What I Want to Say to Students Who Did Not Match (Pharmacy Edition)

It's Not Over.

For many pharmacy students, Match Day has come and gone. There was a time of CV crafting, going to residency showcases, attending Midyear, poster presentations, PhORCAS, sending applications, the trepidation of interviews, and their final ranking of preferred sites.

Many have matched, and many did not. For those that matched, their Twitter, Facebook, and every other social media outlet exploded with their happiness and announcement of what they are doing next year.

However, for those that did not, there is only silence or self-disappointment. But it's not over. That's what I want to say. 

The Scramble and Self-Questioning

I think there are several emotions that happen. Anger, resentment, sadness. These are all natural. I have met students that blame themselves, for not choosing more sites to send applications or if they made a mistake. Others will blame the Match itself, the profession, the lack of positions available. Many will question if they weren't good enough. They see classmates who have matched, and see faculty congratulate them. What about those that did not match?

The question becomes: Do I scramble for the few remaining slots, alongside hundreds of other candidates? Can I deal with it anymore? 

Try. If you still have your heart set on this goal, then do it. Work with faculty, work with your advisors to help you. Reach out. We receive emails from institutions and colleagues who have open slots or new residencies that are looking for residents. We can help point you in the right direction. 

But even more, we can talk and be with you. Many have faced similar situations. Insight helps, it's not a road you have to walk alone. I do not want my students to wallow in self-doubt. I want to come to them and be a friend in a time of need and be the teacher I am supposed to be, and more than that as a human being.

The Future

Look to other avenues if you do not match and do not get a position after the scramble. There are jobs available. There are positions. Was it what you wanted? Possibly not. But it's not over. Take a year, work, and decide if you still have the heart for residency or further post-grad training.

There is always the opportunity to try again. There is no shame. And no shame should be attached to a person who has not matched. 

Please, if you need to talk to someone, reach out to us. We are your teachers and professors. Many students are going into their last block of school, do not let it be your saddest one. Do not go to graduation with a down hearted spirit. You are graduating from Pharmacy School. This is a milestone in your life, and the match was a hump in the road, one of many that we will all face at one time or another in our life.