Y. Mark Hong, MD

Dreams are Made, Hearts are Broken

By markhongmd on January 22, 2014

Urology Match 2014

Imaging studying hard for 4 years of med school, giving up your mid-20's while your business-minded friends are eating fancy dinners, travelling at your own expense to a dozen or more urology residency program interviews around the country, all the while hanging out with fellow interviewees that you know are really your competition.  You've gone to 4 or more years of college, 4 or more years of a medical school in the United States, and you're still telling me that I can't become what I want to become?  That's exactly what about 1 in 3 applicants were told today with the results of the Urology Match 2014.  While I congratulate the 2 of 3 who matched, my heart goes out to the 1 in 3 who did not match.  If one in 3 doesn't sound that heartbreaking to you, consider that every applicant has carefully considered the level of competition, the number of hoops that you have to jump through even to be seriously considered as an applicant.  So it's fair to say a significant number of those 1 in 3 applicants who did not match are actually Stars and would make a fine urologist if given the chance.  

Why do I care?

I care because as a practicing urologist, I also see the relative need for quality urological services in our communities.  Particularly in underserved and urban communities.  And if we lose these bright, motivated students to other fields, ultimately our field as a whole will suffer.  Not to mention the discoveries and contributions to urological science yet to be made.  

What do I do if I haven't matched?

Stop.  Breathe.  Reconsider if urology is still your professional goal.  If it is, then pursue it.  Make phone calls.  Talk to mentors.  Think about scrambling into general surgery programs and eventually transferring into urology.  Take some time to do dedicated research in urology, and publish meaningful results that may change practice.  No one will ignore you then.  Most of all, remember that the Urology Match is not a referendum on your worth as a future surgeon or individual.  No one can take away your dignity, no matter what a bunch of program directors may say.  

About Dr. Hong

Dr. Hong is a Phoenix-area practicing urologist who remembers very clearly the anxiety of Urology Match Day.  Find out more about our practice here.

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