In the middle of the night, word of my destiny filtered in. I promised myself that I would wait until the morning. Why groggily awaken to check at 2 am? Even if the news was joyous I would not be able to shake myself from the midnight miasma to celebrate. And nor was I in circumstances to celebrate-Japan is half a world away from friends and family.
Meanwhile it was 1 pm in New York. The world was aflutter as usual, but for me-and 15 000 other graduating medical students in the United States-the world was still. Our fate for at least the next several years was to be announced in one magical moment.
Almost all graduating medical students in the US simultaneously find out where they will be undertaking residency on 15 March. It is the culmination of months of waiting, perhaps a dozen days of interviews, and thousands