Graduating students learn where their careers as doctors will start.
Jumps for joy. Hugs for happiness.
March 21 was a day to celebrate for more than 650 University of California medical students: Match Day 2014, when future doctors found out which hospital accepted them for residency to get advanced training in their chosen specialty.
“This day is like all my dreams come true,” said Alexis Gaskin, a fourth-year UC Davis medical student from Vacaville, who matched in orthopedics at Howard University in Washington, D.C. “Being able to visualize it [the match letter], to see it in my hand is really a dream come true.”
At UC Davis, 96 graduating medical students matched. At UC Irvine, 100 students matched. At UCLA, 183 students matched. UC San Diego had 116 students match. UC San Francisco had 157 students match.
This year, more than 16,000 U.S. allopathic medical school seniors matched to first-year residency positions – a match rate of 94.4 percent. A computer algorithm from the National Resident Matching Program matches the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs at teaching hospitals throughout the country. The students from allopathic schools such as UC apply for the available residency positions along with thousands of independent applicants, including osteopathic students and graduates of foreign medical schools. Overall, more than 40,000 individuals applied for nearly 30,000 residency slots across the country.
While UC students matched with residency programs across the country, around two-thirds will stay in California for their training, including at UC medical centers, helping to address local needs for physicians. More than 69 percent of the physicians who do residency training in California remain in the state to practice – the nation’s highest retention rate.
“I could not be happier with where I matched, and am so excited to go on this adventure with these amazing people,” said UC San Francisco graduating medical student Gabe Sudario, who will continue at UC San Francisco for his residency.
“We are all nervous about Match Day,” said Inga Wilder, a senior at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “It’s the uncertainty. You can’t plan anything. But I am graduating. I am going to be a doctor in a couple months. I can’t complain.”
Wilder, 30, has reason to be proud. She grew up in Compton, and she and her brother, who joined her at Match Day, were the first in their family to graduate from college. Wilder, a high school valedictorian, went to UC Berkeley and originally planned to get a Ph.D. in microbiology before experience in a lab convinced her she was “more of a people person.”
Standing beside her brother, she opened her envelope and smiled: “I got my first choice,” she beamed, a residency in full-spectrum family medicine at the Ventura County Medical Center, helping underserved communities.
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