Updated: May 26, 2020
I know how you are feeling right now, I know it’s tough times, it’s stressful, you don’t know what will happen or how it will all end up.
𝐄𝐗𝐀𝐂𝐓𝐋𝐘 𝟏 𝐘𝐄𝐀𝐑 𝐀𝐆𝐎
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 “all these people seem so well prepared, probably ready to apply and match in their top places”, and I only had 4 weeks to prepare for it and show up. I later waited 85 days and I got my result: 𝐈 𝐏𝐀𝐒𝐒𝐄𝐃.
𝐄𝐗𝐀𝐂𝐓𝐋𝐘 𝟗 𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐇𝐒 𝐀𝐆𝐎
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 didn’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: “What will happen if I don’t pass? “How am I going to survive one more year?”
“How am I going to pay my bills? “Where am I going to live?” “Will a program accept me if my YOG keeps getting older?”.
I decided to go for my STEP 2 CK, even though I didn’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 didn’t even take a NBME for CK, only UWSS one week before my exam. I waited 20 days and got my result: 𝟐𝟒𝟒.
𝐄𝐗𝐀𝐂𝐓𝐋𝐘 𝟖 𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐇𝐒 𝐀𝐆𝐎
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 𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝘆 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 and 𝗱𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 to 𝗻𝗲𝗴𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀. Interviews kept coming and coming, 𝐚 𝐭𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝟏𝟏! 😃
𝐄𝐗𝐀𝐂𝐓𝐋𝐘 𝟕 𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐇𝐒 𝐀𝐆𝐎
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 𝐌𝐀𝐓𝐂𝐇.
All the questions came back to my head:
“Am I doing the right thing by declining a pre-match contract?” “How will I get the money to apply next year again if I don’t match, and I just declined my offer”
“How am I going to survive one more year” How am I going to pay my bills? “Where am I going to live” “Will a program accept me if my YOG keeps getting older?”.
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, it’s the opportunity to GO BIG or GO HOME. 𝗜 𝗱𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗚𝗢 𝗕𝗜𝗚.
Risks weren’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, 𝐈 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐦𝐲 𝐛𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐨𝐮𝐭 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 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸 in my life.
𝐄𝐗𝐀𝐂𝐓𝐋𝐘 𝟒 𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐇𝐒 𝐀𝐆𝐎
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 didn’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 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲, 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 🌍 and head for this new journey traveling to ✈️ 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 don’t just find love, adventure or freedom. More than anything, 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐘𝐎𝐔.
𝐄𝐗𝐀𝐂𝐓𝐋𝐘 𝟐 𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐇𝐒 𝐀𝐆𝐎
I received the e-mail that I matched into my top program in NYC.🗽
Words can’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 𝐌𝐀𝐓𝐂𝐇𝐈𝐍𝐆, it was a 𝗗𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝗲.
When I started medical school in Argentina🇦🇷, I moved to my grandmother’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.
𝐓𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐌𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐃𝐚𝐲, 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝟐𝟓, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟎
I’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
•You have a clear goal in mind 😎 •𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝗶𝗻 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 🙌 •You have been 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 yourself so hard for this 👊 •You are ready for the 𝗻𝗲𝘅𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗽 🤸🏽♀️ •You are ready to 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗾𝘂𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 🌍 Keep hanging there, keep studying hard, stay positive, continue motivated, remember your purpose in life, continue fighting for it!
𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐢𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐟𝐚𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐟𝐚𝐫!!
LOVE YOU GUYS, I KNOW YOU WILL SUCCEED !! ♥️
Sebastian Arruarana, MD
Fb: Doctor Sebas
Make sure to check out my page www.doctorsebas.com 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.