Over 150 University of Pittsburgh medical students recently gathered in the lobby of the Petersen Event Center anxiously awaiting envelopes with letters inside stating where they would spend their next three to seven years as medical residents.
This event is known as Match Day, and it occurs annually around the country. After many interviews and careful consideration, students and medical schools simultaneously rank each other and submit their top picks for a computer algorithm to match students to their future residency assignments. The results are placed in an envelope for students to open in unison on Match Day.
Joy Trybula, president of the Pitt School of Medicine Class of 2017, took the stage to offer words of encouragement to her nervous and excited peers. Mixed emotions filled the room as the future doctors held hands and linked arms with their support systems (parents, significant others and children) while they waited to learn of their destinations.
After receiving her degree in pharmacy from Purdue University, Trybula decided to attend medical school after realizing she wanted more patient interaction. During her pharmacy rotations, she had the opportunity to work with patients, sparking her interest in learning their full stories and thoroughly understanding their diagnoses.
Trybula and her husband are expecting a baby in a few months. Her top choice for residency was Feinberg School of Medicine – Northwestern University, so she could move back home and start her family.
At exactly noon, students rushed to pick up their envelopes and the room filled with celebratory hugs, excited screams and tears. Pictures were snapped and flowers were distributed as the students congratulated each other on their placements.
Trybula also learned her fate – she was matched with Northwestern University.
“My husband and I are so excited that we will be able to live in the same city,” she said. “He is starting a cardiology program in Chicago, so we will both be able to move there and start our family.”
Overall, Pitt medical students had great success this year as every student received a residency placement. Nationally, there were 42,000 total participants in this highly competitive program. The Class of 2017 will represent Pitt in 30 different states next year as they complete the final steps in their education.