Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Road to Residency: An Emotional Rollercoaster


It happens every year like clockwork. August rolls around the the sheer panic to collect letter of recommendations, mail out secondary applications, and submit the PASS application ensues.

"How many schools are you applying to?"
"How's your personal statement coming along?"
"Who's writing your letter of recommendations?"
"Has the Dean submitted your letter of recommendation yet?"
"What's a PPI...?"

As the application deadline looms closer, you max out your $1900 credit card limit and press "submit".

Last summer, a friend (and current ortho resident at USC) warned me about how traumatizing the residency application process was. I simply nodded.

It's difficult to empathize until you've been through the gauntlet. The nausea-inducing feeling of checking studentdoctor.net only to realize that you didn't get the interview call from your top school. Refreshing your email every 5 seconds, hoping an interview offer will magically appear. Going through emotional hell to cloud nine when you get five rejections in a row and then one interview offer from a highly regarded program. Then, there is the gut-wrenching and sobering thought of not matching into any programs. The fear of failing and shame haunts you.

We go through our day-to-day lives putting on a nonchalant facade. But deep down, we are all navigating the same emotional roller coaster. All we can do is wait, hope, and pray.

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