Normally, October is one of my favorite months. In Southern California the winds begin to pick up, clearing away some of the smog and adding a slight crispness to the air. This, combined with the perpetually amazing SoCal temperature, creates the best environment for hiking and evening walks. However, I'm not in Southern California this month and the weather in the northeast has started to get a little too cool for my liking.
To be honest, this wouldn't be so bad if my partner wasn't rotating in Los Angeles and sending me pictures like this of the clear sunny days.
Mid-hike panorama from the Westwood hills, courtesy of my lovely co-author
But the real trouble with this past October had nothing to do with the temperature, although it had something to do with being far away from those sunny skies. The anxiety (and excitement) of the interview season is well in swing, and as a couple trying to match together, it's been a stressful few months. I just wanted to give a small update in regards to our progress thus far.
Number of Interviews:
I think every applicant has a secret fear of receiving zero interviews. This is a very unlikely scenario for most, as the choice of specialty and program selection is fairly self selecting. However, it can happen if you apply to very few programs or to one of the super competitive specialties. Luckily, neither one of us are in this situation. In fact, my partner has already received the "magical 10" (plus a few more to boot) interview invitations that will all but guarantee her matching into a program of her specialty. For comparison, the average number of interviews for her specialty is a little more than 12 .
Similarly, I am also not in the zero interview category. Although I am sitting on close to the average number of interviews for my specialty, that number is significantly lower. In fact its scary low, as I currently have 5 scheduled and two (verbally) tentative once they are released. I am extremely happy that I received any interviews at this point, but I am desperately hoping to pick up a few more before it's over.
When couple's matching, it is vitally important for us to have interviews in similar locations. The ranking process typically involves indicating a combination of programs that we are willing to accept. For example, ranking Cleveland hospital A for her and Cleveland Hospital B for me. We would be at different hospitals, but are both in the same area. However, as I am participating in a completely different matching organization, we can still end up in completely different areas (but I'll probably write more on that later).
Until very recently we did not have the option of ranking programs in similar areas. I would get an interview in one major city, and she'd get several 3 states away. It was rough tallying the interviews and not seeing any feasible way to remain together. However, as of now we have 2-3 major hubs that we are going to try to rank. I'm still waiting on a possible California invite (hint hint Interview masters).
Last Away Rotations:
I am currently on my last away rotation. That's an awesome feeling when I write it out like that. Don't get me wrong, I have greatly enjoyed the months visiting various programs in three different states. But travelling for months at a time is exhausting. New cities mean new traffic patterns, making new friends, and being on your A game all the time. I can't imagine doing many more than I have done, and yet some of my classmates have been doing this since the beginning of May (our school is abnormally lenient in 4th year scheduling).
Even though this will be the last month "auditioning", I expect it will be the hardest month. Thus far we have managed to see each other every few weeks at the worst, and set up rotations together the rest of the time. We were not so lucky for this block. This will be a solid 5-6 weeks apart for the two of us, and is the longest I have gone without her since we met. At least the next time we meet it'll be time for my first interview.
Are you currently going through the residency match or are applying to medical school? How are you faring? Let me know in the comments!