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Updated: May 26, 2020

I know how you are feeling right now, I know itโ€™s tough times, itโ€™s stressful, you donโ€™t know what will happen or how it will all end up.

๐„๐—๐€๐‚๐“๐‹๐˜ ๐Ÿ ๐˜๐„๐€๐‘ ๐€๐†๐Ž

I was putting my white coat on, sitting in a room in Los Angeles with other 11 students, all Americans with perfect English that attended to top schools.

That was the day that I was taking my Step 2 CS exam. I was thinking to myself โ€œall these people seem so well prepared, probably ready to apply and match in their top placesโ€, and I only had 4 weeks to prepare for it and show up. I later waited 85 days and I got my result: ๐ˆ ๐๐€๐’๐’๐„๐ƒ.

๐„๐—๐€๐‚๐“๐‹๐˜ ๐Ÿ— ๐Œ๐Ž๐๐“๐‡๐’ ๐€๐†๐Ž

I was in the Prometric center, with everyone around me taking their tests, they all seemed so professional and ready for their exam.

I only had 4 months to prepare for it, and only 2 months that I could really focus 100% on it. I knew that if I didnโ€™t take it that day, I would't be able apply that cycle for residency and I would have to wait an extra year.

When I was about to take the exam, I was thinking to myself: โ€œWhat will happen if I donโ€™t pass? โ€œHow am I going to survive one more year?โ€

โ€œHow am I going to pay my bills? โ€œWhere am I going to live?โ€ โ€œWill a program accept me if my YOG keeps getting older?โ€.

I decided to go for my STEP 2 CK, even though I didnโ€™t study as much as I would had wanted due to time issues. But I knew that I had a good Step 1 background, I did study A LOT for that one, I was hoping that with all the clinical experience that I gained while working as a doctor would help me in my CK.

I didnโ€™t even take a NBME for CK, only UWSS one week before my exam. I waited 20 days and got my result: ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’.

๐„๐—๐€๐‚๐“๐‹๐˜ ๐Ÿ– ๐Œ๐Ž๐๐“๐‡๐’ ๐€๐†๐Ž

I was applying for residency, not sure if I was doing the right thing applying for OB/GYN or just wasting my money since everyone told me that it was impossible for an International Medical Graduate to match in a surgical specialty, specially with no contacts in that field, no background in that field, and specialty that takes 80% women.

I decided to follow my passion, and go for it. It was a Saturday night when I submitted my application, as soon as I got my last Letter of Recommendation uploaded by a doctor, it was Saturday 21, 2019, to be precise.

Exactly 3 days after I applied, I got my first interview e-mail by Aultman Hospital, a Hospital in Ohio. Seven days later I got my second interview e-mail by Michigan State University.

That was the moment that I was sure that I did the right thing by ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—บ๐˜† ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป and ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ปโ€™๐˜ ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด to ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐˜€. Interviews kept coming and coming, ๐š ๐ญ๐จ๐ญ๐š๐ฅ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

๐„๐—๐€๐‚๐“๐‹๐˜ ๐Ÿ• ๐Œ๐Ž๐๐“๐‡๐’ ๐€๐†๐Ž

I was traveling to NYC to attend to my first interview. When I arrived there, they all seemed so professional, I felt like I would never get chosen over all those American students with great backgrounds.

That same day, the program director of that program offered me a pre-match contract! I told him that first I wanted to go to my other interviews since it was my first one. Some weeks went by and I decided to decline it, taking the risk of going into the ๐Œ๐€๐“๐‚๐‡.

All the questions came back to my head:

โ€œAm I doing the right thing by declining a pre-match contract?โ€ โ€œHow will I get the money to apply next year again if I donโ€™t match, and I just declined my offerโ€

โ€œHow am I going to survive one more yearโ€ How am I going to pay my bills? โ€œWhere am I going to liveโ€ โ€œWill a program accept me if my YOG keeps getting older?โ€.

I just tried to suppress those ideas, stay positive, focused, and taking the risk of going to the MATCH.

Risks could end up as a bad thing, or as something way better, itโ€™s the opportunity to GO BIG or GO HOME. ๐—œ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—š๐—ข ๐—•๐—œ๐—š.

Risks werenโ€™t a new thing for me, I already had to take tons of risks in my life, and I knew that every time I took them, ๐ˆ ๐๐ข๐ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ the best way they could possible do. Staying positive, working hard for it, and always seeing the good and positive aspect, no matter the outcome. So, I was ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐˜† ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ธ in my life.

๐„๐—๐€๐‚๐“๐‹๐˜ ๐Ÿ’ ๐Œ๐Ž๐๐“๐‡๐’ ๐€๐†๐Ž

I was finishing my last interview and getting ready for my first Eurotrip, I knew that trip meant spending my lasts savings.

That money was either going to be spend in a new journey, new adventures, visiting countries, cultures, and meeting new people for one month.

Or it could be saved, in case that I didnโ€™t match, I would have some money to survive a couple of months, and maybe to apply for some programs the next cycle.

I stayed ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ, I knew I had done my best during my interviews, I received great feedback from the Program Directors.

I followed my instincts and decided to roam the world ๐ŸŒ and head for this new journey traveling to โœˆ๏ธ London, Rome, Spain, Paris, Turkey and Norway.

I was ready to travel and make deeper connections, try new foods, learn new languages, connect with new people and cultures.

I hope you also get to travel and I hope you will find in the end that in leaving, you donโ€™t just find love, adventure or freedom. More than anything, ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐˜๐Ž๐”.

๐„๐—๐€๐‚๐“๐‹๐˜ ๐Ÿ ๐Œ๐Ž๐๐“๐‡๐’ ๐€๐†๐Ž

I received the e-mail that I matched into my top program in NYC.๐Ÿ—ฝ

Words canโ€™t express how amazing news those were!!!

Everything that I had always working in life, since I started medical school with only 18 years old, all the struggled that I have been through, to taking the step exams, applying for residency, and ๐Œ๐€๐“๐‚๐‡๐ˆ๐๐†, it was a ๐——๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—บ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐—ง๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ฒ.

When I started medical school in Argentina๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท, I moved to my grandmotherโ€™s house in order to be close to the University and be close to her, helping each other.

Eight months after I moved in with her, my grandfather decided to sell the apartment, leaving her and me in the street, with no house and almost no money.

With the left-over money that she got from the selling the apartment (almost nothing) I was able to find a good deal in this small place, but it that was all broken down, really destroyed, it needed so much work to move in.

I had to fix that, find a place to live with my grandmother, and study medicine while I was in 2 year of med school! 

I moved with my grandmother for a couple of months to this room inside a pension, with shared bathroom outside, and shared kitchen, it was shared with all the people that lived in that floor.

I worked, put all the money in the house, fixed it with the help of my friends, and then when it was ok, my grandmother moved in, and I rented my own place with some friends close to her.

You can read more about my life on the post about MY STORY on my page.

๐“๐จ๐๐š๐ฒ ๐Œ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐ƒ๐š๐ฒ, ๐Œ๐š๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ“, ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ

Iโ€™m taking all the courses to start my residency, I moved to NYC, I found my new home, and very looking forward to start my OB/GYN residency July 1.

I know what you are feeling right now, I have been in your shoes. 

Please keep going, stay positive

โ€ขYou have a clear goal in mind ๐Ÿ˜Ž โ€ข๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐Ÿ™Œ โ€ขYou have been ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด yourself so hard for this ๐Ÿ‘Š โ€ขYou are ready for the ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜…๐˜ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฝ ๐Ÿคธ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ โ€ขYou are ready to ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐ŸŒ Keep hanging there, keep studying hard, stay positive, continue motivated, remember your purpose in life, continue fighting for it!

๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐๐ข๐๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ซ ๐ญ๐จ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ซ!!


Sebastian Arruarana, MD

Fb: Doctor Sebas

Iinstagram: @doctor.sebas

Make sure to check out my page for all my USMLE posts, tips, study material, courses and more. Everything on my page is for free!

Follow me on Instagram @doctor.sebas to see my life as a resident in NYC.

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