Tis the season, not to be jolly, but to apply. And so it begins...the 2012 Match ERAS season. This is the start of what will be the long months leading to the that fateful March date when everyone I know will be fighting for residency positions and hoping someone says to them..."we want you". I don't know if I'll make the 2012 match, but I'm going to give it my best shot.
It's a frightening process filled with more sources of information, speculation, advice, land mines and unknowns than I care to envision. All the elements must fall together in a pattern of "presentation" so the director of said residency programs feels you are a "match" with his/her vision of his/her specialty in his/her community. Dean's letters, letters of recommendations, tokens, Step 1 scores, supplemental applications, Step 2 CK and CS scores, grades and evaluations from rotations, etc etc. And then how to decide which specialty, at what program, where in the world?
Having watched good friends go through this process, it's really awful. It's not a system that really matches proportionally to the many factors that a person has. In many cases, your personality and bedside manner never see the light of day if you are a struggling test taker. Getting the interview..that's really the goal. And hopefully figuring out where your best chances of "match" are before you click "send" the applications out to the many programs.
And so it begins. I'll try to figure out this process and hope that each day I'll inch toward that letter of "we want you" and it'll be a place I really want to be. Marriage was easier. Actually, pulling that ice pick out of my leg was easier.