Sunday, March 18, 2012

Match Day

Friday was Match Day for medical students all over the country. It has been 13 years since our Match Day and still my stomach turned over just thinking of all the men, women and families whose future was affected by Friday's match.

In case you are unfamiliar with the process: During a student's 4th year (final) of medical school he (of course or she...) interviews for residency positions all over the country. The student then ranks his choices by preference. The schools rank the students by their own preference. Then a big computer program matches the whole thing together. On Match Day, the students receive an envelope telling them exactly where they "matched" -- where they will spend the next few years doing residency training.

We had three almost-two-year-olds on Wade's Match Day. The ceremony was held in a huge auditorium at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. We had to enter through the front of the classroom because our double stroller could not go down the stairs -- we didn't have wheelchairs yet with these littles.

That amazing group of students gave us a standing ovation when we walked in -- oh, not for me...or even Wade, but for Benjamin, Mason and Claire! It was just the first of that special day.

Ranking programs had been so hard for us. We loved the staff at the University of Chicago -- and knew they loved Wade. But we were also praying about moving closer to home -- and Wade had interviewed all over the South. Then, there was Mayo -- Mayo was THE residency for Orthopedic Surgery and we had spent some weeks there during Wade's medical school rotations.

As we ranked, I was so torn. I wanted to be close to home....but I had honestly LOVED Rochester, Minnesota and Wade and I felt led to place Mayo at the top of our match list.

Words can not even explain the anxiousness associated with those weeks prior to Match Day. We would rest in our prayers...then quickly bring the worries, the what-ifs, the wonders back into our laps. 

So when we walked into the auditorium and the class cheered -- it warmed our heart and settled our nerves. We looked at all those amazing faces -- all in the same boat as we were -- and felt such affection for the family  we had built there....and such assurance that God would give us just that sort of family wherever we "matched"!

Dr. Dad and his crew on Match Day 1999. Benjamin is in his lap, clutching our Match Letter!

I can still feel the excitement when Wade opened the envelope. His face erupted in a huge smile as he passed it to me. I am certain he saw the actual words: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. I, however, saw the words: green grass, house, backyard. Oh, we were so excited.

Our five years of residency in Rochester, MN were an absolute blessing. My prayer this weekend is that the students who received their match letters on Friday are as thrilled as we were...that God will bless all their preparations and calm their worries of the unknown.