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Wellness After Match

By Brittany Tschaen posted 03-17-2020 13:04


“Match Day” - This phrase conveys themes of uncertainty, opportunity as well as mixed feelings of anxiety, worry, and stress. While you may be thinking about what’s next, keep in mind steps you can take now to best prepare yourself going forward. From the ASHP RAAG Well-Being and Resilience workgroup, below are few helpful wellness tips for participants in this year’s ASHP Match.


For those who matched -- congratulations! Make time to celebrate with family, classmates, or mentors as these connections were likely vital to this professional milestone. While matching with a residency program creates a new chapter in your professional career, here are few tips to consider in coming months before embarking on this journey.

  1. Seek information about your state’s pharmacist licensure requirements (and register early!)
  2. Requirements for pharmacist license differ between states, some may request additional exams or information (i.e. compounding exam for New York, registered intern hours for PA).
  3. All programs have an absolute deadline to obtain licensure (note: timelines vary by state)
  4. Register early for exams to avoid stressors of studying during residency duties (this can be overwhelming and stressful during transitions)
  5. Start making relocation plans if you are moving away from your current residence.
  6. While your residency program may share communications facilitating this transition, research neighborhoods near your residency -- keeping in mind the daily commute, cost of living, and access to places aligning with your own hobbies.
  7. Capitalize in the final months before residency begins through maximizing learning opportunities, engaging in self-care habits, or scheduling time away.
  8. This is a window of opportunity to reinforce didactic concepts, gain valuable feedback, and pursue additional learning experiences.
  9. Examples of self-care habits may include incorporating healthy foods in your diet, exercise routines, or forms of meditation practices.
  10. Alternatively, scheduling time away to help decompress or show gratitude may include vacations or social gatherings with family, friends, or mentors.

As you begin this next step of your career path, hopefully these general tips are helpful in navigating the licensure process, creating relocation plans, and assimilating self-care habits to support personal well-being.

For those who did not match during Phase I, breathe. It can be difficult to see this now, but the world is not ending. There are ways to move forward after this and remain strong.

  1. Focus on your well-being and take a day or two to regroup and regain your confidence.
  2. Try not to shut yourself off from the world. Reach out to family and friends for support.
  3. It is important to reflect on your own career goals and why you decided to apply to a residency program to begin with.
  4. This is also a good time to reach out to mentors for advice on how to proceed forward.
  5. Check out ASHP’s Phase II Resources
  6. Residency Guide: Preparation for Phase II of the Match
  7. Navigate Phase II of the Match
  8. Advice for Phase II of the Match
  9. One thing to keep in mind for phase II is that everything moves FAST.
  10. While there is a deadline to submit the rank list for phase II is not until April 1st, many programs receive a large number applications, and thus it is important to submit your application early.
  11. It also may be helpful to reach out to the residency program directors of programs to express interest and help differentiate yourself from other applicants.
  12. For the most part, the interview process will include phone interview(s) of varying lengths. As a result, you don’t have to worry about high travel costs. However, if programs are located near you and it’s feasible, it would be helpful to try to have an on-site interview, even if not initially posed as an option by the program. This will help reinforce your interest in the program, as well as give you a better idea about the fit to your wants and needs.

While it’s natural for many to want to be alone during this difficult time, this is an opportunity to reach out and provide support for others.

  1. Try to be mindful that some may not want to share their experiences with everyone or want to discuss their match results while others might be more open.
  2. Encourage activities that support the well-being of your friend/colleague/family member. Examples include exercise, journal/read/reflect, contact their support systems via phone calls, text/phone calls/social media.
  3. It can be helpful to offer your support by texting, emailing or calling those to provide positive thoughts. If you went through Phase 2 of the match and feel comfortable sharing your experience with others, we encourage you to share any suggestions or tips you may have in the comment section below. Sharing experiences is one of the best ways to learn from each other and we hope that this will be helpful for those looking for guidance.


If you are looking for more resources, check out ASHP's Match Day Resources!