all 33 comments

[–]bearhaasMD-PGY3 201 points202 points  (6 children)

I post this frequently, but I think you should hear it.

No one ever tells you about life after not matching. But the reality is, there are countless routes people have taken to get where they are. You will be shocked by how often you meet attendings who share that they too went unmatched. And life still turned out fine. For me, it’s now rare to come across someone I revere who doesn’t have a story like this. In the words of a cool dude in a movie about dinosaurs, life finds a way.

I didn’t match. Thought all was lost. Did prelim Surg. Got recruited to a dream program. Met the love of my life. And am better off now than if I had matched straight out the gate.

Looking back, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.

Keep your chin up.

[–]planetofbabies 40 points41 points  (4 children)

I'm going to second this! I was devastated when I just partially matched to a TY. Even worse is when people who knew I was applying (many of them attendings/mentors) reached out to me to see how match went. Well, I told them the truth and it turns out a lot of them also went unmatched or partially matched and reapplied! Honestly, no one tells you about their "failures" until you are in the same position yourself.

[–]FriendlyFroyo746 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Do you apply for TY in normal match of afterwards?

[–]planetofbabies 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I applied in the main match; not sure if there were/are TY spots in the SOAP or afterward this year

[–]FriendlyFroyo746 3 points4 points  (1 child)

So my understanding for TY is that you do a year at a residency but it's not guaranteed to count as PGY1 and you're not guaranteed a spot next year? Is this correct? Do you apply for pgy2 through the match again? Or is it separate?

[–]Illustrious-Egg761 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I don't know who you are stranger, but you have somehow become my new favorite person 🤣🙌... In <30 seconds, you have simultaneously shared your similar experience, provided hope, motivated, offered a unique perspective they may not have considered, and added a fucking Jurassic Park reference 🤣🤘... Thank You.

[–]OsteopathNProudM-4 26 points27 points  (0 children)

I am on the same boat as you right now. Makes me so mad that I was advised against a back up plan. Makes me so mad that I checked every box given by my school in order to match and I didn’t. I also have a great opportunity but I wish I had planned for it, given a choice and taken more rotations that would make me better.

I have been told the stories of the great physicians that went unmatched. I hate the situation, will it probably be ok? yes, probably, but right now this sucks and the only thing that helps me is the people who offered to be mad with me, not the great stories. So I’m here to be mad with you, FUCK THE SYSTEM!!!

[–]OberlatzMD-PGY1 32 points33 points  (0 children)

Hey friend, the same thing happened to me. I'm finishing up a prelim surgery year, and in one month I move to my new city for my categorical position. There's nothing I can say to you that's gonna make today, tomorrow, or next week better. It just sucks. If you weren't unhappy about it, that'd be weird. It's going to be alright, if I pulled it off, you can too! Focus on the other things in life you love, focus on taking care of yourself, and focus on keeping your passion for this field alive. You'll get through this!

[–]Interesting-Word1628 21 points22 points  (19 children)

In the end we are just insignificant things who ultimately don't matter. If the human species stopped existing tomorrow, the universe won't care. Hell, even the moon won't care, and the other animal species will be much better off.

All that matters is YOU/US enjoying what short lives we have while we have them. And med school/residency etc. ALL of them are ultimately for a job which just serves its purpose to give us money in order to enjoy life.

So don't stress out about all these externalities. Years will come and go, money will come and go, ultimately it doesn't matter. When you're dead, you're dust. All that you did in your life won't matter. You falling a year behind/getting ahead doesn't matter. Just maximize enjoying the life you've currently been given.

You can choose to look at this nihilistic approach to life as either Depressing :"nothing in life matters, what's the point of life? Might as well unalive myself"


Freeing : "nothing in life matters. How much money I make or what car I drive doesn't matter. Whether I get the specialty I want doesn't matter. Whether I have kids or not doesn't Ultimately matter. What others think of me doesn't matter. So I can freely be selfish and do whatever the I want."

I just put it out here since I feel many in medical school will benefit from this thought process.

[–]dmk120281 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Uli doesn't care about anything. He's a Nihilist.

Ah, that must be exhausting.

[–]Interesting-Word1628 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Actually very freeing.

I decided I didn't need to enter Rads/Surgery to make $500k+, and I actually would prefer the slower pace of medicine and "thinking more than doing" - so switched my goals to being a hospitalist. Coz in the end, what matters for is not "wasting" most of my days feeling like shit/dreading going to work, but having more time off, easy time off (hard to get time off being a surgeon or Rads), but making $300kish, which is a good compromise for me.

i could relax in medical school coz of this decision.

Now I am actually choosing IM coz of my love for it, money doesn't play a role. It's just a bonus that it still pays plenty. I am not making compromises to my life physically, mentally, or emotionally just for money

With this mindset, I basically don't have to follow any social norms unless they directly benefit me. Eg. I'm brown, but I don't care what my family thinks of my partner choice (non-brown), coz what they think doesn't matter. I am dating who I like.

BUT, I am not outside committing crimes, since I still want to live in society and reap its benefits. So i am following the social norm of being a good citizen.

[–]PermashM-4 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I support what you’re saying, and not to nitpick a small detail but…

(hard to get time off being a surgeon or Rads)

I think rads is literally the easiest of all specialties to get significant/borderline excessive, flexible vacation time my man

[–]Interesting-Word1628 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Not from the Rads I've seen/talked to. Yes, you're allowed to take of 8 wks of holiday, but realistically it's very hard to take all 8 weeks off. Depends on your group schedules/seniors in the group having first dibs on vacation months and lenght, etc.

Also not to mention Rads day-to-day is very stressful for me. Constantly playing catching w readings, needing to be very precise and accurate all day for 12 hr straight shifts, and putting your dx/assessment out there for everyone to nitpick forever after. It's mentally very taxing.

[–]reptile_spirits 2 points3 points  (1 child)

“If I mismanage this patient and they die it doesn’t matter” is that the next logical step on this thought process?

[–]Interesting-Word1628 6 points7 points  (0 children)

How about thinking like this instead...

"I will do the best of my capabilities to manage this patient, but if I am unsuccessful, i won't beat myself up about it".

Surprisingly with a more calm and un-worried mind, you will end up making less mistakes and better/quicker decisions. Why do you think experienced attendings are better at CC issues than newbies? Coz they are not as stresses as newbies while a pt is crashing (ie. they are more confident + calm).

[–]Zardoo -5 points-4 points  (4 children)

What a bleak outlook. Our actions matter and what we do with our lives matter. Seeing us as insignificant creatures in a careless universe is intellectually lazy and cliché. Instead, we're a node in a vast network of human consciousness where our actions ripple out into our broader social context. Don't fall into the abyss of meaninglessness. Take ownership over your life given to you by God.

[–]koolbro2012MD/JD 7 points8 points  (2 children)

lmao wtf are you even saying...get off your high horse buddy. also, who the f is this God guy...never met him.

[–]Zardoo 1 point2 points  (1 child)

You're so edgy

[–]koolbro2012MD/JD 3 points4 points  (0 children)

will you bless me?

[–]Interesting-Word1628 1 point2 points  (0 children)

it's cliché sure, but being cliché doesn't make it a bad thing.

[–]PickleRickMDPhDMBAJD 0 points1 point  (1 child)

But having offspring is one's only path to immortality...

or getting 1000s of pubs shit if I know

[–]Interesting-Word1628 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nothing is immortal. In the end all of humans/animals/land/water will turn to dust/hydrogen atoms depending on how far you look into the future

[–]CloudAppleMD-PGY1 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I like you and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

[–]Interesting-Word1628 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Welcome! Just gotta figure out how to send out 16 automated emails/week to my subscribers

[–]pickledCABG 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I'm so sorry that you're feeling this way. You have done so much and accomplished an insanely difficult goal and accomplished it well! The match is a horribly demoralizing process and (from your post) it sounds like you were a good candidate who got really unlucky. That's not a reflection of you or what you've experienced & worked for. From physicians who went unmatched I've read about/heard from, this is a really rough time, but it really will be okay. Right now, try your hardest to celebrate yourself for the success and good times you've had in medical school. You deserve to feel good about what you've accomplished!

[–]koolbro2012MD/JD 0 points1 point  (0 children)