Road to Residency
NAVIGATING THE STUDENT JOURNEY
The Elation of Last Year’s Couples MATCH Process Still Fresh for Dr. Mimi Hamling
She may have spent the last year in the field, but Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) alumna Mimi Hamling, MD ’19, vividly remembers the nervousness and excitement she experienced entering the National Resident Matching Program® (The MATCH ℠) process in 2019.
“Half way through third year, we started researching all of the programs that would take both of us at the same hospital,” Mimi said in reference to the MATCH process she entered with her boyfriend, fellow RUSM alum Quint Soto, MD ’19, as they sought radiology and internal medicine residencies, respectively. The couple requested multiple letters of recommendations from preceptors and attendings and tried to conduct as many interviews as possible. “We tried not to go overboard. I remember we had an elaborate spreadsheet and focused on programs with a history of accepting international medical graduates.”
Describing MATCH week as “extremely stressful,” Hamling recalls experiencing momentary relief on Monday when news broke that the couple matched but then the grueling wait until Friday when the location was disclosed. “Opening that email to see where we landed was like when they announce who won the Oscar. The anticipation was unbelievable. We opened them at same time.”
Radiology resident candidates must complete a preliminary surgery or internal medicine year as a precursor to a four-year residency in diagnostic radiology. Hamling spent her first year as a surgical intern in Missouri and now she and Soto are based in Nebraska, which has afforded her the opportunity to work on a variety of cases. “We have a lot of patients with complex diseases so I get to see imaging I may not have seen at a smaller facility.”
Both from California, the couple headed to the Cornhusker State ready for an adventure. So far, they are enjoying the community and remain avid pro-sports fans, waiting for an opportunity to resume travel. Hamling praises Soto for his continual support, which began early in their RUSM tenure. “He’s always there to calm me down.”
Hamling was exposed to many different facets of radiology in her surgical role and is now eager to learn more. “There’s a steep learning curve,” she said about radiology. “You have to know a lot about everything and there’s a huge depth to that knowledge because you have to help other clinicians figure out what’s going on with their patients. You get to see what’s really going on inside a patient and help determine the treatment plan.”
While radiology may be viewed as a behind-the-scenes position, Hamling provides this advice for students considering the specialty. “Don’t be afraid to go for a surgical year even though the hours can be strenuous. You get a lot of exposure to radiology through surgery and receive training on how to review and understand imaging. It’s like med school where you’re drinking out of the fire hose and learning about how it all relates to patient care. Don’t ever underestimate how much information you can get from pictures.”
To all 2021 MATCH students, we support your journey and look forward to MATCH Week.
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