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It’s a long walk uphill, but the peak is so worth it

"Every person will face bumps along the way, whether big or small. The critical part is every time you encounter one, you get back up and keep going."

Match Week is fast approaching (understatement)! If ever Match22 aspirants needed a boost of positivity and keen advice it is now. We went to student mentor and PGY-4 Dr. Hansini Laharwani (@HansiniMD) for insight and words of wisdom from her experience going through Match herself and mentoring students going through Match. We’re excited to present to you Dr. Laharwani’s guest blog post titled “It’s a long walk uphill, but the peak is so worth it.”

It's that time of year when medical students are checking their emails 100 times to make sure they have certified the rank order list and are not missing anything. The sleepless and nail-biting nights before Match Week starts and ends as the clock strikes 8:59 am. Finally, you receive the best email of your life and see those GOLDEN words: You Matched!

As I mentor many medical students every year, I tell them one thing: take a deep breath! It's a long road through medical school, with obstacles and bumps along the way presenting you with overwhelming setbacks that are intense and competitive. Every person will face bumps along the way, whether big or small. The critical part is every time you encounter one, you get back up and keep going. It's understandable many sacrifices have gone into this journey, from working/studying long hours, missing important family events, living on loans, facing family illness, and even many more that no one will ever talk about or even know. Still, those sacrifices will be worth it in the end as there is no cookie-cutter way of getting into medicine. Don't judge others or even compare yourself with others as everyone is fighting a battle of their own. Always make room for the unexpected. You may plan for the path to residency to be a straight line, but it might not be, and you should be willing to reassess, reflect and mold your plan. Persistence and adaptability will help you at every step of the process. Having a solid support system, including your friends/family/spouse/mentor, will help you when you feel down or low as they will never judge you and will selflessly support you. Reserve an hour aside for your hobbies to destress yourself. As you move ahead in your journey, be friendly and kind to people; everyone will forget your honors and awards, but they won't forget how you treated them.

To all the PathMatch22 and Match22 aspirants, resilience is your superpower. Stay committed to your goal, be honest with others, and most importantly be honest with yourself. Everyone wants to be happy; nobody wants to be in pain, but you can't have the rainbow without any rain.

Dr. Hansini Laharwani is a PGY-4 AP/CP resident at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and will be starting a Women's health fellowship at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, in July 2022. She is a USCAP ambassador and elected Secretary of the College of American Pathologists, Resident Forum Executive Committee. She loves spending time with friends and family outside of work, traveling, swimming, dancing, and learning a musical instrument.

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