On Friday, March 15, 2013 at noon, fourth year medical students at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania will learn where they are headed for their residency training, marking the transition from medical school into a lifetime of healing.
This year, students Jon and Martha Kole will be sharing their thoughts and perspectives during this exciting week of their lives! Married and matching, they have a unique perspective on this major stepping stone into a doctor’s future. We'll check back with the Koles throughout the week!
On Tuesday, September 29th 2009 we sat next to each other for the first time at a Phillies game sponsored by the School of Medicine Alumni Office. We were both 1st year medical students at the Perelman School of Medicine. Jon, playful and optimistic, and Martha, passionate and pragmatic, couldn’t have been more perfect for each other. Sparks flew and we were engaged 12/12/10, married 4/14/12 and on 3/15/13 we will ‘Match’ together, hopefully in a city that starts with the letter P. Jon hopes to match in a Triple Board program which will allow him to be certified in Pediatrics, Child Psychiatry and Adult Psychiatry. Martha’s dreams are to provide for women within the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology. But until March 15th, we will continue to keep our fingers (and our toes) crossed!
The process has been long, tiring, expensive, and anxiety provoking (Martha) while exciting, engaging, educational, and enriching (Jon). As with any married couple, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Our ‘Couples Match’ journey started on September 15th at 10:01am as we sat in bed frantically pounding the submit buttons on our computers. At 10:11am our applications were officially sent to a combined 47 programs at 16 cities across the United States. The waiting game began.
But it didn’t last long! As interview offers began pouring in, the initial excitement was soon replaced with the daunting complexity of our shared calendar. Our initial hopes of traveling together and exploring each city was no longer a reality. Jon in Cleveland while Martha is in Seattle, New York and Chicago, Durham and Iowa City… we were lucky to be in the same time zone. In the month of November we were together in Philadelphia for a whopping 2 days. Jon has never spent so much time on the phone.
Removing our interview garb for the final time in mid-January, we could both celebrate our good fortune at having visited so many excellent programs. We would have to make some tough choices. Jon’s 100 point scoring system went head to head with Martha’s thorough reflective essays. The kitchen table was covered in Post-its, Excel sheets and housing pamphlets. After two weeks of dining on the couch, decisions were made and a list was submitted.
Now, days before we open our envelopes, we distract ourselves however we can. Matinee movies, mid-day lectures, and manuscript writing rounds out our days. Martha might enjoy browsing apartments on Craigslist if she didn’t feel the need to look in 5 different cities for fear of ‘jinxing it.’ And Jon may have learned everything one can know about Income-Based Loan Repayment.
The truth is we are honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to interview so broadly. The process has taught us a great deal about medicine, our future fields and ourselves. We hope we can secure a position at one of our top choices, but if not, we have the thing that is most important of all. Each other.
-Jon and Martha Kole