Closing one set of doors—and opening a new set
Four years of hard work and dedication all lead to one of the most anticipated, nerve-wracking, and potentially joyous days in the life of a medical student—Match Day. And for some students, the anticipation of Match Day is more intense as they are also wondering about their significant other’s fate. Would they be matched to the same hospital, the same city, or even in the same state?
For most programs, students can be linked in the National Resident Matching Program system as a couple, which helps increase their chances of matching in the same program. For Bill Randazzo and Megan Caruso, a recently engaged couple of the class of 2010 and Penn State alumni, being linked in the system wasn’t an option. Ophthalmology residency programs, which Caruso applied for, require an early match. So while it was a partial relief to know that she would be calling the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta home for her residency, the stress of not knowing where her fiancé would end up still plagued her. The couple also applied for a general surgery internship at the University of Hawaii that they had to wait to find out about until Match Day. Ultimately they successfully matched with both schools.
Sief Naser and Jennifer Chun, who are dating, had a different set of circumstances to work around. Wanting to head home to the west coast to pursue their residencies, the couple began their extensive search of finding a school that had both an emergency medicine and a family medicine program. Emergency medicine is a more competitive residency because there are fewer residency slots nationally when compared to family medicine. After an extensive search, both Naser and Chun were matched at University of Arizona, Tucson, in their respective areas and are looking forward to being among the first class of residents in the Tucson program.
Another couple, Mirjana Jojic and Kunal Domakonda also matched at the same location, the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, which relieved their stress for now. “We are both interested in pursuing fellowships after our residencies are over, so the stressful process will just start all over again,” said Jojic.
Through all the stress and unique situations of the annual match process, a common theme was felt throughout the group. “We’re going to miss our friends and the comfort of the town of Hershey, but we are looking forward to moving somewhere new and beginning the next chapter in our lives,” said Caruso.
At the end of the day, Match Day and the end of medical school means something different to everyone.
“It meant to me that we made it! We survived, and we did it!” said Chun.
“It meant either being together for our residencies or being separated. It was a decision point,” said Randazzo.
“The reality that someone’s life will be in your hands is closer,” said Domakonda.
– By Nicole Kazmar