Opening their Match Day envelopes in unison at noon on Friday, Mar. 20, the School of Medicine Class of 2015 at UMass Medical School erupted in shouts of joy as they learned where they will begin their careers as doctors.
“This match is outstanding,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins in commencing the proceedings for 121 students. “We are so proud of you. Congratulations!”
Among their many accomplishments, the Class of 2015 is fulfilling the institutional mission to train physicians who will practice primary care, many of them in Massachusetts. Sixty-two students, comprising 51 percent of the class, are choosing careers in internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics. Add those matched in obstetrics & gynecology and emergency medicine, and 80 students representing 66 percent of the class are entering primary care specialties. Forty-eight graduates will begin practice in Massachusetts, including 12 who are staying at UMMS.
A match made in high school weds love and science on Match Day
For Templeton natives and childhood sweethearts Sarah LeBlanc Aker and Aaron Aker, the much anticipated day ended with tears of joy. Her match in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital dovetails with his next destination as a biomedical sciences PhD candidate at Harvard University.
“We’ve been very lucky that we’ve been able to support each other and grow together and our interests have complemented each other as scientists,” said Sarah.
After graduating from Narragansett High School, the couple attended UMass Dartmouth together. In 2011 Sarah began medical school at UMMS, and Aaron joined her a year later as a research technician in the virology lab of Abraham Brass, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology & physiological systems.
“[Pediatrics] was the first rotation I did in third year. I absolutely loved it and I knew right away that that was the field I was going to go into,” she recalled before Match Day. She had just one word to say after opening her envelope: “Perfect!”
Hear more from the Akers in the video, and view other happy matches in the slide show.