You can bet your ass I’m downright pissed off, angry, hurt, dejected, and extremely let down and disappointed with the 2021 Match & SOAP process. Despite having a solid record, great experience, and many interviews, I didn’t end up ‘Matching’ into psychiatry residency. Here are two articles to ponder:
Who do I blame? Who do I get mad at? To whom do I express my frustration and hurt? What do I do now? These are many questions that I and thousands of others face this 2021 Match season. Though I didn’t match, fortunately for me, there was a positive step in the right direction when I scrambled and landed a “House Physician” position in Florida. No, not Dr. House MD, a bona-fide clinical role in primary care working under the auspices of a licensed physician. Not a residency, not simply an unmatched MD waiting around until next year, but a role where I can provide physician-level clinical care and bolster my CV for next year. However, this past Monday and this past week were brutal and took a toll. If you asked me Monday about my plans, I would have told you I’m quitting medicine. Not even going to go work under my former NP license as a backup. Done. Kaput. As the week went on, the daily beatings of rejection after rejection with the SOAP rounds made me feel utterly useless and dejected. I disappeared from social media and went into survival mode. I’m not really sure how I managed to put thoughts together and pull myself up, but somehow ended up being able to at least get a step ahead in the right direction. So not all is lost. Would I have rather matched and be starting residency? Yes, hell yeah, but to at least be a step in the right direction is a plus. So many people say to not give up. I know without a doubt that the agism that I wrote about before was a factor, but the positive energy has been enough to overcome the negative energy in this case, and I’m getting back to me. I’m sure when the statistics come out about this Match, they will be staggering and unbelievable.
The physician who wrote the first article listed above shared her story which unmatched last year, but matched this year. This is an all-too-common theme. Now this article tracked her journey through the Missouri Assistant Physician role into a residency. My hope os the same for me with my new position. Many applicant’s and too little residency spots. She wrote:
“Unfortunately, there are more residency applicants than available residency positions; this year, for example, almost 10,000 physicians will not match into a program because there are 47,000+ applicants for 38,197 positions.”
Please also see an advocacy group of unmatched doctors Unmatched and Unemployed Doctors of America (https://uaudoa.com/)
We call on AAMC to prioritize veterans, U.S. Citizens, and Lawful Permanent Residents in the match. We also ask they limit the number of programs an applicant can apply to and if a medical student doesn’t match they should allow them to apply in subsequent years free of charge.
We call on ECFMG to acknowledge that the International Medical Graduate (IMG) match rate is 50% (when you factor in those that did not submit a rank list) and support unmatched organizations like UAUDOA since U.S. citizen IMG’s are disproportionately affected.
We call on the government to increase residency training positions and provide oversight on the matching process.
We call on the public to aid us in this effort by contacting your Congressional House Representative and letting them know they need to help the unmatched doctors.
So, while I may have fallen due to no fault of my own, I’m bucking to get back in that proverbial ole saddle. Just might take a minute or two. Thanks for the love