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January 28, 2011

UVA School of Medicine celebrates Match Day 2010 as 131 students move forward to residency

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Cam Lewis wanted to study otolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania. So did his close friend Liz Nicolli. The two fourth-year medical students at the University of Virginia knew they were facing some tough competition, as more than 300 medical students from across the country were vying for one of the four spots in the residency as well. “We knew it would be one-in-a-million for us both to get slots at Penn,” Lewis said.

The two friends hit the jackpot on Thursday, March 18, as they found out they would be heading to Philadelphia together in just a few months. They and 129 other medical students at UVA joined in the celebration of Match Day after months of waiting and wondering. Match Day marks the yearly culmination of the residency interview process coordinated by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). The NMRP was established in 1952 to provide a uniform date of appointment to positions in graduate medical education (GME) in the United States.

“This is always an exciting day and we are proud of outstanding programs you have been selected to attend,” said Richard Pearson, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Education, as he saluted the University of Virginia School of Medicine Class of 2010.

Pearson teased the131 students who were heading off to residencies with a little data before they opened the white envelopes which contained their destination for July 1. For the first time, a UVA medical student was continuing their training in Alaska. More students were heading into pediatrics than any other specialty.

Just a few moments after noon, class members joined fellow medical students across the country and began to open their white envelopes, some with closed eyes and others with reckless abandon. The auditorium of the old medical school, which had already been at raucous celebratory pitch, quickly erupted with a roar of excitement from the class, their friends and family who joined in the Match Day celebration.

Ryan Harris let his infant son Lincoln open his envelope after the initial flurry of activity. The young boy may not have known that he held the location of his future home in his hands, but he will soon be moving to Pittsburgh, where his father will begin his internal medicine residency.

Of the 131 fourth-year students who matched, 22 will remain at the University of Virginia Health System to continue their training.

The UVA School of Medicine class of 2010 will be studying 22 disciplines in 30 states. The highest number of students, 27, will be training in pediatrics, followed by internal medicine with 25 trainees and emergency medicine and family medicine, each with 10.

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