Thursday, February 26, 2009

21 Days and Counting

Last night was the deadline for Mr. Darling to submit his rank list for possible residency programs. The list has been submitted, and now the choice of where we'll be spending the next 3-5 years is out of our hands - completely, utterly, somewhat terrifyingly out of our hands.

(For those of you who don't know, here's a really quick, overly simplified explanation of how the Medical Residency Match works: medical students apply to programs all over the country. Typically, the very minimum they're advised to apply to is 10, and most apply to quite a few more. If a program likes you on paper, they'll invite you to interview. The typical goal is to get at least 10 interviews. After a student is done with interviews, they rank all of the programs they like in a list on a matching website, with number one being the program they like most. At the same time, all of the programs make a list of all of the students they interviewed and liked, with student number one being their favorite. Then, the matching software basically goes through and matches each student with whichever program is highest on their list that also ranked them highly. So, if your number one program choice has 10 spots to fill, and they ranked you as one of their top ten picks, you end up at that program. But if they ranked you number 12, you only get to go there if at least two of their top ten matched with other programs they liked better.)

Mr. Darling interviewed with quite a lot of programs, and out of those, he's ranked eight programs as ones that he'd like to go to. Obviously I can't say where those programs are (to some extent, it would defeat the purpose of being anonymous), but I can give you my opinions on each one. Here's the skinny on programs one through five:

1. Our top choice. (Obviously.) Some of you might remember choice number one from my posts about staying in the Zombie Hospital - you can read about my time visiting Mr. Darling at his number one choice here and here. The city itself is pretty crappy, which is actually a good thing, because Mr. D's chosen specialty is emergency medicine, so it's in the best interest of his education that he does his residency in a place that has a lot of complicated emergencies - shootings, stabbings, drug overdoses, etc. That's ok, though, because choice number one has some really cute suburbs that I'd love to live in. This city is only four hours away from where we live now, so it would be easy for me to come back and visit my family and friends for a long weekend when Mr. D's working. The program is really highly ranked, has everything Mr. D wants in a residency, and has expressed some serious interest in Mr. D, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that he gets his first choice.

2. My hometown. If Mr. D gets choice number two, we won't have to move! For selfish reasons, I'd love for him to get matched with choice number two so that we won't have to move away from my family and friends quite yet. I've lived here for 20-something years, and I wouldn't mind a few more before we move away (which we would do eventually anyway). However, I'm still hoping that Mr. D gets his first choice - he deserves it.

3. The coolest city of the bunch. Choice number three is located in one of the 50 largest cities in the United States. We love the city a lot, and the program is really strong, but this residency lasts one to two years longer than the rest of Mr. D's top eight, and he's not crazy about that.

4. Really far away. Mr. Darling and I drove to this interview at the beginning of February, and it's a nine hour trip. The program is great, the city is cute, but it's nine hours away from friends and family. Mr. D originally wanted to rank this program as number two, but I talked him down to four.

5. A little bit country. This program is a bit more on the middle-of-nowhere side of things. But because it's the only hospital for miles and miles around, it would provide Mr. D with a lot of good experience. It would definitely be a change of pace for me to live in a small town, but I think that I tend to be pretty flexible, so I'm sure I would adjust fine.

So, there you have it. In 21 days, Mr. Darling and I will know where we'll be spending the next 3-5 years of our lives, and hopefully it will be one of the places I listed above. Stay tuned!

22 comments:

Sassy Britches said...

This is so exCITing! We'll all be on pins and needles with you until then.

Adriana said...

See that is where I went wrong...hubs did rank his really far away place number two and I let him because I thought for sure we would get our #1 choice which was our hometown. I am rooting for #1 for you because I am converted believer that moving away from family (albeit better to move 4 hours away rather than 17) is really good for your marriage because it forces you to depend on each other and really teaches you how to communicate better. Can't wait to hear how it goes.

Girl On A Journey said...

Omg I cant wait to see whhich one you guys end up in

Dingo said...

The residency match program sounds an awful like rushing a sorority/fraternity.

I hope he gets his first choice!

.::~P~::. said...

Good luck! I hope he gets #1!!

The New Black said...

Oh, the suspense! Waiting like that can be a little bit exciting AND a little bit nerve racking...

Cathy said...

How exciting! Good luck...I hope he gets his first choice!

Sandi said...

I love that you are sharing this journey with us! I am excited to see where you all end up!

SkylersDad said...

best wishes to you both for getting what you want!

Anne's Friend said...

i hope he gets his top picks! good luck!

Moi said...

Hope you both get what you want in the decision! How much fun though - to move and do something different in a new place! what an adventure!

Miss E said...

Ooh exciting! Can't wait to see what pans out!

Jules said...

Good luck!!

Tranquility said...

I'm sure you love living in limbo! ;)
Sounds like you've got some good options and that wherever you end up you will be pretty happy. Good luck to you both!

Hmm... I just realized that your day's number is similar to my own. We are preparing for a move to an unknown (as of yet) location also and our location will be chosen in no more than 17 days.

Errant said...

Good luck .. i wish you the best !

MelO said...

Wow... I can't imagine having to pick a place like that. How DO you guys do it? ...Over and over and over?

good luck!! I hope you guys get what you're hoping for, but remember that everything happens for a reason! :)

Smalls said...

Man, I'd be a nervous mess if there was a huge uncertainty like that in my life! Congrats for taking it like a pro! And good luck with the process, can't wait to hear what the conclusion of it all it. I hope you guys get your top choice(s) :)

missBee said...

Sounds exiting and scarey! Good luck! At least you have a bit of time to mantally prepare! Hope you get somewhere fun!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Ohh boyy!! It must be utterly nerve wracking!!
Good luck! I hope you and Mr. Darling score the choice of your dreams!!

Mrs4444 said...

So exciting! My niece went through this process a couple of years ago. That's how she ended up in Chicago for her doctorate and later, her post doc at UCSC. I know it is VERY nerve racking!! I wish you luck :)

Fancy Schmancy said...

Best of luck to you both, I'm sure it'll all work out for the best no matter where he goes!

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