It is hard to imagine that after working at my internship for a few months, I was expected to not only have mastered appropriate technical skills and complex medical decision-making but simultaneously compose a quality application to residency programs, including asking my superiors for letters of recommendation. Luckily, one of my other intern-mates was also applying to residencies at the same time, so we both were able to share the joy of a few hours of sleep, overnight colic surgeries, and appointment days which seemed to drag on forever while stressing to get our residency applications done on time. Secretly, I know we both loved how busy we were. Adding a residency application to the mix was a challenge in my eyes, and we both equally rose to the occasion. We had been vying for our respective residencies for a few years at this point, putting in the hours with the clinicians that could help guide our future paths and scouring the veterinary literature to absorb any tidbits of knowledge related to our respective clinical interests.
In the end, I was quite pleased with my residency application. I felt confident about what I had accomplished in veterinary school, the internship I was completing, and the individuals who had offered to write what I hope were lovely letters of recommendation. I was confident in myself, but not sure that I was going to land a diagnostic imaging residency. After all, the match rate for most residencies is low, with diagnostic imaging frequently coming in at the bottom in the 10-20% range (!!!).