Connolly Auditorium erupted in cheers, hugs and tears of joy as Sidney Kimmel Medical College students tore open their envelopes in unison to reveal where they will complete their residencies.
“All your emotions were bottled up,” said Gab Perrotti, moments after finding out she will continue her studies at Abington Memorial Hospital for surgery. “I’m shaking—you don’t even know.”
A mix of nerves and excitement, Sean Maloney also appreciated the gravity of Match Day. He will head to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Washington and then Florida’s Jackson Memorial Hospital for diagnostic radiology.
“You have four years thinking about this moment,” Maloney said. “It’s finally here, and I’m trying to take it all in.”
At the March 15 event held at schools across the country, Charles Pohl, MD, Jefferson’s vice provost and vice dean of student affairs, congratulated students for completing this challenging journey and wished them well in the years ahead.
“I’m proud that each of you will be a fellow alum of Sidney Kimmel Medical College in a few short weeks,” he said.
Students vied for some 32,000 spots among 4,800 U.S. residency programs, Dr. Pohl noted. The specialties of internal medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine and pediatrics received the highest number of matches for Jefferson students. For the early matches, nine students matched into urology and a record 13 students matched into leading ophthalmology residency programs, including Wills Eye at Jefferson, Stanford University, Tufts University, Emory University and Brown University. (For comparison, medical schools send an average of two or three students into the competitive ophthalmology specialty.)
Two students matched into the military, and 25 percent of students matched into a Jefferson hospital or affiliate.
“Jefferson was my No. 1,” said Bob Wiley, who will be entering family medicine. “It’s been a great four years.”
In toasting the class of 2019, Mark L. Tykocinski, MD, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Jefferson, praised the students for their hard work and persistence.
“I’m confident your incredible talents will take you where you want to be,” said Dr. Tykocinski, the Anthony F. and Gertrude M. DePalma Dean of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College.
After the ceremony, students—clad in “Beware of the Ides of Match” and orange Gritty-themed “No Grit/No Glory” T-shirts—streamed into the lobby and Lubert Plaza to celebrate with family, friends and significant others.
Tommy Lindeman surprised his girlfriend, Jefferson student Lauren Burton, by wearing a “She’s a Match” shirt with a bitmoji illustration of her on it.
“She’s a very inspiring woman,” he said. “I wanted to support her.”
A happy Burton will go to Abington Memorial Hospital for OB/GYN. “I know it’s meant to be,” she said.