Students, Families and Faculty Celebrate Match Day 2016

Derek Estes’ joyful voice cried out “Jackson Memorial Hospital!” as he and his wife Emily opened the envelope and learned where he would be spending his internal medicine residency.

For the Estes, Friday was a day filled with life-changing themes. When they stepped off the early-morning flight to Miami with Alexis, the three-week-old baby they had just adopted in Virginia, it was just four hours before Match Day activities would begin.

Match Day is the culmination of a secretive, tension-filled process that begins when graduating medical students apply to their top three residency choices. The programs make their selections, their acceptances are sealed in envelopes, and fourth-year students all across the country learn their fates simultaneously on Match Day at noon, Eastern Daylight Time, when the envelopes are opened.

As is typical at the Miller School of Medicine, Match Day 2016 was one of the year’s truly special events. Nearly 200 fourth-year students, their families and friends, and a large contingent of faculty and administrators, formed an overflow crowd under the tent on the Schoninger Research Quadrangle. The sealed envelopes were all placed in a large basket and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., drew them at random, one at a time, and called out each student’s name. The student, with heart pounding, walked to the dais, opened the envelope and announced to all assembled where he or she had been accepted.

Derek Estes’ name was the first to be called by Dean Goldschmidt. With little Alexis in her father’s arms, the new parents joined the Dean, opened Derek’s envelope and learned the happy news.

“To say we’re excited is an understatement,” said Emily. Then, nodding toward her new daughter, added, “This is a big day all around.”

For Dean Goldschmidt, presiding over Match Day is one of his happiest duties.

“The Class of 2016 has achieved the best match record of any class since I have been Dean,” he announced, generating loud cheering and applause. “And,” he added, “this is the only true medical reality show in the world,” drawing much laughter from the crowd.

In all, 191 students are graduating with the Class of 2016. Of that total, 186 went through the matching process, four are in the military service and went through the military match, and one student who is going into research did not pursue a residency.

Some statistical highlights:

27 percent of students are staying at JMH or a UM residency for training.

31 percent are remaining in the State of Florida for training.

Specialties with increased numbers this year compared to last year are Medicine/Pediatrics (4 percent), OB/GYN (12 percent), Dermatology (5 percent) and Orthopaedics (4 percent).

Graduates pursuing primary care fields (inclusive of OB/GYN) continue to rise overall — this year at 51 percent (up from 41 percent last year).

The M.D./M.P.H. program, which will graduate its second cohort this spring, continues to have an impact on career choices — 63 percent of M.D./M.P.H. students chose primary care fields (inclusive of OB/GYN) compared to 40 percent in the traditional M.D. track.

More M.D./M.P.H. students are continuing their training outside of Florida. Only 25 percent of M.D./M.P.H. students will train in Florida vs. 33 percent of students in the traditional M.D. track.

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