I matched! Um… Now what?

Match day is very exciting! Congratulations to everyone who matched. After matching, though, what comes next? What do you need to do? For those who matched in the civilian (NRMP) match, here are the items that should be on your radar in the near future:

 

Update your contact information

Your new program will have LOTS of paperwork for you. You will have contracts, likely new HIPPA training, possibly even benefits enrollment, etc. It is essential that your program is able to get in touch with you by email, phone, and paper mail with these items. Are you going on vacation? Moving? Send your new program coordinator those dates, because some items may be very time-sensitive.

 

Check your email

I know you feel like you’re done with school and you want to check out but seriously, you need to check your email at least daily. Your new program will be sending you things that you need to respond to.

 

Do well in your remaining rotations

Duh! But really, don’t check out all the way. A failed rotation at this point can seriously screw up your plans.

 

Take your USMLE

If you haven’t already taken and passed all USMLE components required by your school, now is the time.

 

Make sure you are going to graduate

This may sound silly, but several of my classmates got to the end of the year and found out that they took too many vacation days, changed their schedule the wrong way, did an away rotation that was only 3 weeks and 4 days instead of 4 full weeks, etc. Most MD schools require you to take USMLE Step 2 CK and CS. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you take (and pass) these exams.

 

Reach out to the current residents

Talk to the residents at your new home program! Get information from them about good places to live, good places to eat, etc.

 

Find a place to live

Decide what’s important to you, talk to the current residents, and find your new home. I’ll have a whole separate article on this coming soon, so stay tuned!

 

Plan your move

How far are you going? How much stuff are you taking? When I moved to medical school, my husband and I sold all of our furniture and took only what fit in our cars. On the way to residency, we hired a moving truck and brought all of our furniture with us. You can do anything from selling everything you own and flying out to your new home with just a suitcase, all the way to hiring professional, full-service movers. Be realistic about how much stuff you have, how much energy you will have to move it, and how much money you can afford to spend. Consider that most of your friends will be moving at the same time, so they may not be wild about helping you (unless you return the favor, that is). Again, I’ll write about this in more detail in a later post

 

Contact your program coordinator to get your start date. It may be earlier than you think! A lot of programs are starting orientation in mid-June, and some start in early June. Orientation should be expected to be a full-time job. You should be moved in with electricity, internet, and at least your work clothes unpacked before you start.

 

Enjoy your free time!

Internship is really, really hard. Getting through the first six months of intern year with my sanity (mostly) intact is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. Relax and enjoy the last summer break of your life. Spend time with your family, your friends, and your hobbies before you disappear into the swirling vortex of internship.

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