The Class of 2008 Finds Their Perfect Match
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Khalilah Dann, who matched in Family Medicine, will be heading to the University of North Carolina with her husband and son.
Historic Davidge Hall was the site of Match Day festivities March 20, when the School of Medicine's Class of 2008 discovered the next step in their medical careers. Held at the same time in medical schools around the country, Match Day is when graduating medical students find out the residency program into which they have been accepted. This year's Match was the largest in history, according to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), which conducts the Match nationwide.
The Match uses a computer algorithm that aligns the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs in order to fill the thousands of training positions available at U.S. teaching hospitals. Nationwide, 28,737 applicants vied for one of 22,240 first-year residency positions. Of those applicants, a record-high 15,242 were U.S. medical school seniors, 94.2 percent of whom successfully matched to a residency program. The number of first-year residency positions available through the Match was also the highest in history, as 395 additional positions were added this year.
At Davidge Hall, the envelopes were handed out by tuxedo-clad Assistant Deans of Student Affairs Michael Plaut, PhD, and Joseph Martinez, MD, with help from Gina Madrinan-Perez, M.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. "My own Match Day was 10 ago to the day," remembered Martinez, an alumni of the medical school who had also received his envelope in Davidge Hall. "But I still remember everything about it, and I'm sure you all will as well."
One by one each student was called to the front to accept a Match envelope. "I matched in OB/Gyn," revealed Laura Silverstein, who will remain at the University of Maryland Medical Center. "I was so nervous coming in, and it was such a relief to finally get my envelope and see where I was going to be. Maryland was one of my top choices, and I'm really, really excited to stay here. It's a great program and I think I'm going to get great training."
This year University of Maryland School of Medicine students matched to 102 different programs within 52 hospitals and across 20 states. More are planning to go into primary care medicine (26%) than any class in recent history. The biggest increases were seen in Family Medicine and Surgery.
Sarah Eby and Eric Buchner were thrilled to get a couples match to their first choice, the University of Virginia (UVa), where they both will study Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. "It was crazy, I'm still shaking," said Eby of the Match Day experience. Buchner, who received his envelope first, waited until Eby also got hers, so they could open them together. "I've never been more nervous in my life," he admitted.
Joining them at Virginia is Dave Carlberg, who will be studying Emergency Medicine. It was a bit of a couples match for him as well, since his fiancé Julie is studying Astronomy at UVa. "It was a great feeling to get it," he admitted with a smile.
Dana Neutze is headed a bit further south. "I’m going University of North Carolina, and I'm really excited," she said. "I was so nervous, not so much about not getting a place I wanted, because I was really excited about all the places I interviewed. But I applied all over the country, so I had no idea where I was going to end up. Now I know where I'll be moving to, and I'm thrilled."
Chris Mitchell had no such problems. Having received an early Match to the Mayo Clinic, where he will study Urology, "it was already over for me," he explained. "But it was fun watching everyone else, how nervous and excited they were."
Sarah Mathew learned she is heading north to Penn, her first choice. "I was actually fairly calm," said Mathew, who was flanked by her mom and dad as she awaited the good news. "I just wanted to get my envelope."
Clarence Lam, who found out he'll be staying in Baltimore, at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, wasn't nervous before things started. "But seeing everyone come in, and then having to wait for hours until I got my envelope, that's what made me nervous," he declared with a laugh.
Upon getting their envelopes, each student was also given a copy of "The Future of Medicine: Megatrends in Healthcare That Will Improve Your Quality of Life" by Stephen Schimpff, a clinical professor in the Department of Medicine. After an hour full of squeals of delight and sighs of relief, all but one envelope had been handed out. As a reward for his patience, Parijat Didolkar, the final student to receive his envelope, was given the bag into which each student had tossed a small monetary donation as he/she was handed their Match letters – money that is traditionally used for an after-Match celebration.