Match Day 2021 was a Success! Now What?

Medical student finding out they matched

You’ve just received the best news ever: you matched to a residency program!

After celebrating (and make sure you do, because you earned it), it’s time to start planning. After all, Match Day is in March, and almost all residency programs start around July 1. 

In other words: your life is about to change very, very quickly. Here are three things you can do to prepare. 

Complete the required paperwork

Before you start your residency, your residency program will need to collect quite a lot of information from you—and fast.

They may ask you for any number of things including your social security card, birth certificate, driver’s license, CV, and vaccination records.

Find a new home

Moving to a different city? You need to figure out where you’re going to live.

First, determine how much you can afford for housing (see below about creating a budget). This will also help you decide whether you can live on your own—or if you need shared accommodations.

Then, go online to look for available places. You can also reach out to the current residents or your residency program coordinators for tips on where to live. And if you need one, they may be able to connect you with other residents in search of a roommate.

Here are a few additional things to consider:

  • Do you have time to visit your new city, to look at places? While it’s ideal to see prospective homes in person, you may have to resort to virtual tours.
  • You may need to break a lease or mortgage. Will you need to pay a fee? 
  • Packing can take a lot of time. Rather than doing everything 1-2 days before you leave, consider doing a bit of packing each day leading up to your move.
  • Moving to a new city can be expensive. You’ll want to investigate different options to see what fits your budget. Self-moving can save you a lot but takes up lots of time and energy. Using a moving service is more expensive but can reduce the hassle. If you use movers, secure the best price possible by booking your movers several months in advance. 

Get your financial ducks in a row

The average first-year resident makes about $60,000—which means you’re about to go from negative dollars to positive dollars, but not very many positive dollars.

Your rent or mortgage payment will likely be your most expensive monthly bill. Once you have this, start to create a monthly budget to reflect your new financial situation. This will help ensure you always have enough money for the things you need and the things that are important to you. 

As you’re doing your budget, you may realize you need financing or refinancing— especially if you are moving to a more expensive city and/or graduating with debt or personal loans.

This is an ideal time to start reconsidering your banking options. What financial institutions are available in the city you’re moving to? Is there a bank that will move with you through your career, past residency? And how likely are they to provide doctors-in-training with adequate financing at fair interest rates? 

At Panacea Financial, we are doctors ourselves. So we understand the financial complexities that happen during medical training, so we designed the PRN Personal Loan to get you money, fast. As your financial needs evolve throughout your residency, we can offer custom products and services to meet those needs. 

And even better: we’re a nationwide digital bank, meaning it doesn’t matter where you move through your career, because we will always be accessible to you. 

You can do this

Once again, congratulations on your match! This is an exciting—albeit tumultuous—time for you. So you’re bound to feel a range of emotions over the next few months leading up to your residency. 

The good news is that by taking action now, you’ll be sure to alleviate a bit of stress—and maybe even enjoy some of the chaos during this transitional time. 

Good luck!

Michael Jerkins, MD MEd is the President and Co-Founder of Panacea Financial and is also a practicing physician. He has lectured locally and nationally on physician personal finance, and has been published on student debt associated with medical education.

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