CMAJ/JAMC Experience


A farewell to CaRMS

Aaron Cass

CMAJ 1998;158:631-2

Aaron Cass, a 4th-year medical student at the University of Ottawa, is nervously awaiting his fate in the 1998 residency match run by the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). Match Day is Mar. 11. This poem will also appear in the winter edition of Mediscan, published by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students.

© 1998 Canadian Medical Association

See also:
CaRMS and the man, of thee I scream
Of unmatched hopes, and shattered dreams.
Come hear the tale of all I've done
To earn the rank PGY-1.
I've been preparing for so long
Since birth at least — perhaps beyond.
I've chained myself to chair and desk
To study like a man possessed.
Forsaking body, mind and soul
To always make the honour roll.
I've got a CV amply filled
With high achievement overkill:
Cum laude after each degree
Nobels for peace and chemistry.
Plus publications, I've a few
In Science, Cell and Nature too.
And might I add, with modest hue
I'm often asked to peer review?
I've references one can't impugn:
DeBakey, Osler and Bethune.
So why am I so filled with fear
That this just ain't my Banner* year?
I've crossed the country, there and back
From Inuvik to Shediac.
And interviewed 'til I've turned blue
What more's a poor Med 4 to do?
To give myself some peace of mind
I've ranked each program I can find
In peds, and path, and family
And neuro, uro, ENT
Ophthalmo, ortho, obs and gyn —
A single berth would do me fine.
Do I dare hope internal springs?
For godsakes, I'll do anything!
Admit me to emergency!
Cut me a place in surgery!
A chance is all I ask of them
I'll even try out biochem!
A doctor's all I want to be
What is it that they want from me?
Perhaps my heart? My spleen? My lungs?
My firstborn child? My name in blood?
I'll work for free! Call one in three!
From here until eternity!
How strange to think if I've no luck
I'll be burned 'cause a match ain't struck!
I've got to somehow try and see
The world a bit less lit'rally
With metaphors and similes

And perhaps USMLEs.†
But would I shake just like a Speare
If all the "damned spots" disappeared?
Maybe there's still some hope for me
In law, or homeopathy.
This process has lost all its charms.
It causes dread and frank alarm.
If I get through it, yet unharmed
I'll bid a fond farewell to CaRMS.

*Sandy Banner is executive director of the Canadian Resident Matching Service.
†United States Medical Licensing Examinations

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| CMAJ March 10, 1998 (vol 158, no 5) / JAMC le 10 mars 1998 (vol 158, no 5) |