After 4 years of college, then 4 years of medical school, you graduate and are finally a Medical Doctor (M.D.) But you can't really practice medicine (at least on your own) until you have completed a Residency (additional, more specific training). So, in your last year of medical student, you apply to residency programs in the field of your choice. You complete applications, take exams, write essays, get letters of recommendation, and then, if selected, interview with various Residency programs. After interviewing, you compare and contrast the various programs with which you have interviewed, and come up with a "Match List" - a list of the programs you would like to attend, from your #1 choice down to your least favorite (but all of which you must be willing to be a part of for the next 3 to 6 years, depending on program length). The programs also make a list of their preferred applicants, and the lists go into a big computer program which 'matches' them all up. So, each applicant gets accepted to only one program, and that is where they must go.
This is a wee bit stressful for us, trying to determine which programs to rank so that 1) the Mr. will get the best training, 2) we find the best environment in which to raise our children (at least for the next several, formative years of their little lives, 3) which programs will be best for the Mr.'s careers as a whole (post-residency Fellowship opportunities and job market), etc. We realize it is not entirely up to us (some people match to their last or low-ranked programs) and strongly believe that the Lord is over all, but we want to make the most educated decision possible.
We submit our list in 2 days. Any final words of wisdom from anyone?
Oh, and I've noticed several votes for Maine. I have personally never been to Maine, though it has always appealed to me, but I'm wondering if any of you have specific reasons for voting for it???
Speak now or forever hold your peace. :)