UF medical students find the perfect 'match'


Tony Bryant’s legs were shaking as he walked up to the podium.

“When you tell yourself you’re going to get your first choice, all of sudden you realize anything else will be a disappointment,” he said.

He wasn’t disappointed.

The fourth-year UF medical student matched to his first choice. He will begin a residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Florida in Gainesville in July.

Tony Bryant Jr., and his wife, Codie, celebrate after learning Tony will train in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Bryant and 125 of his classmates from the College of Medicine class of 2010 learned where they will complete their residency training during the college’s annual Match Day ceremony, held at the Reitz Union on Thursday, March 18. The National Resident Matching Program matches prospective residents to residencies using a mathematical algorithm that compiles students’ and institutions’ top choices. The decision is pivotal for medical students and determines not only where they will complete their residencies but also what specialties they will enter.

The National Resident Matching Program announced that a record 16,000 medical students participated in this year’s match.

“This year’s Match once again saw great participation across the board,” said Mona M. Signer, executive director of the NRMP, in a written statement. “We are pleased with the rise in the number of U.S. medical school seniors, and with the continuing overall growth of both applicants and positions. The release of today’s results is a defining moment in the careers of young physicians and a wonderful cause for celebration.”

Bryant and his wife, Codie, who are expecting their first child in about five months, couldn’t help but celebrate after learning where Tony will train and where the couple will begin their new family.

“It was such a relief to get the answer I was hoping for,” said Bryant, who chose to open his match envelope while on stage rather than looking before he was called. “You have to open it up in front of the class. There’s no other way to do it.”

While not all students waited until their name was randomly called onstage by Dr. Patrick Duff, associate dean for student affairs, most of those in the large ballroom were pleased with their match results.

“We are fortunate that our students fared so well in the match,” Duff said.

Bryant was one of seven students to match in orthopaedics, an exceptionally competitive specialty. Christopher Holden, whose mother, Dr. Jean Cook, is a 1983 graduate from the College of Medicine, also will be staying at UF for a residency in orthopaedic surgery.

One of the most popular programs among this year’s class was emergency medicine, with 13 or 10.3 percent of the class entering the field. Emergency medicine has become a popular specialty because of its better-defined lifestyle, Duff explained.

Eleven students chose to enter the field of obstetrics/gynecology, or 8.7 percent of the class, which is higher than the national average of about 6 percent.

“The number is encouraging because in the past some students have stayed away from this specialty due to concerns about erratic lifestyle and malpractice,” said Duff, a practicing obstetrician.

Thirty-two UF medical students will remain in Florida for their residencies, including 17 at UF in Gainesville and two in Jacksonville. It was a very successful match for UF programs as well as students, with 151 new residents starting their training in Gainesville and 71 at the regional campus in Jacksonville beginning in July.

A map was projected on the large screen during this year's Match Day to indicate where UF students will complete their residencies.

A map depicting where graduating UF medical students will complete their residencies was projected on a large screen during Match Day. Photo by Priscilla Santos.

“Today is a very exciting day for our students and for the college,” said Dr. Michael Good, dean of the College of Medicine. “UF medical students will be joining some of the very best residency programs in the country, and I am confident they are exceptionally well-prepared for the next phase of their clinical training.

“Today we also welcome over two hundred top medical students from around the country who have been selected to join our UF residency programs in Gainesville and Jacksonville,” Good continued. “Our strong and large UF residency training programs attract some of the brightest young physicians to Florida, helping the state address the problem of physician shortages.”

For the first time, friends and family who couldn’t make it to Gainesville for the ceremony had an opportunity to watch their loved ones announce where they matched through a live videostream from the event. Health Science Center news staff also provided up-to-the-minute observations through a live blog on the college’s news site.

Match Results by Specialty
Anesthesiology  8
Child Neurology  1
Dermatology 1
Emergency Medicine  13
Family Medicine  8
Medicine    18
Neurology   4
OB/GYN  11
Ophthalmology  5
Orthopaedics  7
Pathology  4
Pediatrics  11
Preliminary year only  10
Psychiatry  9
Radiation oncology  2
Radiology  6
Surgery 7
Urology 1

To view a recording of the event that was captured live, click here.

To view the live blogging from the event, click here.