two women hugging Deema Elchoufi and her grandmother.

As I transition into second year from my first year of residency, I’m also visited by the one-year anniversary of the loss of my sweet grandmother, Selwa Azzam.

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Andrea Flores Burroughs, MD, PhD Andrea Flores Burroughs, M.D., Ph.D.

Never in a lifetime could I have imagined beginning residency in the midst of a global pandemic. The year 2020 displayed the delicate balance between life and death, the fragility of the U.S. and global health care systems, the deeply rooted infrastructure of racism in our country, and the contentious political landscape in which we live. The life-changing effects of COVID-19 forced us to shift our priorities and alter our daily lives. 

To capture my experience, I recorded a series of short videos highlighting my feelings in the moment. Some of the excerpts detail my excitement as a new resident, admitting my first patient and signing my first orders. Others highlight the joy of birth during labor and delivery and the sadness of death in the MICU.

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Umaru Barrie, M.D. Umaru Barrie, M.D.

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.

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Joi C. Spaulding, M.D., M.S. Joi C. Spaulding, M.D., M.S.

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.

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Katherine Lee, M.D., MSPH Katherine Lee, M.D., MSPH

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.

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