This is a dedication to all the unmatched graduates, near and far standing on the losing side of the tug of war between hope & fear, success & failure. It repeats each year something aspiring medical graduates go through in their quest for a residency spot.
I did go through this several years back, while I am grateful for the opportunity, I cannot help reflect the ordeal that it was. I see scores waiting at the cross roads for the gates to open. If there is ever a ‘hunger-games’ for doctors, it has to be the residency match. A white coat with the dangling stethoscope around the neck is the most beautiful ornament held by a physician and to come so close and yet fall short is the unthinkable pain that unmatched residents endure and experience each year. Dreams are shattered and it takes every bit of resolve and support to pick up the pieces and start running again.
For many, this week is a time of jubilation, where hard work and sacrifice meets success and purpose. The journey that is about to begin will be both transforming and inspiring. For some, it is a reminder that their fight to wield the white coat and fulfill their desire to practice medicine in the US will have to wait for another year. With one additional year out of medical school, competition is fierce and growing among graduates. This is further compounded by limitations of cost, immigration, family and for some, their own demons within. Hope shrinks at a rate that one’s beliefs can seldom keep up.
The race is getting longer and you must all be tired. While the voice to give up grows louder within and around, there is one thing worth remembering. The world is better for the compassion you hold. There will soon come a time for you to put your tools to good use. The only failure is the failure to rise after a fall and the lesson is to simply not give up. So, keep pushing. The world needs each and every one of you to fulfill your own dreams so their destiny can change for the better, their sickness can be healed and their pain can go away. There is no better time than now to stand as a testament to that.