Archive for February 2012

Decision 2012 – the Algorithm

February 29, 2012

A curious thought has been plaguing me since the NRMP deadline passed a week ago. On the website, the explanation for why it takes approximately 3 weeks to announce the matches details the things the folks over at NRMP are doing behind the scenes, which include:

  • Checking the integrity and completeness of the data.
  • Transferring the data to the algorithm module, checking it again, and processing the matching algorithm.
  • Verifying the results of the Match and transferring the data into the NRMP databases.
  • Conducting the Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP).
  • Creating more than 60,000 individual reports for applicants, programs, and schools, and assuring confidentiality of that information; the reports are then posted to the Web in accordance with the Match Week schedule.

Instead of thinking ‘hmmm, that is a bunch of stuff’ and reminding myself to be patient, my mind focused in on the part about running the algorithm. Once all the data is transferred to algorithm mode, shouldn’t it only take seconds to run it? Once it’s run, my fate (at least for the next 3 years) will be decided. But I’ll still have to wait until 1 pm Eastern time on March 16th to find out (funny how my mind has taken for granted that I will match, when that is anything but certain). 3 2.5 weeks has never seemed so far away!

Meanwhile, come Monday, I will be a mere 7 weeks from fulfilling the clinical sciences requirement of my medical school education. After I finish the final week of my psych core, I’m off to Chicago for a 2-week peds elective (yes, 2 week electives can be done if you schedule them yourself, apparently) and after that, I’ll be heading down to Augusta, GA for 4 weeks of otolaryngology. Being so close to the end is really exciting but also very strange. Will I really know enough to be able to be an awesome resident by the later half of April? And what if I don’t match? I guess I’ve got a superstitious streak as well, because I worry that by acknowledging how close I am to completion (or being overly happy about it), I’m going to somehow jinx myself into not being able to finish. Anything can happen in 7 weeks, right? Or maybe psych has brought out some schizotypal traits in me.  In any case, please send your encouragement, support and good vibes my way and let’s hope this 医者の卵 doesn’t have to scramble.