Class of 54 Students Celebrate with Flash Mob, Confetti and Zip Lines
PHOENIX – Ashley Carter is headed, in her words, to the most “amazing atmosphere” for residency training she could ask for.
Carter, who is pursuing emergency medicine, learned Friday that she will do her residency at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix. She was among 54 University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix students who learned their residency placements at Match Day ceremonies on Friday.
“It has the amazing atmosphere of taking care of patients and the patient population, amazing faculty, and the residents are the best,” said Carter. “You can’t beat them.”
Amid dancers, confetti and their families, the UA medical students were given their “match” letters along with more than 27,000 medical students nationwide, who all learn their destination at the same hour. The students graduate in May and will begin residency training later in the summer.
Carter said she had already spoken to residents at Maricopa during the application/interview process.
“They love the training they are receiving there,” Carter said of the residents. “The people they have taken in the past are awesome. I would love to work with them. I am so proud to be able to count myself among them – soon.”
Of the 54 graduating students, 20 will begin training in Phoenix or Tucson, including seven at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix and four at Maricopa. The students will be going to programs in 17 states.
“When I started medical school, surgery was the No. 1 thing I wanted to do,” said Anchit Mehrotra, who matched in a surgery residency at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix. “I realize that surgery, the hours and the life, would be a challenge. But it’s a challenge I look forward to pursuing and something I am going to throw myself into wholeheartedly and put myself in a position to be the best physician, the best surgeon.”
The fifth graduating class at the downtown Phoenix campus learned Friday where they have “matched” in a ceremony that featured a flash mob of student and faculty dancers and envelopes delivered by zip line onto the floor the “canyon” area of the Health Sciences Education Building.
“Match Day” is the culmination of a complex year-long process that matches the nation’s graduating medical students with residency programs. On announcement day, there are plenty of emotions.
There were 28 women and 26 men in Friday’s match from the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. In the class, five students are completing masters’ in public health in addition to the medical degree and one is earning a PhD in cancer biology as well as the medical degree.
“Arizona is my home,” said Jordan Roberts, who grew up in the White Mountains of Arizona and matched in family medicine at the Utah HealthCare Institute in Salt Lake City. “I’ve always seen myself practicing in the rural, northern part of the state. So that’s where we’re hoping in three years we will be back.”
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 Residency Matching Program 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.
Residency programs vary in length from three years for general medicine/family practice specialties to eight years for the most specialized of surgeons.
With more students than ever applying to and enrolling in medical school, medicine remains an attractive career choice. Nearly 35,000 U.S. and international students applied for one of the more than 27,000 first-year residency positions offered in this year’s Main Residency Match, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The UA College of Medicine – Phoenix was established to help address the critical shortage of physicians in Arizona and currently admits 80 students per class with the eventual goal of growing to 120 students per class.
Photos and video can be found at: http://phoenixmed.arizona.edu/matchday
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The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix admitted its inaugural class of first-year medical students in August 2007 and currently has 301 students training to be physicians. The UA College of Medicine – Phoenix inspires and trains exemplary physicians, scientists and leaders to optimize health and health care in Arizona and beyond. We are uniquely positioned to accelerate the biomedical and economic engines in Phoenix and the State by leveraging our vital relationships with key clinical and community partners. More at phoenixmed.arizona.edu.