It was a day filled with emotion at Baltimore’s historic Hippodrome Theatre on March 20, when Match Day was held for the Class of 2015 of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. As the clock struck noon, medical students here and around the country received an envelope telling them where they are going to be doing their residency training in the years to come. The hours before the event were filled with anticipation.
“I’m a little nervous and also very excited,” said Nick Phelps, who started medical school at the age of 27 after first pursuing his dream of being a professional musician, touring the U.S. and Europe as a guitarist. But he had another deeply rooted calling. “I have always had a love for medicine. My parents are both physicians, so I grew up around medicine, seeing them work, and both of my siblings are now doctors. I grew up in a medical family, so it’s kind of in my blood.” Phelps was happy with his match to the Baylor University Medical Center in his home state of Texas, where he will continue his training in diagnostic radiology.
“There is a good air of anxiety,” said Negar Yaghooti, as she prepared to find out where she will spend the next three years as an internal medicine resident. Yaghooti was ecstatic about her match to the University of Southern California, where she will work in a county hospital treating the underserved. “I am really excited to be in that forefront finally, to be the one to provide that care.”
At the University of Maryland, Baltimore, students come to the stage dancing to the sound of a song they select for the occasion. It was a joyous event for family and friends, as well as the students. This year, University of Maryland School of Medicine students matched at 60 hospitals in 26 states. Thirty-five members of the Class of 2015 will stay in the state of Maryland for their residency training.
"As I look out into your eager faces, I am full of pride and optimism," said Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, in his remarks to the students and their families. "I see in you the future of medicine, and because of this I know that there are brighter days ahead for all of us."
Nationwide, more than 41,000 U.S. and international students applied for one of the approximately 30,000 first-year residency positions offered in this year’s Main Residency Match, according to the National Residency Matching Program. Even though more students than ever are enrolling in medical schools, the United States is still facing a significant physician shortage, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The physician shortage is keenly felt by underserved patients in urban health care settings. That’s where Vince Hill plans to practice medicine. Hill matched to Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he will specialize in internal medicine and pediatrics. “I am just so glad to have been able to accomplish all this at Maryland. I am glad to have had the relationships that I have had with faculty and friends here. I am really happy.”