Match Day Maps the Future for UAMS Seniors
March 15, 2013 | Tension reached a crescendo as names were announced, a line formed and uniformly white envelopes were nervously gripped with shaking, sweaty palms by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine seniors.
A packed ballroom of family and friends at downtown Little Rock’s The Peabody hotel reacted with cheers and applause as senior students individually read aloud the next destination their careers would take them to serve their medical residencies. It’s all part of the annual Match Day ceremony, held in tandem with other medical schools nationwide awaiting the lifting of the 11 a.m. embargo of the coveted envelopes.
“You just never know until you get here and have a chance to rip that thing open and see it for yourself,” said Sean Morell, a senior from Russellville who matched with his top choice of orthopedic surgery at UAMS. “You list the top three choices and somewhere in the back of your mind I guess you’re prepared to accept whatever the envelope says. But I couldn’t be happier that I matched here and get a chance to celebrate with everyone today.”
But for some less carefree seniors, there’s more at stake. Like Marjorie David, who is married and has two children, the newest being just three weeks old. David and her husband, Ryan, who is chief resident in the UAMS Department of Radiology, were hoping to stay in Little Rock. The couple has been married for nearly seven years and came to Little Rock from Kansas for his residency and her medical school.
“Generally it was a pretty safe bet that she’d match here at UAMS, but you have to see it to believe it,” said Ryan David. “She matched here in pathology and we can’t be happier to be staying in Little Rock as one big happy family.”
Results of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) are released simultaneously to more than 25,000 medical school students nationwide. A computerized system controls the selection process and matches fourth-year students with residency openings based on student preference and availability. Nationally there were 26,392 positions to be filled on Match Day.
Richard P. Wheeler, M.D., executive associate dean for academic affairs at UAMS, said 63 seniors were appointed to in-state residencies, and 90 received out-of-state residencies in 33 different states. Primary care specialties, such as internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine and OB-GYN, accounted for nearly 53 percent of the UAMS matches. There were 25 matches each in family and internal medicine residencies.
“Once again, one of the things that stands out to me is that more than half of the Class of 2013 matched into primary care areas,” said Wheeler. “That is traditionally a particular strength of UAMS and this year is no different.”
Sarah Tingle, a senior hoping to become an anesthesiologist at UAMS, said she was scared she might pass out on stage had she not gotten her wish.
“I’m so happy to have gotten my first pick here at UAMS,” she said. “I didn’t prepare myself to accept anything else, and it worked out for me and my husband. I get to stay home and train at the excellent program here at UAMS and not have to worry about it anymore.”