The palpable excitement that filled the Faculty Conference Room today as the clock struck noon became a loud roar of voices as Mai-Lan Rogoff, MD, associate dean for student affairs, began calling the names of all 85 fourth-year School of Medicine students set to graduate this June. One by one, students squeezed through the crowd of fellow students, family members, friends and other members of the Medical School community to receive a much-anticipated envelope that would tell them where the next step in their medical education journey would take them.
And after the final name was called, together as a group, the fourth-years opened their Match Day envelopes and read where they will be going to do their residencies. Screams punctuated the release of emotions as students learned of their fate, shared the news with families and then quickly sought out the fates of their comrades.
While each student has his or her own story, Dr. Rogoff gave a snapshot of a class that is not unlike others who have graduated from UMass Medical School. Sixty-three percent will enter primary care: 25 in internal medicine, 12 in family medicine, 12 in pediatrics and three in medicine/pediatrics. Just this week, U.S.News and World Report ranked UMMS eighth in the country for primary care education.
“You are doing the things we want you to do,” said Rogoff just before distributing the envelopes. She added that half of the class will be completing all their training in Massachusetts, including 16 who will be staying at UMMS to do their residencies at UMass Memorial Health Care.
Rachel Rosenberg from Wayland was ecstatic to learn she matched at her first choice, Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, in family medicine. She came to UMMS because of its reputation for primary care education and its focus on underserved populations.
“The human part of medicine is what I really love,” said Rosenberg. Her experiences here only confirmed her early desire to enter into primary care.
Ashil Gosalia from Lexington was happy to match with his first choice, Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University, where he will do his residency in internal medicine. But his stress for the day was far from over. He still had to wait for the fate of his fiancé, who is a medical student in Florida. They entered the couples match hoping she would land somewhere nearby so they could figure out where they will live.
“It will be a lot of work,” Gosalia said of his upcoming residency. “Each step is always tough, but it will get easier.”
The universal emotion was relief at finally knowing where the next step in the journey will lead. While half the class will remain in Massachusetts, others will scatter across the country—students matched in San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago and Denver and many will be close by in all the New England states.
In a unique UMMS tradition, as each student comes to the front of the room on Match Day, he or she deposits a dollar in a kitty and the last person to be called gets the kitty. This year, the honor went to Aimee Beth Falardeau of Blackstone who will be going to the University of Colorado to do her residency in family medicine.
The fourth in a series of stories running this week on UMassMedNow about Match Day. Read previous stories:The envelope please . . . and UMass Medical School ranks 8th in primary care education. Learn about the class of residents coming to UMass Medical School from across the country in tomorrow’s series finale.