Life-changing day for graduating students

Patrick Duff, M.D., associate dean for student affairs, provides a breakdown of the 2008 Match Day, where seniors gathered along with family and friends to learn just where their medical careers will take them for the next three to eight years.

The 2008 Resident Match Day was held on Thursday, March 20. This year, a record-breaking 25,066 positions were offered nationwide, and 23,674 (94 percent) were filled. Almost 85 percent of senior students graduating from U.S. medical schools matched in one of their first three choices.

At the University of Florida, 108 seniors participated in the Match. The three most highly sought specialties were Pediatrics (17 students, 16 percent of the class), Internal Medicine (14 students, 13 percent of the class), and Radiology (13 students, 12 percent of the class). Other popular specialties, favored by at least five students, included Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Psychiatry.

Fourteen students (13 percent) will remain at their alma mater for residency training, and an additional nine students (8.3 percent) will train in other residency programs within the State of Florida. These numbers are slightly decreased compared to recent years, meaning fewer or our students will remain in our state.

Of particular note, 12 students chose to enter the couples’ phase of the Match and paired with a classmate. Johnathan Davidson (Internal Medicine) and Kathryn Davis (Obstetrics and Gynecology) matched at the University of Florida. Jeffrey Janus (Otolaryngology) and Lindsy Williams (Neurology) matched at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Eric Ritchie (Combined Medicine-Pediatrics) and Nina Mayer (Combined Medicine-Pediatrics) will be working together at The Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Ashvin Reddy (Anesthesiology) and Tina Patel (Pediatrics) will join the resident staff at the University of Texas in Houston. Shawn Patterson (Emergency Medicine) and Nicole Sammons (Pediatrics) matched at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Finally, Chi Zhang (General Surgery) and Nancy Tran (Internal Medicine) were paired together at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.

In addition, four of the seniors who will receive commissions in the U.S. Air Force at the time of graduation, will complete their residency training in Air Force medical centers. Elizabeth Ballard matched in Radiology at David Grant Medical Center, Travis AFB in Sacramento, CA. Jason Crosson will pursue specialty training in Ophthalmology at Wilford Hall AFB in San Antonio, Texas. After a preliminary year in Internal Medicine at the University of Florida in Jacksonville, Pablo Medina plans to enter an Air Force residency program in Emergency Medicine. Andrew Thagard will train in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Virginia.

The Match Day Ceremony was held in the Grand Ball Room of the Reitz Union and was attended by more than 300 students, family members, faculty, and administrative staff. Albert and Alberta were also on hand to extend “high fives” to the happy students.