Match Day: What’s next? 5 steps to ready future residents

The much-anticipated Match Day for 2019 has come and gone for the country’s medical students

On Friday, March 15, thousands of medical school students across the country opened envelopes and learned where they matched and will spend their residencies.

They just discovered where they will be living, working and honing their craft for the next three, eight, or even 10 years, depending on their specialty, says Peter Alperin, M.D., vice president of connectivity solutions at Doximity, the online social network for doctors and other clinicians.

Peter Alperin
Peter Alperin, M.D. (Doximity)
With just four months remaining to plan for their future, these newly minted physicians are expected to graduate from medical school, move to a new city, secure housing and be ready to hit the ground running.

Here are Alperin's five steps for future physicians to take after they’ve matched to help ease into the next chapter of their medical profession.   

1. Savor the moment. First and foremost, getting through medical school is really hard, and getting matched signifies the culmination of all of that hard work. He says students should take a moment to reflect on their accomplishments and congratulate themselves. “Even if you didn’t ‘get what you wanted,’ be sure to take the time to savor the moment and be proud of what you’ve achieved. You are about to become a doctor,” he says.

2. Keep your eyes on the prize. It’s not only important for medical students to celebrate their accomplishments, but also recognize that they are not done yet. “Keep your eyes on the prize and finish strong,” he says. Many students will have clerkships they’ll need to finish and will need to stay focused.

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3. Get to know your future co-residents. Technology today makes it much easier for new doctors to meet their new fellow residents and get to know them before they even start residency. Search on social media and reach out to them. “It’ll be nice to see familiar faces on the first day and begin to build lasting friendships," he says, noting that medical residents will need all the support they can get in these next several years. "What better support than that of a colleague joining you for the ride?” he says.

 4. Learn about your new home. Medical students might already be familiar with the city where they plan to move. But, if not, they can get to know the details of their new home. Alperin advises learning about the neighborhoods within the city, researching potential housing options, figuring out what the daily commute will look like and other details. “There’s a lot to learn about your new home, and the more research you do in advance, the smoother your move will be,” he says. 

5. Take care of business. Medical students will want to tie up any loose ends between now and their first day of residency, he says. They should make sure they have copies of important documents, such as their diploma. Set up auto-forwarding between current student email and a personal email account to ensure never missing important notices, he advises. “Recognize that during residency, you won’t have a ton of extra time, so carve out lots of quality time (while you have it) to be with your family and friends,” he says.