Karen Nash is a medical reporter and media consultant based in Monroeville, PA.
“I remember being, I guess, relieved that I matched. It’s so competitive. It’s never a sure thing. You match somewhere; I remember relief with that," says 1 urologist.
Urology Times® reached out to 3 urologists (selected randomly) and asked them each about their memories from the day they received their urology match.
“Personally, I had a lot riding on it because I was in a relationship with another doctor. We had to choose residency programs based upon cities where we both would be happy.
It was complicated because we took our top 3 programs in the top 3 places we wanted to live. Then, because urology was an early match, I had to rank my list first and hope I got where my spouse wanted to go.
She was sacrificing more than me, perhaps, because urology matched first, then her match came second.
Incredibly, obviously, I was thrilled to match in urology, number 1, because I knew I wanted to be a urologist and even back then it was extremely competitive. Number 2, I was thrilled to match in the city my spouse wanted, even though we were still waiting for her match to happen.
Then we got it. It was a home run. We both ended up matching our first choice, which was Boston.
I was also excited to train at Boston University, because I had been very inspired by the mentors I would train with there, so I was excited to match with that particular program.
Then she ended up matching where she wanted, which was Boston Children’s, probably the most difficult match in the country at the time, so I was smart enough to marry someone smarter than me. It was nerve-racking.”
Richard Kershen, MD
“I remember being, I guess, relieved that I matched. It’s so competitive. It’s never a sure thing. You match somewhere; I remember relief with that.
I also remember a good bit of anxiety about embarking on 2 years of surgical residency before starting urology.
The program I went to was 2 years of general surgery first. With urology, you get either 1 or 2 years of surgical prelim, and I didn’t know which I would get. I wanted to match, so I figured I’d take what I got.
I’m not sure anybody signs up for 2 years of general surgery on purpose. Most people would rather do just 1, then get right into urology, but it really wasn’t bad. In the program I went to, you actually did surgery during general surgery. So, looking back on it, I don’t regret it.
My dad was in the Army, so I moved around growing up. My dad was from New Jersey and I got stationed in New Jersey when I was in the Air Force. I got to medical school in New Jersey, then matched residency in New Jersey, and then got a job in New Jersey, so I’ve been here ever since.
It was a good day, for sure. To have everything come together and know where you’re going and know you’ve matched.
Maybe some people are more confident, but you’re never sure, and I was really happy to get a spot.”
John Watson, MD
Hamilton, New Jersey
“It’s not really a vivid memory. It was important, knowing where you were going for the next 6 years. It was a big commitment.
A lot of people were around. Everyone was excited. You were watching everybody else going through their ‘Academy acceptance speech,’ except you didn’t have to go to the podium.
It was exciting, and it was nice that it was over too, because you were kind of waiting to see.
It was never a guarantee. As much as you felt you had a chance, everybody, myself included, went to multiple programs to interview with your own list of preferred spots, from top to bottom. You were only going to receive 1 ‘yes.’ Once you got that, you were never going to know what other programs would have accepted you. You just knew what this one was. It wasn’t like you got 10 yeses and got to choose.
It was eager anticipation with some fear and trepidation. When it came through, it was a relief, and a release. It was settled. It was OK; it was done. It was the next step in life.
Urology, in a sense was a continuation for me. By that time, I was bleeding orange and blue. I was University of Illinois Champaign undergrad, University of Illinois, Chicago Medical School. Now I was entering University of Illinois residency, Chicago. It was 5 years, 4, and 6.
I did leave Illinois for fellowship and my first job, so I didn’t have to clone the blue and orange, but then back home to Illinois.”
Craig Smith, MD