Match Day 2013 - Med Students Await their Fate

March 14th, 2013 1 Min read Match Day 2013 - Med Students Await their Fate Blog
The old adage, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity," will never be more applicable than on March 15, Match Day, when medical students around the country find out where they will be continuing their medical training, a tradition that essentially dictates their career paths. After years of studying and researching opportunities, doctor hopefuls apply to the medical residencies of their choice. Simultaneously, residency programs submit their preferred choices of students. The destiny of each student is actually left at the mercy of an algorithmic selection process, known as the National Resident Matching Program. Though the process sounds random, there is a strategy involved. If students plan smart and prepare even smarter, chances are they will get one of their top picks. If you think about it, this is not unlike job hunting. If you know exactly what you want and what you have to do to get it, it increases the odds of landing your dream job. But if you don't do your homework to determine the right fit for you, it's unlikely you will be happy in the job that you eventually do end up getting. What's interesting is that while most medical students agonizingly prepare for Match Day, they tend to put off long-term career planning until they are facing graduation. By procrastinating they leave major decisions, such as how and where they will practice medicine, largely up to chance. Part of the problem is that medical students, residents, even fellows, are taught the art and science of medicine but are not schooled in managing their professional careers. So how and when are they supposed to make these important life choices? HEALTHeCAREERS guest blogger and president of CompHealth locum tenens, Melissa Byington, offers some practical advice on this topic in "Life after residency: Finding Career and Financial success." I think the answer lies in another wise old saying: "Don't leave it up to fate."