Historic Davidge Hall was the site of Match Day festivities on March 15, when the School of Medicine's Class of 2013 discovered where they'll pursue the next step in their medical careers. Held at the same time in medical schools around the country, Match Day is when fourth-year medical students find out the residency program into which they have been accepted. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) conducts the Match nationwide, using a computer algorithm that aligns the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs in order to fill thousands of training positions available at U.S. teaching hospitals. This was the largest Match in NRMP history.
"We want and expect greatness FROM you, but we also want greatness FOR you," said Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, MBA, PhD, University of Maryland School of Medicine. "You are the next generation of family practitioners, surgeons, pediatricians, internists and specialists. The health of our nation will rely on your success. Through your distinguished academic records and years of hard work, you have demonstrated the quality of intellect, the training, and the level of discipline needed to academically succeed in this top-tier medical school. Today, you find out where you will take those skills outside of these walls and into the 'real world' that needs you so desperately."
Due to space issues in Davidge Hall, the Match Day ceremony had to be changed a bit. Rather than having family there with them, the students gathered with just their classmates and faculty to receive their envelopes. Close-circuit television enabled the families to watch the event from the campus center, but many students waited until they were with their loved ones before opening their envelopes. "I am very pleasantly surprised," said Donna Parker, MD, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, of how the students and their families were handling the change. "We have a great turnout, and it's nice to have the ability to mingle with family ahead of time, to calm their nerves. It's a good day."
While many students saved their reveals until the luncheon at the Marriott for the families, others couldn't be so patient. Instead, they tore open the news in front of their cheering classmates. The loudest screams were for those staying at Maryland, but things did not get really rowdy until an impromptu Harlem Shake broke out in the middle of the ceremony. (Watch the Harlem Shake video at http://youtu.be/qNem8cl8nDo).
The silliness helped eased nerves during what can be a torturous process for students, as names are called randomly from a chest full of envelopes, so the future doctors don't know if they will be first or last to find out where they're headed. Rebecca Harvey was the lucky one picked first. Paul Goleb was equally lucky, even though he was the last to receive an envelope this year. As a reward for his patience, he won the contents of The Pot of Gold, a green cauldron into which each student had put a monetary donation before accepting his/her Match letter. This money is traditionally used for an after-Match celebration.
This year, 154 doctors-to-be at the University of Maryland School of Medicine matched to 67 different hospitals in 27 different states. Caroline Gross, the daughter of Steven Gross, MD, Class of 1973, is heading to New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia, for a residency in Anesthesiology. That will put her a bit closer to dad and mom Enid Gross, PhD, who live in Syracuse, NY. "I am the proudest person in the room," said Enid with a smile. Caroline was able to smile, too, once she knew where she was headed. "It was kind of nerve-wracking," she said of the Match experience. "I was really nervous." Mom and Dad were thrilled that Caroline matched closer to home, but even if she hadn't, "as long as she's happy, we're happy," said Dr. Gross. "We can visit anywhere."
Hannah Rosenblum is also headed out of Maryland, for a Family Medicine residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Presbyterian Shadyside. "It's been a ton of hard work getting to this point, so it's a reward to finally get here," she said. Hannah's mother, Miriam, was amazed at how quickly four years of medical school have gone by. "We're finally here, after 20 years of school," Miriam said. "We're extremely proud and relieved." Hannah's father, Paul, knows the distance wonýt keep the family apart. "She's always kept in touch and kept us with all the family things in spite of all the hard work she was doing. I'm very proud of her." Adds Miriam, "we'll be visiting whether she wants us to or not!"
Novlette Akinseye and Kevin Affum, who met in medical school and will be married in April, are going to Pittsburgh, too, for Internal Medicine residencies at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "It's so exciting," said Kevin. "We've been with each other since first year, we've been able to experience all the highs and lows together, so it's exciting to get to this point. It's the culmination of all of our hard work, and we're so happy."
Many of our students will not have far to travel to keep in touch with Baltimore friends and family. Forty of the 154 students will stay here in Maryland, although not all at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). Class President Hersch Bhatia is one of them. "This is amazing, it's a day we've worked so hard to get to," said Hersch, who landed a Family Medicine residency at UMMC. "It's possibly bigger than graduation, because this is where we find out what we're doing and where weýre going for the next few years. It's a fun day."
Here Are the Major Match Stats on the Class of 2013:
16% matched in Internal Medicine, compared to 23% last year
13% matched in Family Medicine, compared to 11% last year
10% matched in Emergency Medicine, compared to 11% last year
8% matched in Pediatrics, the same as last year
6% matched in Psychology, compared to 5% last year
5% matched in General Surgery, same as last year
5% matched in Radiology, compared to 6% last year
3% matched in OB/GYN, compared to 7% last year