For any medical student, match day is one of the most nerve-wracking and the most rewarding. Saint James School of Medicine alum Nicole Asdell Fox recently shared her journey to getting matched and how she handled the process.
“The match process was definitely stressful, but I tried to have fun with it at the same time. I applied to 85 programs. I got 13 interviews. So I did a lot of traveling. The interviewing is fun. Most programs take you out for a dinner the night before, and then you’ll have a full day at the hospital to tour and interview with several faculty. Overall, it was a good experience, and I got a good look at a lot of different hospitals and the ways that different places do things,” she explained.
Nicole was a nurse for three years before deciding to change her career and pursue her passion for pediatric medicine. “It was a really seamless transition to be able to start at SJSM, and my experience as a nurse really helped me to be very successful in the program,” she explained.
But preparation was also key for Nicole’s success at SJSM. Before every new rotation, she would block out the material she wanted to get through in order to prepare for the exam, as well as the practice questions, and would divide that over the amount of time that she was in that rotation. She did all of this in an effort to make sure that she was fully prepared and ready to take that Step 2 CK right after her core rotations were finished.
And all of her hard work and dedication paid off. Just a few months ago, Nicole learned that she was matched with the pediatrics program at Geisinger Health Care in Danville, Pennsylvania. “It was very, very high on my match list, so I was really happy with that,” she shared.
As she winds down her time at SJSM and prepares for her new life as a doctor, Nicole has some advice for current students and those thinking about attending Saint James. “The biggest piece of advice I would give would be to always take care of yourself. This is a lot of hard work, so you need to practice a lot of self-care. Working out and meditating, making sure to eat properly, and things like that. If you’re not taking care of yourself really well, you’re not going to be able to excel in your studies, and more importantly, you’re not going to be able to help the patients.”
She continued, “I loved, loved, loved living on the island of Anguilla. I found it so peaceful and such a great place to study because there really aren’t a lot of distractions, and there are a lot of ways to unwind and help yourself relax during those really stressful periods.”
Nicole is passionate about helping other students navigate their journey to becoming a doctor by sharing her experiences on her blog. You can follow her journey at DrNicoleFox44.blogspot.com.
RESIDENT SPOTLIGHT: Afsha Rais, MD, PGY-3