If You Play With Matches You’re Gonna Get Burned: Part 2

HC in particular loved the drama.  Here’s part 2 of Dr. S’s match day story…

Finally:  MATCH DAY Thursday was here.  The months of anxiety and wondering about the uncertainty of the future would soon be over and cured by the receipt of a simple piece of paper.  My classmates and I started the day with mimosas and bloody mary’s in the student lounge as we all gathered and started to celebrate the day rather than fear its arrival.

At 11:45 we made our way to Dunlop Auditorium, the site of Penn Med’s yearly Match Day celebration.  The envelopes are all laid out on a table waiting for their owners to pick them up.

Here friends, family and significant others of the Matchees gathered in support of their loved ones who awaited their fates.

Every medical student across the country receives his or her envelope at the same time on this same day.  The concept seems like the stuff movies are made out of.  In fact, I’m waiting for someone to start a new hit reality series about it.  As the clock struck 12 noon, I sat anxiously with my friends and could barely stop shaking as they started calling out the first few names.

Every medical school chooses to celebrate Match Day differently.  Some will have each student come up on stage and announce their Match to the class (I personally find this horrifying).  Others have everyone open their envelopes simultaneously at 12 noon.  At Penn, you are called up in random order to retrieve your envelope and then open it wherever and in whatever fashion you please.  With this system, I had no idea if I would be #2 or # 146.

Finally, I heard my name and my already racing heart started to thump even more vigorously inside my chest.  I ran down to the front table to get my envelope and came back to sit down with my friends and family before learning the news.

I took a few deep breaths as I broke the envelopes’ seal and took out my piece of paper.  I frantically scanned the page.  “Where is it? Where does it say?  I can’t find it!” I yelled.   As my hands continued to shake in the panic of those seemingly endless 10 seconds, I finally found written, in simple 12 point Times Roman font: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Internal Medicine.

I screamed a quiet shreak of joy and hugged those around me.  The following photo is a simulated reopening of our envelopes with a few of my future co-interns.

Next — we see how new doctors throw DOWN.

Have you ever gotten such good news in a tiny envelope in front of a room of your peers?


One thought on “If You Play With Matches You’re Gonna Get Burned: Part 2

  1. PhD internship match is done with the same company and software, but it happens via email. We receive an email on Friday saying IF we matched and an email on Monday (at 4:30am) saying where. I spent that wkd on a wonderful trip with my husband in a remote wine region in Mexico. It was such an amazing wkd. In the morning I was on the phone with my best friend while we awaited our emails. We both got our #1 choices – and now we are packing 🙂 Such a weird bit of drama! I would not want to be in a room full of people!

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