Match Day!

Congratulations to all Senior Medical Students!

Match Creates March Madness Among Senior Medical Students

By Jennifer Nachbur

“Imagine surrendering the fate of your career, after four rigorous years of medical school and multiple interviews, to a highly sophisticated computerized system. While the suspense can be maddening, that’s how Match Day – an annual event involving roughly 16,000 medical students across the country – works. Graduating students at traditional U.S. medical schools are impartially matched via the National Resident Matching Program, a service that provides the mechanism for matching applicants to programs according to the preferences expressed by both parties on their individualized rank order lists. On Thursday, March 17 at noon, members of the University of Vermont College of Medicine’s Class of 2011 will learn where they will complete their residency.

Whether in public or in private, the Match Day envelope-opening process most often elicits a shout, laughter, or less often, tears. While that experience remains, UVM will roll out a new setting for Match rituals this year. Instead of the narrow hallways of the Given Building mailroom, this year’s event will take place in the spacious Health Science Research Facility’s Hoehl Gallery on a stage and feature a host of fun activities for students, faculty, family and friends to enjoy. Following a welcome from Associate Dean for Student Affairs G. Scott Waterman, M.D., medical student representatives will take the reins, randomly selecting each envelope, calling out the respective student’s name, collecting a dollar in a jar the final envelope recipient will win, and then handing the student his/her envelope.

UVM College of Medicine Dean Frederick C. Morin III, M.D., and Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education William Jeffries, Ph.D., will be on hand to congratulate students, who will each receive a commemorative sage green t-shirt declaring “Class of 2011 Match Day” on which they can scrawl their respective residency results with fabric pens. Residency locations will be plotted on both hard copy and virtual maps. In addition, the event will be webcast live so off-site viewers can participate.

Among the UVM College of Medicine’s Class of 2011 students awaiting Match news are:

* Michelle Shepard, an M.D.-Ph.D. student born and raised in Hardwick, Vt., was a UVM molecular genetics major whose doctoral thesis focused on the immune system during pregnancy. Two of her top medical school experiences – an obstetrics/gynecology (Ob/Gyn) clerkship and Acting Internship in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – led her to shift from a specialty in obstetrics/gynecology to pediatrics. “I was amazed by the miracle of birth and intrigued by how the babies grow and develop throughout childhood,” says Shepard, who hopes to do a genetics fellowship after her residency.
* Nicholas Aunchman, a South Burlington High School and North Carolina State graduate, says a combination of several clinical rotations and overseas trips led him to choose emergency medicine. “I was interested in surgery, pediatrics, Ob/Gyn and neurology, but couldn’t pick one, and wanted a fast-paced, action-packed specialty,” admits Aunchman, whose post-earthquake rotation in Haiti and upbringing in Vermont taught him that “no matter how far you travel from home, problems still exist on your own doorstep.”
* Yangseon Park, the daughter of a Korean military attaché, attended American high school in Mexico City, and majored in international studies at Johns Hopkins. Always interested in global health, she loved the clinical exposure she gained during her first-year “Doctoring in Vermont” course and credits her clerkship faculty with helping her see the personal side of different specialties. “Many of them shared their life stories with me . . . they were very honest,” she says. During a surgery clerkship at Fletcher Allen, she found her calling – “I loved every bit of it!” – and is awaiting news of a general surgery match.
* Oli Francis, a San Francisco Bay area native and biomedical engineer who co-founded a robotics start-up business in California’s Silicon Valley before medical school, hopes to match in emergency medicine. He enjoyed each of his third-year clinical rotations, but was hooked by the unique role of the emergency physician to bring together a variety of skills and multiple specialties in order to provide care to the patient. “It’s the mystery, the level of acuity, the pace and the opportunity to make a positive difference that makes emergency medicine endlessly interesting to me,” says Francis.

Match results will be made available to off-site students online at 1 p.m. EDT. Members of the Class of 2011 will receive their medical degrees at Commencement on Sunday, May 22, 2011 in Ira Allen Chapel.”