It's crazy how four years of hard work and craziness all culminates into one moment: Match Day. My heart was pounding when I received the envelope that contained the place where I would be molded into a real doctor, and where Stephen and I will raise our little family for the next few years. Some med schools have a ceremony where students are called one-by-one to a podium to receive their fate, but since I am in a rural medicine program with only a small number of students we got to do our own thing. Most of my classmates wanted to open their envelopes one-by-one with each other, but I chose to just open mine with Stephen and then join the group afterward. I knew that one little envelope contained so many emotions for me (regardless of what program I would get), and I wanted to process it with Stephen first. My top two programs were two of the most family-friendly institutions that we had encountered on the interview trail, and my number three was Hopkins (my dream hospital when I started med school, but very far from my family and a longer/more intense program than my top two). I ended up ranking a world-renowned institution as my number one and then a Michigan hospital close to Stephen's family as my number two. I wanted my number one so badly, but at the same time I knew that getting it would be bittersweet since neither family would be closer than a 7 hour car trip away.
After I got my envelope, I rushed to the car where Stephen was waiting and couldn't wait any longer to rip open the envelope. And then I saw it, my number one program...I felt a flood of excitement and then relief at knowing where we are going. Stephen kissed me and told me how proud he was of me...and the rest is kind of a blur :)
When I look back at the journey that has brought me to this point, I really see God's hand in it all. After sharing our news with family and then on Facebook, I started realizing that I know several nurses and doctors from my Haiti volunteer work that live around the area where I'm going (some even offered to help us with moving!) Over the weekend, I found a rental house on Craig's List across the street from the hospital where I'll be spending all my time except for a few off-service rotations. A close family friend who lives in the area was able to go look at the house and see that it is beautiful (much nicer than we require!) and only a 5 minute walk from the emergency department where I'll be working (such a relief that I'll be so close to Stephen and the baby). And when I talked to my residency program about our baby due just a few weeks before orientation starts, they were incredibly supportive (I have multiple options including taking maternity leave or some vacation time in July).
We are thankful for so many reasons right now, and excited for the journey to come!