Match Day excitement grips TCOM medical students
By Jan Jarvis
The anticipation kept Vincent Wang awake all night.
“It’s like Christmas,” the fourth-year medical student said. “You know you’re getting a present, but you don’t know what it is.”
Wang was among 213 Texas of College of Osteopathic Medicine fourth-year students who opened their envelopes Friday during the 2018 Match Day Celebration.
Surrounded by parents, spouses, children and friends, they waited anxiously to learn their fate for the next three to six years. Although they were told on Monday that they had matched with one of the medical institutions with which they interviewed, they didn’t know which one.
For TCOM student Trevor Walker, that meant that he could be going to any of 13 places with whom he interviewed for a family medicine residency.
“My first and third choices are both in Missouri, and my number two is in Texas,” he said. “So I could be staying here or end up nine hours away.”
It was an anxious and proud time for parents, too.
Jon Ivester was holding his grandson as he waited to hear the news about his son, Ben. His story is a little different from most students who went straight from college to medical school, he said.
“Ben is a little older than most students because he got a BS in economics and worked before he decided to go to medical school,” he said. “And he already has a family here, too.”
The National Resident Matching Program’s Match Day is primarily for residencies affiliated with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. This year’s match is the largest in the organization’s history. Nationwide 37,103 applications were submitted for 33,167 positions. Students also match through other affiliates including the U.S. military or American Osteopathic Association.
This year’s Match Day was a long time coming for Jose Pena, who went back to school after graduating from college, working at a non-profit organization, going back to school at UT Dallas and then spending a year in the Medical Sciences Master’s degree program at UNTHSC.
“I continually reflect on that journey and how despite the uncertainty in trying to pursue medicine, it has all been very much worth it,” he said.
Before the students opened their envelopes, departmental awards for excellence were announced, and the spouse of one medical student was honored for the support he provided his wife.
Kaitlyn Slimp, who nominated her husband Kenneth, said he not only loved, cared and commuted for her over the past four years, he did it while working as a paramedic and attending college himself. Now it’s his turn to pursue a medical degree.
UNTHSC President Dr. Michael Williams told the crowd that “medical school gives you a foundation, but your residency and everything going forward is what shapes you.”
Student Gemma Sookprasong, who overcame a serious accident while interviewing for a residency last fall, took those words seriously as she waited to learn where she would be going.
“Waco,” she shouted. “I’m very, very happy.”
Awards Presented at Match Day 2018
- Paresh A. Jaini – Dean’s Award for Scholarly Excellence with an Emphasis on Research
- Emily Zangla – Dean’s Award for Scholarly Excellence with an Emphasis on Clinical Studies
- Emily Zangla – Dean’s Award for Scholarly Excellence with an Emphasis on Academic Achievement
- Marissa Tan – USPHS Excellence in Public Health Award
- Kenny Slimp – Donna Jones Moritisuga Award
- Missy Lalich – Excellence in Family Medicine Award
- Charles Boren – Excellence in Family Medicine Award (OMM)
- Ashleigh Workman – Excellence in Internal Medicine Award
- Salvador Mendez – William R. Jenkins, DO, FACOS Award (surgical department)
- Austin Mike-Mayer – Excellence in Women’s Heath Award
- Todd Sorenson – Excellence in Pediatrics Award
- Emily Zangla – Excellence in Psychiatry Award
- Morgan Smith – The Junior Bone Crusher Award (ortho)