Five of us girls, mostly would-be surgeons, sat around and talked nonsense for half an hour, then ate lunch together (determined not to hit the computers at noon precisely), then hunted for private corners in the hospital to check our status by ourselves, and then met up again in the lounge, and figured out by each other’s smiles that it was ok to ask, “Did you match?” All our classmates at this hospital right now did, so that’s good. Statistically, at least one member of the class probably didn’t. . .

One of my friends called his parents: “Can you believe it? I’m really going to be a surgeon!” My feelings exactly.

Today the people who didn’t match participate in the Scramble, which is exactly what it sounds like: a mad dash between unmatched applicants and residency directors whose slots didn’t fill up, all scrambling to save something decent out of the mess.

Thursday, we will all open our envelopes together, including those who matched in the scramble.

Why do we have to wait three more days to find out where? I haven’t heard a good explanation yet.

This week there’s a different attending covering. Knowing him to be military, I was anticipating a stiff week. Actually, he’s young and friendly, very educational, and subscribes to the novel theory that the medical students are not substitute residents, don’t need to see every singleĀ patient who’s vegetating on the list, and can be sent home by 4pm. The other student and I adore him already. Too bad that this is the week where we get a day off, for Match.

He and I also had a splendid conversation about the evils and subterfuges of drug companies, how they twist data, and advertise relative risk reduction, covering up the smallness of the absolute risk reduction. We agreed about the ridiculous invention of new diseases in order to market designer medications: premenstrual dysphoric disorder, for instance, and restless leg syndrome, as well as the downward redefinition of hypertension and hyperlipidemia, in order to diagnose ever-increasing numbers of Americans with life-long diseases requiring continual treatment. What a money machine. The other student rolled her eyes, but was too tired to argue with our fest of unorthodoxy.