Medical students ripped open envelopes at noon Friday to discover where they would be pursuing residency.
By Katherine Dvorak
When the clock struck noon on Friday, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) fourth-year M.D. student Jacklyn Omorodion let out a scream and jumped in the air. Hugs from her mother and father followed. She had matched at her No. 1 choice for residency in combined pediatrics and genetics: Boston Children’s Hospital.
When she got to GW, traveling from Toronto to attend medical school in the United States, Ms. Omorodion wasn’t sure she would choose to study pediatrics, even though she admits everyone else knew it would be her specialty. “I ended up loving it,” she said. “I’ve always loved working with kids.”
Ms. Omorodion said she hopes to combine her passion for pediatrics with her undergraduate major of genetics. “After I did some electives and rotations here, I knew that’s what I wanted to do and there’s a lot of overlap between pediatrics and genetics,” she said.
Now she has the opportunity to live in a new U.S. city, one with “an amazing pediatrics program and an amazing genetics program,” she said. “I can’t wait, I just can’t wait.”
Every year students gather in Ross Hall, surrounded by family, friends and faculty to celebrate the milestone. At noon, medical students across the country simultaneously receive and open their envelopes from the National Residency Matching Program, a nonprofit corporation established to provide a uniform date of appointment to positions in graduate medical education in the United States.
“We’re truly excited for you, we’re proud of everything that you’ve accomplished, and our goal is for you to go out and make a difference. Make a difference in people’s lives, make a difference in communities where you serve and do us proud because we’re incredibly proud of you,” said SMHS Dean Jeffery S. Akman, M.D. ’81, vice president for health affairs, Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine.
Students at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences were excited to find out where they would be doing their residency. (Photo: Biomedical Communications, SMHS Communications and Marketing.)
Richard J. Simons, senior associate dean for MD programs, wished the students well in their journeys. “We are confident when you go into your residency you will have a great foundation from which to start your training,” Dr. Simons said.
Samuel Swenson, his wife, Tessa, and their children, 2-year-old Pierce and 4-month-old Lucy, were gathered together to find out at which orthopaedic residency program he would match.
When he opened his envelope, he leaned in close to his family to shout “Iowa. We’re going to Iowa!”
The University of Iowa program in Iowa City had been Mr. Swenson’s top pick since he spent a summer away rotation there. “It’s one of the best, if not the best, ortho programs,” he said. “When I rotated there last summer, it was just a stellar program. It’s going to be a great experience.”
Katerina Salnikova, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, also landed her top choice for residency in neurology: Johns Hopkins University. “I went to Hopkins as an undergraduate, and I had a professor who was my inspiration to pursue neurology,” she said. “Neurology allows you to be very interactive with patients, and she was really a fixture in her patients’ lives.”
When asked if this moment was bittersweet after dedicating four years to medical school, Jené Carter said the sweet definitely outweighed the bitter, but that the past four years had been quite a journey.
“I had a baby my first year, and there’s been a lot that has happened these past four years. It’s a little surreal being done. But it’s more sweet than bitter,” she said.
Ms. Carter is off on a new journey to the United Family Medicine residency program through the Allina Health System in St. Paul.
“In family medicine, you get to work with adults, with children and with women who are pregnant, and so having the skills to do all of that and be available to work in lower resource areas and do mission work is something I want to do,” she said. “I’m excited, nervous, overwhelmed.”
The Class of 2019 matched at institutions including NYU School of Medicine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, Yale School of Medicine, Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, among many others. Seven students will continue their training at GW, and one will train at Children’s National Health System. For more information on Match Day 2019, visit: https://smhs.gwu.edu/academics/md-program/current-students/awards-ceremonies/match-day
Friday was an emotional day for GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences students who found out where they would be doing their residency. (Photo: Biomedical Communications, SMHS Communications and Marketing.)