Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Instead of telling you about how horribly afraid I am that this school is going to call me and tell me they accidentally sent the acceptance letter to the wrong person, I'm going to try to explain the Slappy/me matching system. Because it is confusing.

So, I have now been accepted to one (best in the country) program in California, I have an interview with one here and one at the extremely prestigious university in New York (the interview the other day had to be shortened so I have to go back January 23rd). Slappy has applied for residencies and as interviewed in Alabama, California, Arizona, New Mexico, New York and will interview here as well.

Once he has finished his interviews, he has to make a "rank list." Now, Slappy is actually applying for TWO residencies, so he has to do this whole she-bang twice. He's been alternating between interviews for each residency (one starts this year, one starts in 2011). Ironically, the first rank list will be for the program he starts second. Apparently this is to aid in making the first rank list so you don't have to move across the country after 2 years.

I see that there's logic, it just seems so ass-backwards to match for a second residency first.

Anyways, back to the story. Slappy will finish his interviews the second week in January and make rank list #1 for residency #2. He will find out if he matched in a residency (#2) sometime at the end of January. I don't know the precise date because a) I wasn't listening or b) he's not sure. Both are equally possible.

If Slappy doesn't match for residency #2 he can, a) "scramble" which involves calling a lot of programs and asking politely to be chosen; b) reapply next year; c) take a different route and screw this residency altogether for a fellowship (this is not preferred).

Whew, okay. So once Slappy finds out where residency #2 is, he can make his rank list for residency #1. Now if residency #2 is in New York, then residency #1 will hopefully be there also, that is, he'll rank all the New York programs he liked, higher than the other ones. Since my program is 3 years, it's easiest if we can stay in one place all 5 years of his residencies. We might not be able to, but it's a bridge we can cross later.

After rank list #2 for residency #1 is finished, we wait. And wait. And wait. Until March 19th. Match day.

Let me begin the rest of the explanation by saying that this match process is stupid. So so stupid.

Let's say Slappy really wants to go to New York, so he ranks the New York programs 1, 2 and 3 on his list and the Southern California ones 5, 6 and 7. He doesn't just get to go to his first choice if they like him, instead, the programs create their own rank lists of the interviewees. And then, the program with the closest match to Slappy's rank, will be his residency. So even if one of the New York programs ranked him like 12, if one of the Southern California programs ranked him 5, he'd go to Southern California.


The best part is that you find out publicly. They have a big room and they call your name and tell you where you're going. Out loud, in front of everyone. I think you get an envelope, but I'm pretty sure that you don't find out until they say it in front of all your peers. So the reactions are interesting. Some are very happy, some are not.

And then everyone goes and drinks a lot because they're all doctors with residencies.


What does this mean for my schooling? Basically I'm trying to get into at least one program in each area Slappy will be ranking. He is going to rank his schools based upon where we both want to live and then it's out of our hands. If I can get into a program wherever we'll be, I'm happy, especially if we can stay all 5 years.

The easy answer is, I don't know if I'll go to this (number one in the United States) program. I don't know if I'll go to the extremely prestigious university. I know that I will go with my husband, I will be proud of his hard work to get to this place and hopefully, I'll be enrolled in a graduate program. If not, then we'll deal with it then.

That's me, pretending to be rational.

Pretty damn funny huh?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to freaking out about having my acceptance revoked.


Daisy, Just Daisy said...

It is like sorority rush. On steroids. With bigger consequences.

(Yup. I just likened matching to rushing. Muahaha.)

Ness said...

I bow at your feet forever because I read through that matching process and I couldn't understand that if my life depended upon it.

Just so you and Slappy know what's what. Good luck with the process.

How are the headaches? I was told tonight that the lack of spinal fluid in my daughter's brain from the constant sucking of the catheter that does not have a programmable shunt on it can cause Chiari's...

I haven't got the energy to research that up tonight...dear God, this has just

Lipstick Jungle said...

Holy crap its snowing that is confusing - and it sucks - not knowing where you need to be focusing, and not knowing if either of you will achieve your goals (which I am nearly positive you both will).

GL with all of this!

I too am wondering how your head is!

kim-d said...

I now completely understand the need for MUCH higher education and advanced degrees. You need them to figure out this whole matching business. Good luck because if it was me, I know I would probably show up in the wrong state eventually.

Congratulations on the acceptance; they are NOT going to call you and ask for the acceptance back. That much even I know! :)

just me said...

My sister is a doctor and I remember how stressful and frustrating the matching process is. I totally sympathize with you. It sucks to basically leave your future location in the hands of group of total strangers. Good luck! Try not to let it make you completely nuts.

Anonymous said...

As long as you understand whatever the heck you just said, awesome. When they came up with this selection process did it involve a dart board, dice and alcohol? I bet you can't wait until March to have some idea what in the world you're doing. Good luck!