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Fourth-Year Students Find Their Perfect Match

Thursday, March 15, 2007

 Amanda Kramer and husband Brad learned they've matched together to Case Western Chilidren's Hospital.

Historic Davidge Hall was the site of Match Day festivities for the School of Medicine's bicentennial year class. Held at the same time in medical schools around the country, Match Day is when graduating medical students learn the residency program into which they have been accepted. This year's graduating class matched to 106 different programs at 63 hospitals in 24 states. The envelopes were handed out by tuxedo-clad Assistant Deans of Student Affairs Michael Plaut, PhD; Gary Plotnick, MD and Joseph Martinez, MD.


As they waited for noon, the designated time to begin handing out Match letters, students, families and friends heard a presentation on the rich history of the school by Milford Foxwell, MD, Associate Dean for Admissions and an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Foxwell's tales of deadly student duels, historic patients and famous (or sometimes infamous) graduates entertained the crowd, but there was still much fidgeting, as shaky students waited for word on their futures. Finally it was envelope time, and student names were pulled from a special box and called at random, one by one.


Amanda Kramer couldn't help getting emotional when she learned she and husband Brad had received a successful "couples match" to Case Western Children's Hospital in Cleveland. "They're tears of joy," she was quick to clarify. "I'm very happy."


Claudia Viens was so excited she was still shaking a half hour after learning she'd gotten her first choice, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, where she will study Anesthesiology. "It's unbelievable," she said. "The stress has been mounting for a couple months now, and it culminated at noon when the names were called.  It's surreal. It's about a million degrees in here, and my heart is beating out of my chest. I can't believe it."


Thirty-six members of the class will continue their training at the University of Maryland, including Joseph Scalea. Joseph is the nephew of Shock Trauma Physician-in-Chief  Thomas Scalea, MD, and like his well-respected uncle, Joseph also aspires to be a surgeon. "He wants to end up in transplant surgery," mom Ann-Marie explains. "It's wonderful to see these kids living their dreams. Hopefully the next part of his life is as fulfilling as it's been so far."


When their names were called, students added their signatures to the school's honor book, a leather-bound volume signed by all medical students in their first year and their final year, pledging to maintain integrity throughout their careers in medicine. As members of the bicentennial year class, each student also received a copy of the book, "University of Maryland School of Medicine: The First Two Centuries" from author Larry Pitroff, executive director of the Medical Alumni Association. As a reward for her patience, the final student to receive an envelope was given the bag into which each student had tossed a small monetary donation – money that is traditionally used for a post-Match celebration.


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 Paula Yellon will also do her residency at UMMC.

 There were many smiles and shouts of joy as envelopes were opened.

 Sarah Morgan was the first to learn her future.

 Historic Davidge Hall is the setting for the Match Day celebration.

 Dr. Plotnick babysits for a student signing the honor book.

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