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On March 17, 2017, after much anticipation, senior medical students at the University of South Alabama gathered at the Convention Center in Mobile to find out this year’s Match Day results and the next step in their medical training.
The National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), or Match Day, is the annual event in which future doctors across the United States and Canada learn where they will be doing their residency training. The graduating medical students across North America simultaneously opened their envelopes with their assigned matches at 11 a.m. CST.
After interviewing with several different residency programs across the country, students rank their top-choice programs in order of preference. Training programs also rank the students who interviewed. The NRMP then uses a mathematical algorithm to designate each applicant into a residency program.
The 70 USA College of Medicine seniors matched in 22 different states, with 48 students matching out-of-state and 22 students matching in the state of Alabama. Twelve of those students matching in Alabama matched at USA Hospitals.
“Match Day is the most important day in a medical student’s career,” said Dr. Susan LeDoux, associate dean of medical education and student affairs at USA. “They work so hard to get into the specialty they like, and then once they are in that specialty they continue to work hard throughout their training.”
Candice Holliday, a fourth-year medical student and former attorney, was given the chance to change paths in life when she was accepted to medical school at USA. “I became interested in the medical profession because I was not very fulfilled as an attorney in business litigation after three years,” she said.
Holliday’s family has roots in medicine. Her parents are both psychiatrists, and her twin sister is Dr. Nicolette Holliday, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at USA. “I was inspired by my twin sister, who was a very happy obstetrics and gynecology resident and is now an attending physician at USA.”
Holliday matched in obstetrics and gynecology at USA. “I read the envelope on stage and realized immediately that my relationship with my sister will change. It will be an honor to work with her.”
Jelaina Scott, a fourth-year medical student from Birmingham, Ala., said that Match Day was a reminder of how far she has come since her first day of medical school. After attending the University of Alabama and earning her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, she was interested in the medical profession because of her background in science and passion for helping people.
As the first physician in her family, Scott is ready to begin her residency. She matched in emergency medicine at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, Tenn. “I want to help people in some of the scariest and worst moments in their life,” she said.
“Today brings my dream of pursuing emergency medicine full-circle,” Scott added. She is ready for the challenges that residency will bring her, and she gave advice to USA medical students in classes below her about pursuing passions in the medical field. “Don’t pick a field just because you think it might pay well or looks a certain way, but use the tools we are given at USA to engage with instructors and patients to find the field where you will best serve and fit.”
Brenden Ingraham, another fourth-year medical student, was compelled to pursue a career in medicine after working as a medical assistant, transcriptionist and scrub tech during his undergraduate studies at Spring Hill College in Mobile. “I worked with some fantastic physicians here in Mobile – many of them USA College of Medicine alumni – who were mentors to me before my formal medical education even began,” he said.
Ingraham matched in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education in Rochester, Minn. He hopes to complete three years of internal medicine and then go on to a fellowship in interventional cardiology.
The Mayo Clinic was his first choice, and he was able to share the joy with his family when he opened the envelope. “My brother took video of me opening the letter, and the look of excitement on my mom’s face in the video is even better than mine.”
Mobile native James Lee West IV knew from an early age that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, Dr. James West, adjunct professor of orthopaedics at USA. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Mississippi, he thought about where his interest was in medicine. “I thought about pursuing orthopaedic surgery like my father, but found that my interest truly lies in general surgery,” he said. “You get to practice many kinds of medicine in general surgery, and you are like the ‘Swiss Army knife of health care’ with all of the tools you learn from it.”
West matched in general surgery at Brookwood Baptist Health in Birmingham, Ala. “The physicians I learned from at USA have taught me to go the extra mile and care for patients in a way that impacts both the patient and the physician,” he said.
Fourth-year medical student Hannah Schrubbe was drawn to the field of medicine because of the opportunity to meet and serve people from all walks of life. “What has kept me interested in the field is the fact that I get to use my brain to solve problems while I learn something new through each patient encounter,” she said.
She was raised in Fairhope, Ala., and earned her degree in marine biology from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Fla. “My father is a family practitioner in Daphne, Ala., and he was a large part of my decision to pursue a career in family medicine,” she said.
Schrubbe matched in family medicine at Florida State University in Fort Myers, Fla. “I am most looking forward to taking care of my own patients and growing into a competent physician during my residency,” she said. “While I enjoyed being part of a team in medical school, I am looking forward to calling the final shot in situations and learning what kind of doctor I will be.” Schrubbe feels that USA prepared her for what is to come by placing an emphasis on clinical skills and the importance of good communication with patients.
Hailing from the small town of Ralph, Ala., Nicholas Tinker always dreamed of becoming a physician. He first found his place on the football field at the University of Alabama. “Football gave me discipline and the knowledge that is necessary to put my best foot forward,” he said.
His family learned much about the medical field when his mother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure while Tinker was still in high school. “We were health illiterate,” Tinker said. “People in my hometown always said that you go to the hospital to die, but from my mother’s experience, I knew that there was positivity in the health profession.”
Tinker matched in obstetrics and gynecology at USA. He credits his education in helping him to prepare in the best way for his residency interviews. “From the hands-on training I received at USA, I could tell that I was much more prepared for any residency than students from other medical schools,” he said.
“After long hours studying and being in the hospital, it feels wonderful for all of us to have jobs that will truly make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Tinker said. “Match Day is the light at the end of a long tunnel we have been chasing for four years.”
Click here to view more photos from the event. Click here to watch the Match Day video.
Complete Match Day results can be found here.
© 2018 USA Health System