Matching Self to Program: After the Match

With the match done, the game isn’t over. It is more like: on your mark, get set, start working! The clock is ticking, and there are things that you must do. 

Hopefully, you do not need to reapply for the match (if so, go to the FAQs section. You have a job now, and a legally binding contract to do something. And it is a little more complicated than starting a rotation where all you really need is a stethoscope and a pen.

  • In some states, you need to apply for a license to practice as a resident. 
  • Some hospitals require a criminal background check.

The program that you have been accepted into will help you take care of most of the required paperwork, but there is more that you have to think about yourself.

Planning Ahead

The data you put into the match application will be wiped out on May 31st, so make sure you print out or save a copy. 

If you have thoughts of a fellowship, you may want to use this lull to get recommendations from your teachers while your work is fresh in their minds, even though application for the next program may be two years away. And there is the matter of finishing up business at all of the hospitals where you have rotated. You need a clean ticket before you can leave school and start as a resident.

Are your boards complete? Some programs will not let you start until after you passed part 2 of the national boards testing.

Most important, as a resident physician you will be starting over again. The next step will mean new colleagues, a different relationship with patients and an unfamiliar role. It is important to get yourself mentally ready for the changes.