Reprinted from the summer 2018 issue of The Ohio Family Physician.
This year, Residency Match Day was March 16, when thousands of medical school graduates from the United States, and around the world finally learned which U.S. residency program they would train at for the next three to seven years. On this day, just one letter can change the course of one’s life and the trajectory of an entire career.
After more than a year of completing applications and interviews, students and residency programs ranked their preferences. On March 12, applicants learned if they matched into a residency program. Then the rest of the week, unmatched applicants participated in the Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®) to try to obtain a position in a program that did not fill through the matching algorithm process.
The 2018 Main Residency Match, organized by the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®), was the largest match day to take place in history, with a record 37,103 applicants submitting program choices for 33,167 positions. Also, the upward trend in students matching into family medicine continued for the ninth consecutive year, with 2018 data showing more students matching into family medicine than in any year previously recorded. This year, the total number of NRMP Match participants matching into family medicine was 3,535, up 298 from the 3,237 matched in 2017.
To describe the experience of match day, the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians interviewed two medical students a few hours after they learned where they matched. While the anxiety had faded, the pure excitement and joy overwhelmed both students, who could barely hold back their emotions in expressing gratitude for family, friends, mentors, and the OAFP.
Darian Roberts, a fourth year medical student at the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), waited patiently on Match Day to open her letter, while on stage in front of family and friends. She was nervous, yet excited that this day was finally here. She wanted her friends and family to see her immediate heartfelt reaction to opening her letter, which would tell her where she would be spending the next few years of her life.
She had been looking forward to this moment since she attended her first family medicine event. For her, the family medicine interest group (FMIG) event confirmed the appeal of family medicine because she was able to validate her interest in being able to not only maintain long-term relationships with patients, but also have the option to perform procedural work.
Through all of her hard work and exhausting interview schedule with residency programs across the United States, Darian was hoping to stay in Ohio. To her excitement, she matched into the Grant Family Medicine Residency Program in Columbus, OH. To get to this point, she credits her service on the OAFP Foundation Board of Trustees, which helped her develop a sense of comradery and acceptance into the family medicine community. She wanted to give students a voice on the Foundation Board, and so she did. “It was feedback from one student for another student,” said Darian. “Being a part of the Foundation Board of Trustees provided me invaluable experience.”
Upon graduation, she will continue to be a member of the OAFP, and looks forward to fostering even more relationships with Academy and Foundation members and staff. She conveyed her appreciation of the constant outreach the Foundation had with the FMIG. From networking and scholarship opportunities to helping students get in touch with preceptors, the Academy and Foundation contributed significantly to her choice to pursue family medicine. Darian also participated in the Foundation’s Leroy A. Rodgers, MD, Preceptorship Program, and said, “It was a game changer.”
Anna Askari, a fourth year student at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine, waited patiently, surrounded by family, friends, and mentors, for the buzzer to sound so she could tear open her Residency Match letter. With overwhelming anticipation and excitement, she was finally able to see her results. Since middle school, Anna had been looking forward to this moment. She always valued science and found the joy in the interactions between patients and physicians. One of her mentors, Maria Riza Conroy, MD, confirmed her choice to pursue family medicine.
Once Anna confirmed her true passion, her involvement with the OAFP and the Foundation was ignited by Kaitlin McGuffie, OAFP director of events and foundation programs. In 2015, the OSU FMIG hosted an information session where family physicians spoke about the Foundation. Soon after that event, Anna pursued and secured a spot on the OAFP Foundation Board of Trustees. Anna also received a scholarship to serve as Ohio’s student alternate delegate at the 2015 AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students, and participated in the 2015 Leroy A. Rodgers, MD, Preceptorship Program. Anna has also served as student director on the OAFP Board of Directors since August 2016.
Anna matched into the Eisenhower Health Family Medicine Residency Program in Palm Springs, CA. “I appreciate the OAFP for all their support, mentorship opportunities, and shear passion for family medicine,” said Anna. “The OAFP is so special to me, and I know I have made lifelong colleagues and friends.” Anna will be greatly missed here in Ohio, but we congratulate her on this new journey, and look forward to her return to the Buckeye state post-residency!
The OAFP wishes both Darian and Anna the best of luck in their future residency programs!