I had such difficulty explaining to my family and friends not in medicine the concept of the match. I finally settled on a lottery-Bachelor fusion to explain it. Just replace the aspiring lovers with program directors and medical students, and roses with Match Day letters.
The novelty of becoming an intern has worn off, the fresh sheen of excitement on each shift, the crampy belly pain as I walk into a critical patient’s room, the rush of adrenaline as I try to intervene on a patient slowly or rapidly dying in front of me. Get up, go work, and sleep. And not much more.
The message, like all earth-shattering pronouncements, came with the softest of dings. As I was walking out from my house into the cold December air for a morning shift in the emergency department, my parents messaged me about the passing of my grandfather.
“Hey hey! How are you?” someone calls out as I walk into the fluorescently lit emergency department I call home. “Living the dream,” is my habitual answer, and it’s only half facetious.