Residency Match Day 2017: What our students are experiencing, and how to help them get through it

 

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra

 

Mr. Berra definitely had a knack for the deceptively profound. This is one of my favourite “Yogi-isms”. He reminds us, in his inimitable style, that making and committing to a decision can be difficult but essential if we are to progress. In contrast, indecision, can be both paralyzing and damaging to long-term success.

His words particularly come to mind this time of year when our senior students face what might be termed a “life altering event”.

We’re all familiar with that concept. These are moments when the course of our lives pivots on a single event or decision. Many of these are unexpected and their impact only appreciated retrospectively. However, when they’re known and anticipated, they’re understandably accompanied by much emotion – excitement, speculation, and trepidation.

For medical students in Canada, “Match Day” is one of those events. For those of you not familiar, Match Day is when all fourth year students learn which postgraduate program they will be entering. The match is the final step in a long process of contemplation, exploration and application. The match and the day itself are full of drama, with all results being released simultaneously at noon.

This year, Match Day is March 1. By approximately 12:00:05 that day, all students will know their fate. As you can imagine, there will be much anxiety leading up to the release. For most (hopefully all), the day will be one of relief and celebration. For a very few (and hopefully none), there may be disappointment and confusion. Many schools release their fourth year clinical clerks from clinical duties on Match Day. At Queen’s we have taken the position that our students take on professional obligations during their training and their personal celebrations should not supervene those obligations. Having said that, I’d like to remind any faculty supervising our fourth year students on March 1st of the following:

  1. Anticipate that your student will be distracted that morning
  2. Please ensure your student is able to review their results at noon.
  3. Check on your student. If he or she is disappointed, please be advised that the student counselors and myself are standing by that day to help any student deal with their situation and develop a plan.
  4. Be advised that the students will almost certainly be holding some type of celebratory event that evening. Although your students are not excused for personal purposes, I would ask that you give them every reasonable consideration.

 

Fortunately, we have an excellent Student Affairs team, headed by Dr. Renee Fitzpatrick, who is available and very willing to answer any questions you may have and respond to concerns regarding our students. The team can be accessed through our Student Affairs office learnerwellness@queensu.ca, or 613-533-6000 x78451. The faculty counselors can also be contacted directly at the following:

 

Dr. Renee Fitzpatrick

Director, Student Affairs

fitzpatr@hdh.kari.net

 

 

 

 

Dr. Kelly Howse

Career Advisor

kelly.howse@dfm.queensu.ca

 

 

 

 

Dr. Susan Haley

Career Advisor
haleys@kgh.kari.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Josh Lakoff

Career Advisor

lakoffjo@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Thanks for your consideration, and please feel free to get in touch with myself or any of the Student Affairs Team if you have questions or concerns about Match Day or beyond.

 

 

 

Anthony J. Sanfilippo, MD, FRCP(C)

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education

One Response to Residency Match Day 2017: What our students are experiencing, and how to help them get through it

  1. Sheila Pinchin says:

    Dr. Sanfilippo, with this blog you let our graduating class know that we’re thinking of them and empathizing with them about Match Day. Faculty and staff are crossing their fingers for the class of 2017 who have been so much fun to teach! A great group of docs is heading out there and we’ll keep them in mind on March 1.

Leave a Reply to Sheila Pinchin Cancel reply

Post Timeline

Mentorship isn’t rocket science – or is it?
Published Mon, October 16, 2017

One of the most consequential communications in modern history took the form a letter sent by Albert Einstein to American President Franklin Roosevelt on August 2, 1939. “Sir: Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilard, which has been communicated to me in manuscript, leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and … Continue reading

Meet Jenna Healey, the new Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine
Published Mon, October 9, 2017

The new Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine knows most Queen’s medical students aren’t going to memorize historical dates and events as a matter of routine, and that’s perfectly okay. Dr. Jenna Healey notes that instead focusing on dry facts – that these days can readily be looked up — one excellent use of history is “to … Continue reading

Curriculum Committee Information – July 27, 2017
Published Mon, October 2, 2017

Faculty and staff interested in attending Curriculum Committee meetings should contact the Committee Secretary, Candace Miller (umecc@queensu.ca), for information relating to agenda items and meeting schedules. A meeting of the Curriculum Committee was held on July 27, 2017.  To review the topics discussed at this meeting, please click HERE to view the agenda. Faculty interested in reviewing the minutes of the July … Continue reading

From campus to community: the Loving Spoonful Service Learning Project
Published Mon, October 2, 2017

By Steven Bae and Lauren Wilson, MEDS 2019 “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates Food. It is a vital part of our existence, and is a focal point in many cultures. Over the course of one year, a person who eats three meals a day consumes 1092 meals. It plays such a large role … Continue reading

The Meds 2019 Clinical Clerks hit the streets.
Published Mon, September 25, 2017

Here they come. This week, the class of Meds 2019 begin their Clinical Clerkship. Although this is only the half-way point in their medical education, it is a highly significant milestone, marking transition from a program dominated by largely classroom based knowledge and skills acquisition, to “real life” learning in a variety of clinical placements and elective experiences. Last Friday, … Continue reading