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Match Day 2018

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March 16, 2018

Although countless lovely sentiments were expressed during the Match Day celebration, some of the most memorable moments were wordless.
Such as the hands shaking so hard they could barely open the magic envelope. Or the baby cradled in the arms of a joyful spouse. Or the loved ones huddled expectantly around the microphone onstage. Or the look of ferocious pride on a parent’s face. Or the gasp and shriek from a speechless student who was suddenly on top of the world – because written on the paper she’d just unfolded was the name of the residency program she’d been praying to see.
This was Match Day 2018, which took place in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Like other fourth-year med students throughout the country, these FSU College of Medicine students found out which residency programs they’ll join for the next phase of their medical training.
“Our students continue to match with wonderful programs in Florida and throughout the country,” College of Medicine Dean John P. Fogarty said. “I’m also pleased that seven of our graduates matched in residency programs that we’ve started in the past seven years. That means more doctors for Florida in specialties where there is a significant need.”
A quick look at the numbers:
•    Of the 108 students from the Class of 2018 who entered the match, 58 chose primary care (family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology or pediatrics).
•    The No. 1 specialty for this class was internal medicine (19), followed by family medicine (15), pediatrics (also 15), emergency medicine (14) and general surgery (12).
•    Other students matched in psychiatry, anesthesiology, orthopedic surgery, neurology, otolaryngology, child neurology, diagnostic radiology, ophthalmology, plastic surgery, radiation oncology and urology
•    Forty-three matched in Florida.
•    Of the seven students who matched in residency programs sponsored by the College of Medicine, four matched in internal medicine at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, one in internal medicine at Sarasota Memorial, one in general surgery at TMH and one in family medicine at Lee Health in Fort Myers.
•    Besides the students mentioned above, three other students matched in Tallahassee – at TMH’s family medicine residency program.
•    Among the other Florida programs where College of Medicine students matched were Orlando Health (nine), UF Health-Jacksonville (six) and UF Health-Gainesville (four).
•    After Florida, the states where the most Class of 2018 students matched were Georgia (nine), New York (five) and South Carolina (also five).
•    Students heading out of state matched with superior residency programs, such as Emory, Duke, Wake Forest, Northwestern, Thomas Jefferson and many more.
•    Nine students participated in a separate military match: five in the Navy, three in the Army and one in the Air Force.

Here’s how the nationwide match works: Through the computerized National Resident Matching Program, students electronically rank the residency programs where they interviewed, and residency program directors rank the students to whom they wish to offer a position. Residency training, which lasts at least three years depending on the specialty, is the rigorous and required next step forM.D. students who want to become practicing physicians.

Though the College of Medicine’s Match Day ceremony lasted about an hour and a half, the heart of the action took place in about three minutes of chaos, when many students opened their envelopes to find out where they had matched. Shouts rang out, tears flowed, cameras flashed, hugs abounded. Later, one regional campus at a time, most of the students went onstage to reveal their residency destination. Some increased the suspense by waiting until they got onstage to open their envelopes.
Students thanked parents, spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, Jesus, God and even “my fellow firefighters.” Though most managed to appear calm, the whole room was a bundle of nerves. As student Analucia Cadavid confessed onstage: “Hopefully, I won’t throw up.”
One student wore a giant red clown nose. One held a baby only two weeks old. One brought nine people onstage with her. Several announced that they’d be getting married next weekend, or in 15 days, or two days after graduation, or sometime in June. One forgot – temporarily – to introduce her boyfriend. One shouted out to her grandmother – the only grandma with pink hair, she said.

The theme for this year’s Match Day celebration was The Nineties. The med school’s video geniuses had created onscreen spoofs of Nineties music, movies, commercials and more – introduced by Fogarty and featuring Hollywood-hopeful faculty, staff and students. Picture, if you will, mild-mannered Assistant Dean Graham Patrick dancing around in gold MC Hammer pants.

Jennifer Rowe, the last student to announce her match, provided words of hope. Speaking to students across the spectrum who were struggling and thinking of calling it quits, she said: “Don’t give up. It’s totally worth it.”
Class President Mark Micolucci put the Class of 2018’s journey in context. According to his calculations, he said, 1,389 days had passed since their first time together at the College of Medicine – and 64 days remain until graduation.
On that day, May 19, the 108 students in the Class of 2018 will become the 14th class to graduate from the College of Medicine – which will then have 1,255 alumni.

Ioana Stroe

Keirsten Dawson

Nick Karr

Alaine Sharpe

Meghan Phelan