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Have you ever heard of Match Day?


Have you ever heard of Match Day?

Have you ever heard of Match Day? If you or someone you know went to medical school, you probably have! My husband, Chris, is a local physician and we moved to Nashville after he was “matched” during the National March Match Day with Vanderbilt Medical Center many years ago. 

What is Match Day?

Match Day is the day when medical students find out where they will be “matched” to a hospital program for their residency.  Medical students put in an enormous amount of work at medical school as part of their journey to applying for a residency. Residency placements are decided during the match process on what is referred to as ‘Match Day’ in mid-March, and marks an important point in the journey of every medical student…and their family! The students have interviews with various residency programs across the country and once they have completed all of their interviews, they rank those institutions according to where they would like to complete their next phase of medical training. Those institutions in turn, rank the students too and the two have to match. Where a student “matches” is where they will be spending the next few years of their life/career — and possibly longer.

My Experience with Match Day

Nashville is gorgeous in the spring time.

Match Day was a day of mixed emotions for me and my family, full of both anxiety and excitement. On Match Day, we gathered in a large event space in Texas with faculty members, medical students, family members and spouses.  After dinner, one by one each medical student’s name was called.  Once called, the student walks up on stage and receives an envelope that they then read aloud stating where they are matched.  I remember the day vividly.  I was holding our two month old son and we were so excited for this next chapter in our lives.  Chris’ name was called and he opened his envelope while I waited with anticipation.  He stood at the podium and announced, “Vanderbilt, Nashville TN”.  I yelled with excitement … but I also knew at that moment the whirlwind would begin. 

The Whirlwind

We immediately found a realtor to sell our home in Texas.  I also booked a trip to Nashville for the following month (April) to find a home.  I had to go without Chris because he wasn’t given any time off to house hunt, I had a 3 month old baby traveling with me and thankfully my mom came with me too.  I arrived on a Friday and had until Sunday to find “The Perfect House.”  I didn’t know much about the areas and neighborhoods in Nashville, but I did know that Chris needed to be within 30 minutes of the hospital and I knew our budget to purchase our new home.  The travel distance and budget dictated where we could live.  (We did consider renting when we first moved to Nashville which would have allowed us an opportunity to learn more about the areas and find the perfect neighborhood to fit our families needs.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t find anyone that would rent to us because we had two large dogs.) My mom and I saw so many houses (at least 40) and right before I flew back to Texas on Sunday, I put in an offer on a home… and we got it!  Chris didn’t see the house until the day we moved in…..and we laugh about that to this day.  That was nearly 16 years and 4 homes ago!   

What I Wish I had Known

A move to middle Tennessee means lots and lots of gorgeous kitchens to choose from, or a fixer upper where you can build your own dream kitchen.

There were so many things I wish I had known all those years ago that would have made the process a little easier. In addition to knowing about the Nashville neighborhoods, I would have also loved to know the best parks with kids, local dog parks, hiking trails, pre-schools and wait time to get into those preschools, a local moms group to meet friends, a physician spouses group to help one another when sick, having a baby, or spending holidays because your spouse had to work.  Medical life can be very challenging and also very lonely at times, so having a strong support system is essential.  I would have also loved to know about local restaurants, childcare, churches, or any other needs that other physician spouses or community members could recommend.

How the Match Day Experience Influenced What I Do Now

Going through the Match Day experience has helped shape the way I run my business today — how I help my clients.  I understand the rush, anticipation and chaos of Match Day and the move that inedibly follows — whether as a physician family or any long distance move. I’ve created resources, groups and a community of people to help with all of the “I wish I had knowns” to share and I continue to talk to clients, friends and colleagues about what they need and wish around moving to Nashville.

In the end, as a young family embarking on new adventures all those years ago, I wouldn’t change a thing! Happy March Match Day! Whether you are a student matching up with your residency program or someone else looking for your “perfect match” in a new city and home, savor the adventure and find your community!


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