Fourth-Year Medical Students Meet Their Match
March 19, 2018
On Friday, March 16, the sense of nervousness, excitement and anticipation was palpable in the Drexel University Main Building Auditorium where fourth-year medical students had gathered with friends, family and College of Medicine faculty and staff to learn where they would be spending the next three to seven years of their lives.
Known as Match Day, the annual event takes place at noon, when thousands of medical students across the country open white envelopes to learn where they will do their residency training. Following a countdown, the auditorium erupted as people high-fived, hugged and cried.
View photos from Match Day
After completing a lengthy interview process, graduating medical students submit a list of programs where they wish to train, ranked in order of preference, to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Program directors also submit a list of applicants whom they have interviewed and wish to train, in order of preference. Based on these combined preferences, the NRMP uses an algorithm to determine match outcomes.
Shakira Burton, who matched at her top choice of Carolinas Medical Center where she will pursue general surgery, took a moment to reflect on the day when she first arrived to the ceremony. “Looking around the auditorium at my fellow classmates, I was overwhelmed with the realization that we had finally made it to this point,” she said. “I could not have asked to be part of a more supportive, nurturing and compassionate medical school community.”
Burton began jumping and screaming upon opening her letter before realizing she didn’t tell her parents what it said. “It was as if I assumed they could read my mind,” she said. “I will never forget this moment, and having my parents there and seeing the proud look on their faces put the icing on the cake.”
Genevieve Fasano burst into tears of joy upon seeing her first choice when opening her envelope. “I felt like I had finally achieved what I have been working for essentially my whole life,” she said. She matched to a general surgery program at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and is looking forward to what comes next.
“When I began medical school I faced a tremendous amount of ‘imposter syndrome’ where I felt like I was inadequate and everyone was smarter than me,” she explained. “Then, over the years, I worked my way up to matching at one of the best residencies in the country — in surgery! It has been surreal and I couldn’t be more excited about the next chapter, no matter how difficult it will be.”
Prior to the opening of the envelopes, Dr. Valerie Weber, the Deborah J. Tuttle, MD and John P. Piper, MD Vice Dean for Educational Affairs, and Dr. Daniel V. Schidlow, the Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean and Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs, offered a toast to the students.
Dean Schidlow discussed how each new phase in one’s education is like starting all over again, but “the only constant is you.” Reflecting on his own Match Day experience, Dean Schidlow shared advice, saying, “More important than where you go is what you do when you get there.”
In all, 240 College of Medicine students matched with residency programs, 72 of them with Pennsylvania hospitals. Thirty-eight students will be going to New York, 36 to California, 22 to New Jersey, 13 to Ohio, and 11 to Maryland, among other places.
Internal medicine was the most popular field, with 57 students heading off to work in it for their residency. Twenty-four students each will go into family medicine and general surgery; 21 into pediatrics; 18 each into obstetrics/gynecology and emergency medicine; 15 into anesthesiology; 11 into radiology or interventional radiology; 10 into orthopaedic surgery; 9 into ophthalmology; 6 into dermatology; 5 each into med/peds (combined internal medicine and pediatrics), neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and psychiatry; 4 into otolaryngology; and 3 into neurosurgery.
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