Sunday, April 8, 2012

What to Do, What to Do

Posted by Matthew Lewis at Sunday, April 08, 2012

My scramble at one site did not do well. We just weren't a good match. I wanted something to prepare me for a PGY2 in solid organ transplant, and they just couldn't provide that and didn't feel comfortable trying to shoehorn me in. Oh well, now I must begin the exciting process of finding a job. This job hunt will not be like any other. This time around, I might be employed with the company for years, even decades, whatever and wherever I decide. The possibilities are limitless, and for that reason it is empowering, yet overwhelming. There is still a chance at a second scramble site, and from what I know, I am one of the few P4s still scrambling.

Speaking of overwhelming, when you thought you would do a residency, but find out that isn't an option, it is overwhelming. You go into the match having made careful plans, the investment of hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, and the full backing of those who wrote your letters of recommendation as well as your other mentors. Then you find out something didn't go right. It's crushing. You will re-evaluate why you ever went into pharmacy. You will try to find some fault in yourself or your education, anything at all, but sometimes for whatever reason things just don't go your way. It is okay. You just have to find another path. Two of the most successful people in the class of 2011 didn't match, and are currently employed in jobs they would not leave for any residency. A few scrambled successfully and are enjoying themselves as well.

To anybody considering a residency, make sure it is something you really want to do. Ask yourself if there will be positions out there once you've completed the residency, and ask yourself if those positions absolutely require the completion of a residency. After Midyear, start working on your applications but take your plan to one of our faculty, like Dean Mueller or Dr. Kraft. Our faculty is very approachable and incredibly connected. They can let you know what they think of your plan and how to make it better. Our faculty wants to see their students succeed. In hindsight, I should have done this, but you learn from experience.

Things will work out for me even if scramble site 2 doesn't work. I still will be graduating from U of M, and I still have all those people I networked with while applying for residencies and going through my rotations this year. I have my drug knowledge, which will be tested and cleared for practice in just a few short months. There are plenty of other things I still have which haven't changed.

I do hope this post will help some of you in the future find your path to a residency. I also hope that this post will serve as kind words in a troubled time for those who didn't match in the future. It just seemed fitting that this post be made on Easter, where many people celebrate the concepts of rebirth and transformation. Happy Easter, everyone!

Note: This was edited by myself to clarify events to paint a more accurate picture of the scramble.

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