For four years, students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix have worked toward “Match Day” – the day they learn where they will spend the next several years as resident-physicians, a major step in building a medical career.
Match results are released nationally at Match Day ceremonies coordinated to occur on the same date at the same time. Beginning this year, Match Day moves from the third Thursday to the third Friday in March (results are released at 1 p.m. eastern time).
Both ceremonies also will be broadcast live and archived on the Internet at http://streaming.biocom.arizona.edu.
Members of the Class of 2012 will receive traditional Match Day sealed envelopes, containing letters showing where they will go for their residency training, on Friday, March 16, at 10 a.m.
The UA College of Medicine’s Match Day event will be held in Phoenix at the Virginia G. Piper Auditorium on the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix campus, 600 E. Van Buren St.
The UA College of Medicine Class of 2012 includes a total of 149 students who will graduate in May – 86 women and 65 men on the Tucson and Phoenix campuses. This will be the second Match Day for the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix; the class of 43 graduates includes 23 women and 20 men. The UA College of Medicine – Tucson class of 106 graduates includes 63 women and 43 men. (Doctor of Medicine degrees will be conferred at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix convocation ceremony on Wednesday, May 9, 3:30 p.m., at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, and at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson convocation ceremony on Friday, May 11, 3:30-6 p.m., in Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., UA Main Campus, Tucson.)
Many of the graduates are expected to remain in Arizona for their residencies. Residency programs vary in length from three years for general medicine/family practice specialties to eight years for the most specialized of surgeons.
Twenty-four match envelopes were among those dangled in a “cloud sculpture” in the Virginia G. Piper Auditorium at the College of Medicine–Phoenix. (Photo by Keven Siegert, Media Services, UA College of Medicine–Phoenix)
This year’s Match Day ceremony at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix will feature a “cloud sculpture” of match envelopes dangling in the middle of the Virginia G. Piper Auditorium and surrounded by a red ribbon. At 10 a.m., Dean Stuart D. Flynn, MD, will cut the ribbon, allowing the class to find their match. Each student will step to the podium onstage, announce their location and place a pin to mark it on a map of the United States.
About Match Day and the National Resident Matching Program™
Match Day is the culmination of a complex year-long process that matches the nation’s graduating medical students with residency programs.
During the first half of their senior year, medical students apply for positions at residency programs, then interview with program directors, faculty and residents.
In February, students submit their list of choices in order of preference – at the same time residency program directors submit their rank-ordered lists of preferred candidates – to the National Resident Matching Program™ (www.nrmp.org) headquarters in Washington, D.C. A computer matches each student to the residency program that is highest on the student’s list and that has offered a position to the applicant.
About the UA College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Program and University of Arizona College of Medicine at South Campus (formerly UA/UPHK Graduate Medical Education Consortium)
The UA College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Program (www.gme.medicine.arizona.edu) oversees 42 accredited residency programs in all major specialties and subspecialties. All of the programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which establishes exacting national standards for approval and assessment of graduate medical education programs. More than 500 residents and fellows are trained at the UA College of Medicine’s primary teaching hospital, The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, and 14 other major participating institutions in Tucson.
The University of Arizona College of Medicine at South Campus (www.uph.org/gme) (formerly the University of Arizona/UPHK Graduate Medical Education Consortium) has created six new residency programs and one fellowship. The programs are based primarily at The University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus with rotations throughout the state, including the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System and the Indian Health Service. Accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has been received for residency programs in medicine and psychiatry, which began July 2008; ophthalmology and neurology, which began July 2009; and emergency medicine and family medicine, which began July 2010. The fellowship in medical toxicology was accredited in May 2011. Approximately 100 residents are participating in the new programs, which focus on providing health care in rural and underserved areas of Arizona to help reduce the Arizona physician shortage and improve access to health care throughout the state.
The University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus is part of The University of Arizona Health Network (www.uahealth.com). Together, The University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus, the University of Arizona and The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus combine to care for patients, educate medical students, train physicians and conduct clinical research. The University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus has more than 450 physicians (many listed in The Best Doctors In America), more than 800 nurses and more than 2,000 staff.
The UA College of Medicine has 22 departments and 10 centers on its Tucson and Phoenix campuses dedicated to specific areas of research, clinical care and teaching. Medical students and residents receive instruction from more than 1,200 full- and part-time salaried and affiliate faculty members; all faculty, including volunteer (associate) faculty, total more than 1,800.
Interesting 2012 UA medical graduates who will be available for interviews on Match Day include:
UA College of Medicine – Phoenix:
Although it seems that Daniel Churgin, 27, was destined to end up in medicine, the path wasn’t always easy. The Mesa native has a physician and family nurse practitioner for parents and even has a veterinarian for a sister. But after applying to more than 30 medical school programs, Dan didn’t get one interview. That is, until he applied to the University of Arizona. “Being rejected and then waitlisted – feeling like I barely deserved to be here and like I was given a second chance to prove it – incited something in me that has never gone away,” he says.
As it turns out, Dan did just fine. An exemplary student, he was selected for the Gold Humanism Honor Society and achieved several goals, including placement in a prestigious ophthalmology residency program in Florida. He says the two happiest days of his life were receiving the acceptance calls from the College of Medicine – Phoenix and the residency program.
“It’s as if medicine was in my blood, our family trade,” Dan says. “I probably knew some medical terms before I knew normal words! Much later in life, I realized I wanted to be in a career where I could form lasting relationships with people, and help them through a difficult or intimidating experience in life. I loved science and I wanted to be part of the evolution of medical discovery. So this career path just made sense to me; it was, and still is, the perfect fit.”
Dan will do his residency at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami after a year of internal medicine training. But he hopes to return to Arizona and possibly specialize in surgery or ocular oncology.
Dan earned a bachelor of science in microbiology with minors in Spanish, chemistry and business administration from the UA. While at the College of Medicine – Phoenix, he joined the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and the American Medical Student Association.
EDITORS NOTE: Ophthalmology is an early match and results are known in January. Most ophthalmology residency programs begin in post-graduate year 2 (PGY-2) after the completion of 12 months of broad clinical training (PGY-1). Ophthalmology positions are offered through the Common Application Service (CAS) run by the San Francisco Match. The Ophthalmology Residency Matching Program (OMP) (www.sfmatch.org/residency/ophthalmology) coordinates PGY-2 appointments for ophthalmology programs and supplements the NMRP’s PGY-1 services.
Danielle Williams, 33, has had plenty of distractions in the four years of medical school. It all started when she began studying for the entrance exam, with her 4-month-old daughter in her lap. “I am a non-traditional student and hadn’t been in a physics or chemistry class for almost 10 years,” she says. “I had to relearn everything that I had forgotten. With some hard work and a little luck everything worked out.”
Danielle had a second child (now 2) while in medical school but is finishing on time and plans to pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology. Born in Long Beach, Calif., Danielle has lived in Phoenix, attending Horizon High School before embarking on her collegiate career at Georgia State University in Atlanta and University of Western States in Portland, Ore., where she earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. With family in Arizona and Colorado, Danielle says she envisions practicing in either place.
Billie Winegard, 35, is completing a long road to earning her medical degree – one that began halfway around the world and included a medical fight of her own. Originally from Sierra Vista in Southern Arizona but born in Seoul, South Korea, Billie says she has always thought of medicine as a career but didn’t apply to medical school over fear of not being able to get in. “Then, I was diagnosed and treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” she says. “After having that experience, I knew I couldn’t let my fear keep me from something that I felt I was meant to become. So I got ready and I applied and here I am two months from becoming a physician.”
Billie isn’t choosing an easy path now that she is completing medical school. She has applied for residency programs in pediatrics but says she would like to pursue a fellowship in palliative medicine. “I want to work with children and families who are experiencing serious and life-limiting conditions. The death of a child is a terrible thing, but I hope to be able to provide support and some comfort as families go through this process.”
She believes she will end up in Arizona – close to her family – and where she earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and molecular and cellular biology and a master’s degree in public health, all from the UA.
A member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, Billie is setting the example in her family. She was the first in her family to graduate from college and her sisters and cousins were the first generation to complete high school.
Source: The University of Arizona College of Medicine
# # #