Virtual Match Day Preserves an Important Event for Fourth-Year Med Students
March 30, 2020
Upon learning where they will complete their residency training, Drexel University College of Medicine's fourth-year medical students typically celebrate with hugs and high-fives. This year, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic led students, staff and faculty to move their March 20 "Match Day" envelope-opening party online, preserving an important tradition without putting anyone at risk.
View Match Day 2020 Video on YouTube
Damarcus Ingram will be an internal medicine resident at Duke University Medical Center.
Fourth-year MD program student Damarcus Ingram said the change of venue didn't lessen his excitement at learning he'd been accepted into Duke University Medical Center's internal medicine residency.
"Even though the circumstances were different, I don't think the feeling differed at all," he said. "I'm really glad Drexel gave us the opportunity to do this with our peers, because they're the people who know what we've been through. They know the hard work we've put in."
The College's class of 2020 wasn't alone in making progress and finding a silver lining during this uncertain time. The National Resident Matching Program saw historic growth this year, receiving a record 40,084 applications as it expanded available residency positions to an all-time high of 37,256.
College of Medicine fourth-year medical student Meagan Clark had imagined bringing family and friends to the Match Day party but invited them to the virtual celebration instead.
Sefy Paulose (center) will be an ophthalmology resident at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.
In a flurry of supportive text messages, Clark's loved ones shared her nervous anticipation. Then, they cheered her good news: She will be an internal medicine resident at The Ohio State University, where her boyfriend, Adrian Rainero Garcia, also matched.
Rainero Garcia, who is from Spain, said his parents wouldn't have been able to visit for an in-person Match Day. Thanks to the remote-only ceremony, his family watched in real time as he was accepted into an emergency medicine program.
"Honestly, Match Day ended up being better than I ever expected," Clark said. "Being connected from that ceremony … we got to share that with our families."
Adrian Rainero Garcia (left) will be an emergency medicine resident at The Ohio State University, where Meagan Clark (right) will be an internal medicine resident.
Clark's interest in internal medicine gave her something in common with plenty of her peers. Other commonalities in the class of 2020 include:
- The majority will specialize as residents in primary care (103 graduates), internal medicine (62 graduates), or emergency medicine (26 graduates).
- 82 graduates will complete at least part of their training in Pennsylvania.
- 48 graduates will complete their residencies at University-affiliated hospitals.
The class of 2020 has a camaraderie and set of common goals that felt as strong as ever during their virtual Match Day gathering, according to fourth-year student Sefy Paulose, who will be an ophthalmology resident at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.
"Although Match Day wasn't what we expected, the situation at hand reminded us why we went into medicine in the first place — to join the health care workforce," Paulose said. "We have the unique privilege to care for patients at their most vulnerable moments and during unpredictable times like these."
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