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UVA Medical Students Learn Locations of Residencies

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It was an emotional day for medical students at the University of Virginia and across the country. Fourth-year students gathered to find out at the same time where they are headed for their residencies.

It's called the match. The students met at McLeod Hall Auditorium to learn where they will report for the final chapter of medical training, and a computer made all of the decisions.

One by one, students leapt to the stage at the UVA Medical School to take a single sealed envelope.

“Four years of college, four years of medical school and inside this envelope is the future for the next six years of your life,” said UVA medical student Brianna Abadie.

After receiving their envelopes, the students waited until noon to join other fourth-year students across the country, opening their own envelopes to learn for the first time where they will be living for the final stage of medical training, residency.

Fourth-year students rank the residency programs, residency programs rank the medical students, and then, during the match, medical students across the country find out where they will be going.

The annual match is made entirely by computer.

“It seems a little crazy that a computer determines the future for all of these future physicians but, seems to work every year and we are grateful for that,” said Dr. Meg Keeley, assistant dean of student affairs.

Some students celebrated by drinking champagne, and some with bags packed, made their way to more elaborate celebrations.

One medical student, Ben Fox, said, “We are taking a cruise down to Jamaica and we are going to Ultra Music Festival in Miami.”

Others began to plan for a future that is now suddenly clear.

“We are going to have to move, pick up everything, find a place to live,” Abadie said.

Some of the students say the match is more important than graduation.

Residency programs all begin July 1.

University of Virginia School of Medicine Press Release

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., March 21, 2014 – Before learning where they will perform their residencies, the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s Class of 2014 was asked to pause Friday to think about all the people that helped them become doctors.

“Look left, look right and think back at the four years you’ve spent in Charlottesville and the important people that brought you to this day,” said Nancy Dunlap, MD, PhD, MBA, dean of the UVA School of Medicine, during the annual Match Day ceremonies. “Think about the friends that pulled you through, the people you suffered with in the middle of the night.”

Sharing the Celebration

An hour after Dunlap asked the soon-to-be doctors for a moment of reflection, the graduates were celebrating with the friends, family, faculty and staff that helped them.

Peter Murphy sought out Sean Reed, MD, UVA’s director of family medicine predoctoral education, for a bear hug. “He’s been my advisor forever,” said Murphy, who will remain at UVA for a residency in family medicine. “I’ve been hoping to stay here; I couldn’t be happier.”

Reed enjoys coming to Match Day not only because it brings back fond memories of his own Match Day, but also because of the bond he builds with the students during their four years in medical school. “We spend a lot of time with these guys,” Reed said. “To be a part of [Match Day], it’s just really fun.”

Just as excited was Murphy’s wife, Kate, who was relieved to know they would be staying at UVA. “Now we’re Charlottesvillians for life.”

Forgetting a Birthday

The anticipation of Match Day can be all consuming – just ask Hunter Poarch. “I had forgotten it was my birthday until a friend wished me a happy birthday this morning,” he said.

In addition to a few hundred people singing him “Happy Birthday” during the Match Day ceremony, Poarch’s gifts Friday also included his preferred residency in family medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

As he gets ready to move cross-country, he will have fond memories of his time at UVA. “I’m incredibly grateful for the relationships and the mentoring I’ve had here,” Poarch said.

Class of 2014 Match Day Statistics

Of the 148 graduates in the UVA School of Medicine Class of 2014, 25 will do some or all of their training at the University of Virginia Health System. Graduates will continue their training at residencies in 25 states and Washington, D.C. One member of the class will defer residency to do research.

Here are the most popular residencies for the Class of 2014:

Internal medicine – 22
Pediatrics – 20
Emergency medicine – 13
Family practice – 11
General surgery – 10
Anesthesiology – 8
Obstetrics and gynecology – 8
Pathology – 8
Orthopaedics – 7
Radiology (diagnostic) – 5
Psychiatry – 4
Radiation oncology – 4

Visit the UVA School of Medicine’s website for more information about this year’s residencies.

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