On Friday, March 20, 159 students from the Perelman School of Medicine found out, one by one, where they are headed for residency training during an emotional event filled with lots of cheering, hugs and more cheering. What an exhilarating day! For our last blog, Anna Jesus shares her Match Day experience and where her and her family are headed. Congrats to all the M'15 graduates!
By Anna Jesus
After eight years away—moving from Baltimore to Boston to Philadelphia for school and jobs—we decided we were ready to return to the place where we met, fell in love, and got married: Charlottesville. (Sickeningly sappy, aren’t we?) The last year of our lives has been all about how to make that happen.
This past October, I completed an “audition” elective at the University of Virginia (UVA) in ambulatory pediatrics. It’s an audition for both parties. For me, it was an opportunity to show the faculty that I had the qualities to be a good resident. In the other direction, it helped me decide whether UVA was a good fit. At the end of my four weeks, I was confident that I would receive excellent training and mentorship, and that I would be honored to be a resident there. I hoped they liked me too!
As I alluded to in my first post, the job search for my husband takes many, many months (years even). Due to necessity, he began positioning himself for jobs over a year ago. He received the offer of his choice in January, but of course he couldn’t accept unless I matched at UVA.
Then there was the question of a home for our family. We hoped to buy, and the time between Match Day and the start of residency in mid-June is painfully tight. We started speaking with a realtor in early February. The day after we returned from our vacation abroad, we took a flying trip to Central Virginia to see as many homes as we could in five hours. As I walked up the stairs to the front porch of the first house we visited, I tried to be discrete as looked over my shoulder and whispered to John, “Oh, I love it!” The next day we put an offer on it; the agreement was contingent on me matching at UVA.
It felt like everything was hanging in the balance. For weeks leading up to Match Day, I would turn to John, “It’s going to be UVA, right?” “It’s going to be UVA.” Only in the last few days did his response change: “I really think it’s going to be UVA.” What do you mean, “think”?!?!? Regardless of one’s positioning or the affirmation received from programs and mentors, no one knows until she opens her envelope.
We brought our girls with us to the Match. We had loaded them up with sugar at a brunch with classmates, then walked in the snow for 15 blocks to the Dunlop Auditorium, all during the classic witching hour that takes place immediately before naptime. They were a cold, wet mess, but an excellent distraction as I listened to all the names called prior to my own. The outfit that I picked out for the occasion ended up being used to mop up the frozen snot from my youngest daughter’s face.
Opening the envelope, my eye’s immediately fell on the words “Institution Name: University of Virginia.” I took a breath, kissed John and our girls. We are going home!! Of course, we are already missing our loved ones and communities at Penn and in Philly. As I mentioned previously, I honestly would have been happy at all the institutions I ranked, but our heart is in Central Virginia.