Match Day

Medical students meet their matches

Students at Match Day 2013
Robert Boston

It's a match! From left: Leisha Elmore; Kathryn Evans and her father, Douglas; and Michael Lee celebrate Match Day results.

BY Elizabethe Holland Durando

Washington University medical student Leisha Elmore summed up what scores of nervous medical students may have been thinking Friday as she held in her hand a sealed envelope, her future spelled out inside.

“How can such a big thing come in such a small envelope?” asked Elmore as she stood on the stage at the School of Medicine’s Moore Auditorium on Match Day, the day thousands of medical students across the country learn where they will do their residency training.

For Elmore, the envelope offered the best of news. She was clearly pleased to learn she’d matched in general surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Elmore was one of 120 soon-to-be physicians from this year’s medical school class who learned Friday where they will be matched after graduation. Of them, 31 will train at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and four at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

The largest group of students — 24 — will train in internal medicine, followed by 13 in pediatrics, nine each in emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and psychiatry, and seven each in general surgery and dermatology.

The students matched in hospitals all over the country and as far away as Hawaii.

“How can such a big thing come in such a small envelope?”
— Medical student Leisha Elmore

Emotions in the auditorium were palpable as the students hooted and hollered, pumped their arms, embraced, snapped photos of one another, and madly texted and emailed loved ones not in the room.

“My hands are shaking,” Kurt Hoffmeister told the bearer of the envelopes, Kathryn Diemer, MD, assistant dean for career counseling.

“Mine, too,” Diemer responded before Hoffmeister opened the envelope to find he’d matched with New York Presbyterian Hospital in anesthesiology.

Not everyone chose to learn his or her fate front and center before the energized crowd that had gathered. Some opted to open their letters away from the masses. And others who couldn’t attend asked friends to do the honors. Meanwhile, family members and others unable to attend tuned in to watch live video coverage.

When Kristen Grant was called to the stage – a moment she’d been waiting for – she asked if she could wait just a little bit longer. She wanted to make sure her mother, in search of a parking space, was in the room.

“I’m so happy,” she said.

Puneet Sahota, an MD/PhD student, experienced a touch of déjà vu at the much-anticipated event. Last year at this time, she attended Match Day to learn that her husband, Gurmukh Sahota, was bound for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, to train in anesthesiology.

This time, it was her turn. Taking the stage with the couple’s 3½-year-old son, Anand, Puneet Sahota tore open the letter to find where she will train in psychiatry. Overjoyed, she exclaimed: “There will be two Dr. Sahotas at the University of Pennsylania next year!”

To see more photos from Match Day, follow this link.

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