One year ago, two significant events occurred in my life that were quite the opposite of each other. Last year, I discovered during The Match, like many current graduating medical students around the country have, where I would be for the next three years. But also, the world around us changed forever due to a global pandemic.
How I Stay Active During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As a medical student, I went to the gym almost daily. Even if it meant reviewing lectures on the treadmill or rescheduling a study session so that I could make a quick spin class, exercise was always a priority for me. The gym provided me a space to improve my physical health but also served as a stress reliever and social outlet.
I did not match at the No. 1 program on my Match list.
Match day is a pivotal moment in every medical student’s path. In their last year of medical school, students apply to and interview at residency programs in their specialty. Each student makes a list of programs in order of preference with their No. 1 program as their top choice. Residency programs do the same, making a list of students. Using a Nobel Prize-winning algorithm, The Match® processes these lists to match students and programs. A month later, students find out if they matched and which residency program they will be attending. Some do not match at all.
As the end of residency draws near, I am experiencing a mixture of anxiety and excitement. It seems like it has been decades since my own intern orientation and struggle to learn how to use the electronic medical record, on top of learning how to manage my patients’ acute and chronic conditions. Although there is still much to learn, watching our newest interns’ introductions to clinical life reminds me how far I have come in just two short years.
For decades we have known that social circumstances such as poverty, structural racism, unstable housing, poor access to healthy food, unsafe environments, and lack of education are major drivers of health. During a pandemic these drivers are amplified. This leads to increased burden in already marginalized groups that have been subjected to a system of inequality that permeates every aspect of our society.