The big reveal

The big reveal

Medical students make their residency matches

 By Christine Velasquez

Josh and Jennifer Sbicca celebrate her match to the University of Southern California for dermatology./Photo by Jesse S. Jones

Standing on stage, Patrick Duff, M.D., lobbed a ball to UF softball player Stacey Stevens. It was a ceremonial first pitch to kick off Match Day — held at the J. Wayne Reitz Union and viewed around the world as family and friends tuned in to celebrate the UF College of Medicine class of 2012 and watch as they uncovered where they would be spending the next several years of their medical careers.

“I think I’m having a heart attack … I’m feeling tingly,” said Patrick Buchanan, a fourth-year medical student who bravely approached the lectern, reading his letter for the first time in front of the crowd, including his mother and sister, who were watching online. He took a deep breath and announced where he will train in plastic surgery.

“The University of Michigan. Go blue!”

Buchanan was one of 129 soon-to-be graduates of the UF College of Medicine who learned where they matched for their residency training during the college’s annual ceremony, held March 16. The decision, devised by a mathematical algorithm that matches students’ and institutions top choices, is about more than location: It determines the trajectory of students’ careers. Across the country, more than 16,000 medical students matched to residencies this year.

This year, the top three specialties were medicine, emergency medicine and pediatrics. Nearly one-quarter of the class will stay in Florida for their residencies.

Cheryl and Daniel Lodwick along with their two sons Thomas and Isaiah celebrate their couple match to Ohio State University./Photo by Jesse S. Jones

With her parents by her side and her grandparents watching from Iraq, Avan Armaghani learned that she received her first choice: a residency in internal medicine at UF.

“I couldn’t have wished for a better school,” she said. “I was born and raised in Gainesville, and I know that this program is the best fit for me. I know I will receive the best training.”