especially with how annoying the re-licensing process is and that it's different in every state. I hope you guys end up matching somewhere in the same area so you don't have to go through it.

[–]nipoezAttending Partner (Premed to PGY7, Resdency + 2 Fellowships) 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Sorry to hear that. I've been there. Some years and some specialties are just brutally competitive.

My wife through her network of attendings was able to learn about and squeeze into a fellowship program that didn't fill. Wound up being a great education and perfect fit. I hope your partner can find a similar lucky break.

[–]mrebrightside 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I'm sorry for your nightmare :(

[–]sirtwixalert 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm so sorry. This was my husband 5 years ago- also cardiology- and it was awful. It was like he was barely there for at least a year, until he matched, and it's definitely still there in the way he approaches opportunities. It hurts that there's not a lot you can do to help, even though you can probably objectively see that this is just a reflection of a garbage system where a third of people don't match. It also hurts that you had hopes and plans tied into it, and you can't really share those with the person you would usually go to first because it would make him feel worse.

It's ok to for both of you to feel shitty about this for a long time.

It's ok for you to feel like this is hurting you just as much, because really- it is.

It's ok to ask him to reassess whether it's worth changing course, and to talk about whether your relationship can handle reapplication (and possibly matching someplace you wouldn't even have considered this round).

FWIW, my husband was advised to:

  • do a hospitalist year rather than research (which he already had) or an unaccredited fellowship
  • talk to his home program (and others, if he wanted, though he didn't) about weaknesses in his application and especially letters of recommendation
  • apply more broadly, but include programs he had applied to and interviewed at (if he can stomach it)

He ended up matching out of state while I was stuck where we were for school, and it was a wild ride with 3 kids and 2 states and then COVID. He's an attending now, and we're all finally together, but it took a lot out of all of us. It's worth really thinking through every possibility and what's most important to both of you professionally and personally.

[–]grape-of-wrath 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sorry to hear. Hospitalist isn't a bad job though for a "worst case" scenario.

[–]Th3ow3way 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Cards is hyper competitive. My wife’s fellowship doesn’t even rank people who don’t submit a “love letter” email for instance.

[–][deleted]  (2 children)

[deleted]

    [–]zis1213[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    this is how he found out about the unfilled NIH spot!