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To those who didn't match

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Just wanted to write a post to you guys because a year ago I was in your shoes and I know how it feels. Here is my best advice based on what I went through, feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions:

- First off, it sucks. I know it does. This is a big day and a lot of people are happy and even more are pretending to be. Please know that it is always better to be unmatched than to be stuck somewhere you would hate.

- Allow yourself a few days of being sad/pissed and then starting getting on it. Is there anything you like in round 2? If so apply and start calling people. If not start forming a plan. Meet with PGME and make sure there are no red flags. Hopefully this was just a case of being screwed by carms.

- The first big choice you have to make is whether to graduate or (if possible) take an extra year as a student. Taking the extra year as a student is great because you can still do electives. I chose to graduate, but because I liked path/rads doing observerships was not different than electives. If you like patient based specialties delaying graduating may be best.

- If you do graduate get an educational license and start shadowing/observing as much as possible. Do a month at one place, a month at another etc. Always look to do research. I committed to a few research projects and they were big for me. Also, please realize your best chance next year is your home school. Definitely. So spend time with them. 

- There is actually way less time than you think. Interviews are out in November, thats not a lot of time. You have two goals: Observerships/electives and research.

Finally, realize its not the end of the world. Not matching isn't like it was 5 years ago. There are record numbers of unmatched people and its growing. Its likely a problem with the system and not with you. I just matched to my number 1 pick and taking this year was 100% worth it, wouldn't change a thing :).

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