So, in case you were wondering…

…I didn’t match.

There are probably many reasons why. I was geographically limited in two ways: my custody agreement limited me to the Southeast, and I only applied in cities where I knew people. I am an osteopathic student who was competing in the MD match. Obstetrics has been a very competitive match recently. I had excellent board scores, a research fellowship, and great extracurricular and leadership activities, but my grades were very middle of the road.

So, now what? I will be doing what is known as a traditional rotating internship at a local hospital, then reapplying for obstetrics residency. It will be much harder to interview as an intern with increased responsibilities. It will be harder to transition to my new residency, if I get one, with only days or weeks off at the end of the year, as opposed to the months I will have to ponder my temporary failure this year before starting as an intern.


I am tired of well meaning people asking me where I will be next year. I am tired of people telling me this was meant to happen. I am jealous, painfully jealous with a pit of hurt in my insides, of my classmates who are joyfully planning their futures. Of my former classmates (I graduated a year behind my original class because of my fellowship) who already have almost a year of residency under their belts. Of people in my profession who are my age and are well into their careers.

I didn’t post about it for a while because it was too raw, too painful. And, honestly, I don’t really want to talk about it. There isn’t much to say. It’s hard enough to deal with people I work with, people in my family, and people in my life who genuinely care asking me about it in a time released fashion. I know they’re asking because they want to share in what they think will be my good news. But, it forces me to rehash my pain over and over again, like someone with a new bandage being asked what happened by every new person they see. And, then I have to nod grimly and politely when they tell me that somehow, it was meant to be.

Please allow me to be self indulgently angry and defeated on my blog. This is not how my life was supposed to be at this point. I wasn’t supposed to be staring down the barrel of forty years old, not an obstetrician, just a single mom who is wondering if I can even keep my tiny 1000 sq ft house next year on an intern’s salary. Oh, and I just got diagnosed with a chronic disease that I am managing very well, but has a small chance of crippling me. I know I am extremely lucky to be (mostly) healthy and able bodied, with good support, and smart enough to have made it into medical school in the first place. I know that this is not the end of the world – I very well may match into obstetrics next year. I can also fall back on family medicine, and then do some obstetrics, eventually, in a rural area, possibly after doing an obstetrics fellowship. Or, I can finish internal medicine and then do a women’s health or family planning fellowship.

Sigh. I am not digging for reassurance. I just needed to finally get this out.


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38 responses to “So, in case you were wondering…

  1. doctorfreeze

    I”m sorry to hear the news…I had been wondering about you in the past few weeks.

  2. doctorfreeze

    I’d been thinking about you the past few weeks and then I just saw this—I’m so sorry. I’ll join in your pity fest: my husband fell off a 24′ ladder yesterday while cutting off a branch with a chainsaw (fortunately he’s bruised up, but nothing broken–it was super scary to watch, though) AND the the people who’d put an offer in months ago to buy our old house just backed out of it yesterday.

  3. Jim

    I should imagine something else is going to come along , in the near future .

  4. Having endured numerous setbacks in my past life as a lawyer, I’m not going to attempt advice b/c that just made me want to punch holes in things. I just hope things get better for you.

  5. P

    Thank you for sharing – even if it must have been so very painful to do so. There’s really no words for such a disappointing situation – I’m so sorry. I’ve followed your posts for quite some time now and please know that even though I have never met you, in another part of the country, I often think about you and will be sending thoughts and prayers of comfort!

  6. PatV

    Sorry. I didn’t know it was possible to match directly into residency. Back in the day, when Dave was an infant, internship (unpaid) was required before specializing. Hang in there! Love ya.

  7. That just plain sucks. No platitudes from me. Even if something is “meant to be” it doesn’t make it suck any less at the time. Most days I have moments when I confront how I am waaaay past the age at which I thought I’d be freaking DOING SOMETHING already and yet I’m not. Or at least not the thing(s) I hoped for. I have the imaginary/preparatory/defensive conversation in my head all the time with some well-meaning person wanting to know “So, what are you doing these days?” There are two of these conversations. One is for bad days and I list all the shit I hate and the shit I don’t have. The other is for “silver-lining” days and I list all the things I’m grateful for and the consolation prizes. Not every day is good and not every day is bad. We’re allowed both.

  8. MTH! Sometimes, the only way through it is through it! I celebrate your right to be angry, mad, sad, jealous, pissed and hurt. You are normal. Sometimes, the best thing to do is wallow in it and let it be, Sometimes that is what you need, sometimes that is the only choice, and either way, you will get spit out the other end, that happens too, and you will pop up to the surface and carry on. But, now, this is good! I honor where you are now.

  9. MTH – You may not have matched in Ob, but you are still an MD. Sounds as if you understand why you did not match, and geographic limitations can be big factor in limiting your opportunities. I like to think all things happen for a reason, you’ll find out yours soon enough…

    Bet of luck with internship.

  10. You are so right, this is an unfair-the-universe-sucks-why-me kind of thing. It’s not the end of the *whole* world, but it’s certainly the end of a specific world you had envisioned – match straight into OB residency and start your career. You have every right to be upset about it and do some good wallowing. Know that there are lots of us out there rooting for you!

  11. A bunch of years ago, I went through the same experience. I found a program with an empty slot in a geographical area that was not so desirable, and did OB/GYN there.

    The feeling that I wasn’t good enough for the programs I wanted to go to was awful. There were no counselors or assistance on how to match back then. If I knew then what I do now, I would have done so many things differently. I still may not have matched, but I would have tried harder.

    I feel your pain. Hopefully you have support there and will find a way to use what you learn for your best.

    Cyber best wishes.


    • MomTFH

      Thanks. I am sure that I will learn a lot as an intern. I wish I had the choice to go to a remote site for residency, but if I do, I’ll have to leave my son behind. I will open up my applications to the more “undesirable” (where I don’t know anybody) places in the area I am permitted to move next year.

  12. Delurking to offer sympathy and let you know I hope this all works out for you!

  13. Yes, it sucks. Rant and fume away… you have the right.

  14. Lauren Plante

    No experience is ever wasted. Wishing you a good year.

    • MomTFH

      Thanks so much, Dr. Plante. I actually think a general intern year is a very valuable experience for an ob/gyn. I am trying to negotiate being allowed to apply in Philadelphia, too, this upcoming year. I will definitely keep you informed.

  15. Thank you for sharing. I’ve been wondering but didn’t want to push. You’re right, it totally SUCKS. I’m sorry, and you have every right to be pissed. And you don’t get through something by bypassing those feelings; you have to fully feel them first. In time you will move on but till then, it’s perfectly legit to feel what you feel and claim it fully.

    Many hang-in-there hugs to you.

  16. MamaDoc

    I went to med school “late” and did a family medicine residency. From that I was able to practice obstetrics – and take care of the babies too! Maybe another possible path?

    Mama to two homebirthed with midwives children

    • MomTFH

      Thanks. I originally wanted to do family medicine with obstetrics, but I live in Florida, and I’m pretty sure that only board certified obstetricians can get hospital privileges to attend births here:(

      • Charlie

        Technically…FP docs can deliver in Florida. The problem is that Florida is so litigious that hospitals are trying to avoid payouts by CYA rules requiring board certified obstetricians. It is possible that you might find a FP spot in a smaller more rural community hospital desperate for obstetrical services.

        • MomTFH

          Thanks. I am definitely considering family medicine, especially since I would love to practice lactation medicine as both the caregiver for the infant and the mother postpartum.

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