Historic Davidge Hall was the site of Match Day festivities March 18, 2010, when the members of the School of Medicine's graduating class discovered where they will 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 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.
After more than an hour of shouts of joy and sighs of relief from those who had already torn open their letters, all but one envelope had been handed out. As a reward for her patience, Sara Jeurling was given the bag into which each student had tossed a monetary donation before accepting their Match letters. This money is traditionally used for an after-match celebration. "I felt like it actually went pretty fast," says Sara, who will be heading to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for a psychiatry residency. "I was excited to see everyone else get their placements, and I'd already waited this long, so it really wasn't a problem."
This year, School of Medicine students matched at 72 different hospitals in 24 states. Nearly 41 percent will be staying in Maryland, although not all at the University of Maryland Medical Center. "I'm doing my first year at Franklin Square, and then I'm going into radiology at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh," said Constantine "Coz" Burgan.
Staying at the University of Maryland Medical Center is Nidhi Goel, who has landed a medicine-pediatrics residency. "It feels awesome!" exclaimed Nidhi, who had Mom and Dad with her to celebrate. Also going into pediatrics is Deborah Pulver, who matched at Children's National Medical Center in Washington,DC. "It's been a very suspenseful day - and a little overwhelming!"
Dan Paluchowski agreed. "It's been a very emotional day, that's for sure," he said. "You don't know where you're going to go; you might be near your friends and family or you might not be." Dan is headed for Minneapolis, for an emergency medicine residency at Hennepin County Medical Center.
Also going into emergency medicine is Jordan Celeste, who is heading to Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital. "This day - it's one of those things, looking at it, you just want it to be over with," she said. "But no matter what happens, it's great." Joining Jordan at Brown will be J.B. Bertumen, who is doing an internal medicine residency. "The idea of being in charge of patients is a little exciting and a little scary at the same time," he admits.
Thom Reznik is also off to Brown, his No. 1 pick. "It was a little nerve-racking," he says of the Match festivities. "But I had my wife here with me. We're excited. I would have been excited to go to any of my top five choices, so this was just icing on the cake."
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