Back to the Future

I am in Houston, Texas today—the place where I grew up.  From the moment I got off the plane on Wednesday, I had a strong sense of déjà vu—the small town feel of Hobby Airport, the banners welcoming me to the Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo, the drive to the Texas Medical Center where I visited my Dad at his office as a child.  But there is no possible sense of déjà vu more powerful than I felt today, in the sunny courtyard of my former medical school, waiting for the results of “The Match” to be unveiled.  For those of my readers who are not doctors, and who do not come from medical families, the Ides of March is the day that every fourth year medical student in the country finds out where they are going to do their residency.  Earlier in the year, aspiring internists, pediatricians, surgeons and obstetricians applied for internships and residencies, interviewed and finally made a list, in order of preference, of programs they wished fervently to attend.  Residency programs did the same, for students they fervently wished to attract.  And then a computer program called the National Residency Matching Program did its thing.  Today at precisely 12 pm EST, the results were announced in a white envelope.  The tension, as they say, was palpable.


Exactly 34 years ago today, I stood in the same place as my daughter stood today and felt my life change.  I would be leaving my hometown, my boyfriend, and last but not least my dog, to move to a city where I knew absolutely no one, because I had been given the gift of an opportunity to do my internal medicine residency at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, now known as Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, one of the three Harvard training programs in internal medicine.  While I was there, I learned to practice medicine from some of the finest teachers and clinicians I have ever met, people who remain friends and mentors to this day.  I met my best friends, I married my husband, I got my first Scottish deerhound and I had my three children there in that order.  I hated the cold weather, but I loved the values which were instilled in me there, and which I hold to this day—in medicine, the patient always comes first;  family and tradition are paramount, and the Red Sox must ALWAYS beat the Yankees.


At 11:02 today Central Standard Time, the waiting and the culmination of four hard years ended.  My daughter opened her envelope and learned that she too would be headed for Boston, to the same place her father and I met so many years ago.  I think she was very pleased.  As for me—well, I did what any proud parent would do.  I beamed, took a picture, and burst into tears.   Well done, Alex, and I hope I didn’t embarrass you too much!


  1. Congratulations to her. And Even tho you probably did at least slightly embarrass her, I’m sure she would have had it no other way.

  2. So much better to have a parent embarrass one, than to be spared the possibility.
    Heartiest congratulations to you both!

  3. How wonderful that you were there with your daughter for this incredible life-changing event…PROUD! I can onlly imagine.Congrats to you.your daughter, and family.

  4. Awww, that’s sweet. And very cool for you and your daughter both! Congrats to Alex and to her mom! What will she study?

    1. Oh, I guess I didn’t mention that, DUH! She’s going into Internal Medicine, and then will do Pulmonary/Critical Care or Interventional Cardiology. She likes the really acutely ill patients–no outpatient stuff for her. It will be a minimum of six more years of training. The MD degree is only the start–there’s still a long road ahead. M

  5. Love it when history repeats itself! We will be witnessing this ritual in two years, as our daughter is winding down her M2 year. Congratulations to all!

  6. Congrats to your daughter. Great place for learning. I did my summer before year one and two of my RN to NP program as an ICU tech there and it was a very enriching learning experience. To this day as a NP hospitalist, it was valuable training. Your daughter will never want for a great career, ICU pulmonologists are in great demand and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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