UC Davis School of Medicine’s festive Match Day ceremony in Sacramento provided medical students with delight and anticipation that many say is more significant than commencement.
“I was feeling a mix of nerves and excitement,” said Sophie Rosseel, who will begin her residency in psychiatry this summer at UCLA. “For the past four years, we have seen that white Match Day tent go up outside, waiting for the day when it would be our turn!”
Match Day is an annual event occurring simultaneously at medical schools throughout the nation as students are “matched” with residency programs, where they will continue their training after graduation.
“Match Day was the culmination of what I have been working toward for the past 10 years,” said Magi Singh Aurora, a student from the Northern California town of Mountain View. “Match day was the finish line to the marathon that was pre-medical life and medical school.
“The ultimate goal.” added Aurora, who will do his training in family and community medicine at UC Davis, “has always been to get into residency, hopefully in my dream program.”
Like Aurora and Rosseel, a majority of 108 UC Davis medical students (approximately 72 percent) are staying in California for residency training. More than half (about 53 percent) chose primary care residencies, with family medicine being the most popular residency program this year. Other leading residency programs included emergency medicine and internal medicine. About 17 percent of the students will remain close by, spending the next few years in training at UC Davis Medical Center, which is right across the street from their classrooms.
The Match process begins in the final year of medical school, when students send applications to the residency programs of their choice. Throughout fall and early winter, applicants interview with programs. From mid-January to late February, students and program directors rank each other in order of preference and submit their preferences to the National Resident Matching Program, which uses a computerized algorithm to match students with the clinical programs.
“Being the first person in my family to attend and graduate from college and soon become a physician is a dream come true,” said Lisandra Franco, a fourth-year student who’s staying at UC Davis for an internal medicine residency. “This journey has been a challenging and rewarding one, and with the support of family I was able to keep pushing forward.”
School of Medicine officials were equally proud of and thrilled with the success of this year’s Match Day group.
"Our medical students continually amaze me with their focus and dedication to patient care," said Mark Servis, vice dean for medical education at UC Davis School of Medicine. "Match Day is the culmination of their journey through medical school, celebrating their next step in developing more specialized clinical skills to complement that passion for medicine and a desire to improve health for all. Wherever our students go for their residencies, I know they will excel and flourish as great physicians who will make significant contributions to the health of their patients and their communities.”