FEATURE | Posted March 25, 2015

Match Day delivers the future for UC Davis physicians-in-training

Celebrated with family, friends and mentors

View video of Match Day at the UC Davis School of Medicine

In a large event tent filled with excitement and anticipation, about 100 UC Davis School of Medicine students learned where they will be going for the next stage in their medical careers. It was Match Day 2015, and the UC Davis medical students, most of whom will graduate in June, opened “Match” letters at exactly 9 a.m. and celebrated their residency placements with family, friends, medical school leaders and staff.

It was all part of a special ceremony in Sacramento, one that is echoed by medical schools across the nation each year in March. For some students, the event feels even more significant than commencement.

“I think for many of us, the day is almost more important than graduation,” said Avreeta Singh, a fourth-year student from Fresno who starts her residency in orthopaedic surgery this summer at UC Davis Medical Center. “In a way it’s telling us where the next four or five years of our lives are going to be.”

About Match Day

Match Day is an annual event that occurs simultaneously at medical schools throughout the nation. Residency training programs educate medical students in particular medical specialties ranging from anesthesiology to urology. This year, 41,000 applicants vied for more than 30,000 residency positions in the nearly 5,000 programs available around the country. A computer algorithm for the National Resident Matching Program matches the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs at teaching hospitals.

Many will stay in California

A majority of UC Davis medical students (approximately 72 percent) are staying in California for residency training, with more than half (56 percent) choosing primary-care residencies, which include family practice, general pediatrics and internal medicine. About 17 percent of the students are doing their residencies at UC Davis Medical Center, and nearly 11 percent of the Match Day class picked advanced subspecialty programs such as anesthesiology, diagnostic radiology and ophthalmology. Other leading residency programs this year included emergency medicine, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, and general surgery.

About the UC Davis School of Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine Education Building © UC RegentsThe UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at medschool.ucdavis.edu.

“It’s a little hard to put into words,” said Agustin Morales, a fourth-year student from Salinas who was part of UC Davis’ first San Joaquin Valley PRIME cohort, a group of medical students whose medical school training placed a special emphasis on patients in underserved communities.

“It’s been an amazing journey, and I matched to my number-one pick, UCSF-Fresno,” added Morales. “It’s a gem of a program in internal medicine and I’m excited about the next three years.”

"We are extremely proud of this year’s Match Day group," said Mark Servis, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and senior associate dean for medical education at the School of Medicine. "This is the future of medicine, caring individuals with a passion for health care and a desire to develop their clinical skills to the very best of their abilities. As I told them before they opened their envelopes, ‘It’s not where you match that is most important, it’s what you do in caring for your patients and working with others that is the key to your success and the ultimate accomplishment as a physician.’”