You just spent four years as an undergrad, plus four years in medical school and possibly two years working on your master's degree in between. You've been awarded the degree of M.D. or D.O. Congratulations! Unfortunately for you, however, the worst is yet to come.
Although you have your degree, you aren't allowed to practice medicine independently until you complete a residency at a teaching hospital. The process of getting "matched" with a hospital is incredibly stressful, and that's before you even get to the joys of an 80-plus hour work week, 24-hour shifts and all the glamour and glory that comes with being lowest on the totem pole when you arrive. On top of all that, the labyrinthine match process leaves you remarkably little say in the matter – a decision made by a computer could send you to a hospital all the way across the country -- and it might be the hospital you ranked last on your want list.
From navigating the residency application process to all the excitement (and terror) of Match Day, we'll take you through the process of applying for a medical residency.