Just before 11:30 a.m. Friday, members of the Class of 2013 at University of Virginia School of Medicine began walking one by one to the front of the Old Medical School Auditorium to receive their white envelope.
Inside the envelope: the name of the hospital where they will spend the next several years performing their residency. But the waiting wasn’t quite over yet. The students had to wait until after noon – and until all their classmates had received their envelopes – before they could learn their new hospital on Match Day. While every member of the graduating class was given an orange T-shirt that read “Keep Calm and Match On,” the waiting wasn’t necessarily easy.
“It’s incredibly nerve-wracking,” said Courtney Chou, a member of the Class of 2013.
A few minutes after noon – following a toast from Richard Pearson, MD, associate dean for student affairs – the students were given permission to open their envelopes.
A roar went up from the room, overflowing with family, friends and UVA Health System staff.
Excitement and relief
There were smiles, shouts, hugs, thumbs up and a few tears of joy as students shared their new destinations with friends and family both inside and outside the auditorium through phone calls, texts and even Skype.
At the moment you open your envelope and learn your residency destination, said Class of 2013 student Ian McNeill, “you know you’ll be a doctor and your dreams will come true.”
“It’s just a big relief, just to know what your destiny will be,” added McNeill, who will be heading to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York for a neurosurgery residency.
More than 30 minutes after opening her envelope and learning her otolaryngology residency will be at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Chou said she still hadn’t fully felt the impact of Match Day. “It won’t hit me until I start trying to find a place to live,” she said.
Presiding over his final Match Day before retirement, Pearson said Friday brought him a sense of fulfillment and excitement. “I also have a great feeling of thanksgiving for working with [the Class of 2013] and their predecessors,” he said.
Match Day facts and figures
Of the 145 members of the Class of 2013, 25 will perform some or all of their training at UVA Health System. Graduates will continue their training in 32 states and Washington, D.C. Four members of the class will defer their residency to do research or to pursue a master’s of public health degree.
Here are the most popular residencies for the Class of 2013: • Internal medicine – 23 • Pediatrics – 19 • Anesthesiology – 14 • Family practice – 9 • Orthopaedics – 8 • Psychiatry – 8 • Obstetrics and gynecology – 7 • Otolaryngology – 7 • Emergency medicine – 6 • Radiology – 6 • General surgery – 6 • Dermatology – 5 Visit the School of Medicine website for a comprehensive list of this year’s residencies.