In the moments leading up to noon – the time appointed by the National Resident Matching Program as the moment to open envelopes across the country – Duff explained to the anxious students, family members and friends the long and grueling road to Match Day. On average, he said, students apply to 20 to 100 residency programs with the hope of achieving at least 12 interviews. Students then put together ranked lists of the programs they’d like to attend, and the programs put together their student wish lists.
When fourth-year medical student Fritz-Gerald Charles opened his envelope on stage, he had his wife and mother on each side of him. Before announcing his placement as an anesthesiology resident at the UF College of Medicine, he thanked the two women for their support.
“My mother has shaped me into the man I am today,” Charles said. “My wife has made many sacrifices to help me in my career.”
Fourth-year medical student De-Vaughn Williams has known his future was in medicine since the second grade. That feeling only grew as he volunteered with the UF Mobile Outreach Clinic and Equal Access Clinic Network through his eight years at UF. On Friday afternoon, he learned he would be pursuing his dream of studying internal medicine at the University of North Carolina Hospitals – Chapel Hill.
“I got my No. 1 choice,” he said. “I feel super blessed and fulfilled. I’m happy my family was here to support me.”
With most of the crowd gone after the ceremony, Tenisha Wilson remains in the conference center, fielding phone calls, hugs and kisses from loved ones lined up to speak with her. Three photographers snap her photo as she holds multiple bouquets of sunflowers and carnations. Through the chaos, a wide smile remains on her face.
“I’m overwhelmed with joy right now,” she says.
The UF College of Medicine also welcomes 215 new residents in Gainesville and 93 in Jacksonville who will begin their training in July.