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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA med students meet their matches

Amber Steves, 26, dressed as a character from the movie ?Up,? receives her match with a residency program in Fort Collins, Colo. on Thursday at the University Medical Center.  Medical students who are graduating in May receive residency matching each year in a program that traditionally has the students perform a skit.
Amber Steves, 26, dressed as a character from the movie ?Up,? receives her match with a residency program in Fort Collins, Colo. on Thursday at the University Medical Center. Medical students who are graduating in May receive residency matching each year in a program that traditionally has the students perform a skit.

Each spring, medical students nationwide find out where they’ll be spending their residency. At the UA, students did it dressed as Goofy, Alice from “”Alice in Wonderland”” and Peter Pan.

Amber Steves, dressed as Russell from the movie “”Up,”” pushed her way through a packed auditorium, with three rows of onlookers lining the walls and more sitting in the aisles, placed a dollar in a bag and ripped open her envelope.

Inside, it said “”Fort Collins Family Medicine.”” Steves is off to Colorado to become the first doctor in her family.

“”Graduation is the official seal but Match Day, it’s like getting the best job offer in the world,”” Steves said. Her Colorado residency program was her first choice.

UA medical students will officially become doctors at graduation in May. But at the DuVal Auditorium in the University Medical Center on Thursday, each student’s assignment for residency training allowed him or her to pursue a specialty.

And along with UA tradition, the class performed a skit to match this year’s theme “”The Wonderful World of Match 2011.””

“”Your life is set from that point on,”” said Flora Shah, who couples matched with her fiance Sanjay Sinha to LA-area hospitals. Shah will pursue internal medicine at a residency program at University of California at Irvine. Sinha will pursue a pediatrics residency at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“”In our career, training for medicine, Match Day is the most anxiety-driven day,”” Sinha said. “”Our whole future is affected by where we are going to go.””

This year’s graduating class had the highest percentage of students matched with their top choices in the UA’s history.

Dr. Larry Moher, professor of family and community medicine, remembers his Match Day in 1973. Moher’s time at Michigan State University didn’t have the fanfare of the UA’s Match Day.

“”It’s the culmination of their medical school career,”” Moher said, “”and until this moment, they really don’t know where in the country they will be going.””

During the first semester of senior year, medical students apply for residency programs across the nation. Students then submit a list of choices in February, the same time programs rank-order their favorite candidates to the National Resident Matching Program in Washington, D.C.

Around half of the UA’s medical students stay in Arizona, with more than a quarter staying in the Tucson-area.

Adam DaDeppo was an undergraduate student at the UA. He then spent five years as an acute nurse practitioner before pursuing a medical degree. Despite applying to five programs, DaDeppo knew a residency in Tucson was right for him.

“”I’ve got a wife, three kids, a house. I didn’t want to be anywhere but here,”” DaDeppo said. His residencies will be spent at UA-affiliated hospitals in anesthesiology and critical care.

The assignments from the 2011 Match Day correlate each student with their residency home. But for some, this won’t be their last Match Day experience.

“”We’ll be couples matching again in three years,”” Shah said. She and her fiancé both want to specialize in their residency fields — Sinha in pediatric cardiology and Shah in gastroenterology or endocrinology.  

“”Not only is (Match Day) a relief but a sense of accomplishment,”” Shah said. “”A lot of us, we’ve been doing school straight since high school, so it’s finally a grown up thing that we are getting into.””

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