Saturday, July 12, 2014

Matching for Residency!!

As you may have noticed I'm playing a little catch-up with this blog.  After having Leo blogging wasn't high on my priority list so there are a lot of things I skipped over.  Like when Lee actually matched for residency!

I wrote about applying and some about the interviews here, here, and here.

To recap for anyone interested - perhaps you or your significant other is applying to residency this year, here's a summary of what we did.

Lee applied to 57 Family Medicine positions.
He received about 40 interview invitations (lost count after a while and some were still offering interviews as late as January because they had cancellations and such).
Interviewed at 9 programs and ranked all 9 programs.  Lee knew he wanted to do a university program, but also interviewed at 2 non-university programs so he could make the best decision.
We decided we felt comfortable only interviewing at 9 spots after Lee's first few interviews went really well and we wanted to save money on the traveling expenses.

In the end we went back and forth between how to rank our top 3 programs.  The other 6 were much easier to rank.

Program A
University Program
Lee loved the program director, hospital, facilities, and opportunities available.
They would pay for moving expenses.
Offer a housing subsidy and great salary.
Close to the beach!

Program B
University Program
Lee was really impressed with the program and the director.
Close to my parents, in between both of our parents
In an area we are really familiar with and have lots of friends.

Program C
University Program
Close-ish to my parents
Housing subsidy - which is paid upfront in a lump sum at the start of 1st year!

It was a daily discussion of whether we wanted to be closer to friends and family or in the warm weather and near the beach!  We would have been happy with any of the 3 locations, but in the end we ranked them in that order A,B,C.   Program A being Florida State University in Ft Myers, Florida.

We were invited back to Ft Myers for a second look weekend so I was able to see the area and definitively said yes this is where I want to live. And thankfully Leo waited just a little longer because he was born 2 weeks later! 

We decided that now is the time in our lives to figure out where we want to live long term.  We already know what life is like in the midwest.  Been there, done that.  But we had never lived in Florida.  We knew that we liked the warm weather and I LOVE the beach, so we decided that we'd rank it top and if we matched there we'd give it a shot for 3 years, if we hate it at the end of 3 years we could always move back north and start over before Leo is even in school. 

After the 2nd look weekend we were pretty confident that if Lee ranked them #1 we'd match there... we bought a Florida State onsie for Leo and they included Leo's birth announcement in their monthly newsletter for the month of March!!
however waiting until March 21st to know for sure was agonizing!!

For those unfamiliar with the Matching process, they send out an email on the Monday letting the applicants know if they matched into a program, but they don't let you know WHERE you matched until the Friday.  If you find out that you didn't match on Monday you can enter the SOAP (or the Scramble as they used to call it) and it's a whole nother ballgame where you are looking for programs that haven't filled all of their positions.  My friend Stephanie wrote a great post about the SOAP, especially from the perspective of being an IMG. 

Thank goodness when 1pm on March 21st rolled around we received the email confirming we'd be spending out next 3 years in the Florida sun!! 

From the very beginning we have been so blessed with this program and all the people involved.
On Match Day the program director called Lee personally to congratulate him and let him know how excited he was to have him here.  The director was one of the big reasons we felt so called to come to Florida.  Not only is he experienced and directed a successful program in South Carolina before, but he is a Christian and set up a Christian residency program in Afghanistan, as well as does lots of mission work.  And Lee will have the opportunity to go overseas to work during this 3 years.

They set us up with a concierge relocation expert to help make the transition smooth.
They paid for all of our moving expenses - which meant we were able to hire a moving company to pack and move for us! Amazing, especially with a new baby!
They are giving us a housing stipend, which we found to be so helpful with the cost of living in this area.  We are able to live in a much nicer, safer area than we would have been able to afford otherwise.

There are about a billion other reason why I am so happy that not only we chose this program, but they chose us.
You can read more about the actual program in this news article that made the front page this week ;) 

And I promise to update more about Lee's new job and Leo and I's new life in Florida very soon!


Amber said...

YAY! So happy you are in that warm sun for the next 3 years. No more being so cold in the D!

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