Students react to their matches while faculty and families look on.

TEMPLE, TEXAS—Medical students in the Class of 2011 at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) College of Medicine learned where they will spend their residency training after graduation as part of the nationwide “Match Day” on—as luck would have it, St. Patrick’s Day—Thursday, March 17 in Temple at the Cultural Activities Center.

Envelopes containing residency letters were distributed to the 98 medical students individually and randomly, and more than 200 family members and guests attended the ceremony.

As each student was called forward to receive their letter, music of the student’s choosing played.  Selections were well suited to the event and included the theme from the doctor-drama TV show “House,” “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie and “The Final Countdown” by Europe.

M4 LaNeece Marley accepts the coveted fish bowl from Dean Shomaker.

As is a TAMHSC-College of Medicine tradition, a fish bowl stuffed with money from fellow students, faculty and attendees was given to the last student to receive his or her letter.  This year’s lucky—and extremely patient—winner was LaNeece Marley.

“For the first time, the College of Medicine’s Match Day ceremony includes students who received their clinical training at the [TAMHSC] Round Rock campus, as well as students who did their entire four-year curriculum in Temple,” said TAMHSC-College of Medicine Dean Dr. Sam Shomaker. “In all our communities, from Bryan-College Station to Round Rock and Temple, we are so proud of you and the profession upon which you are about to embark.”

Fourth-year student Maria San Andres, who matched to a pediatrics residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals in Galveston, said, “Four years of hard work have finally paid off, and I’m so excited!”

M4 Peter Hsu (left) examines his letter with Luke Potts, an M.D.-Ph.D. student.

This year, 57 percent of the class matched in primary care residencies.  Primary care includes family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, medicine-pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology.

The most popular residency was internal medicine with 22 students (22 percent of the class).  Family medicine with 16 students and pediatrics with 13 students were the next most popular specialties. Six students each matched in emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and general surgery.  Anesthesiology and ophthalmology each had five students, and orthopedic surgery, psychiatry and radiology each had four students.  Otolaryngology and plastic surgery each had two students.  Dermatology, neurosurgery, pathology, preliminary surgery and vascular surgery each had one student match.

M4 Sarah Espinoza poses with her parents.

Fifty percent of the class matched to residencies in Texas, followed by six students in Colorado, five students in Ohio, four in Oklahoma, and three students each in Illinois, North Carolina, Minnesota and Arkansas.  Four students matched with military residencies.  In all, College of Medicine students matched to residencies in 24 states and Washington, D.C.

Overall, this trend indicates that the TAMHSC-College of Medicine continues to produce exceptional primary care and specialty physicians, and a majority of those physicians stay in the State of Texas to practice medicine.

Nationwide, more than 16,000 students in 125 U.S. medical schools participated in the annual Match Day through the National Resident Matching Program. The Match uses a computer algorithm designed to produce favorable results for students that aligns the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs to fill the thousands of training positions available at U.S. training hospitals.

Residences were unveiled nationwide at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The Match was established in 1952 at the request of medical students to provide a fair, impartial transition from medical school to residency.

All smiles from students and faculty!

See the TAMHSC-College of Medicine facebook page for more photos.  Photos courtesy of Gary Hansen/Scott & White Hospital and the TAMHSC-College of Medicine Office of Institutional Advancement.

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