Making Their Match

Match Day: The Waiting (and Traveling, and Interviewing) is the Hardest Part

Tables were set up and the map of the United States was free of push pins as 160 students milled about Lubin Dining Hall on March 16, anxiously anticipating the arrival of noon, when Dr. Stephen Baum, Einstein's senior associate dean for students, would sound the gong signaling the class of 2012 could receive the envelopes that would determine their futures. This was Match Day after all, the day all fourth-year medical students learn where they will complete their residencies.

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Shouts and cries erupted as envelopes were opened and residency locations were revealed. While there was excitement and even some trepidation, the overriding emotion seemed to be relief – that an outcome was known and the process was over.

The traveling and endless interviews "is definitely a drawn-out process, which builds on the anxiety of this whole thing," said Jill Berkin. "For about six weeks I was driving up and down the east coast, flying out to Chicago...towards the end it gets exhausting and the programs blur in your head."

Jackie Herold agreed. "I interviewed at about 30 places. I wasn't sure what would be a good fit, so I looked far and wide since I wasn't geographically restricted." Her field, child neurology, is a new one for the Match program, and she will be going to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). "They recently named a new chairperson who's interested in neuro-immunology, as I am, so it will be a great place to pursue that." She'll be continuing a family tradition; her mother, Betsy, is professor of pediatrics at Einstein.

Jacqueline Herold with faculty member Dr. Marla Keller
Jacqueline Herold with faculty member Dr. Marla Keller
Ms. Herold, may find herself bumping into fellow graduate Evanthia Roussos, an M.D.-Ph.D. student who found an ideal match in the residency program at the University of Pennsylvania not only for the school's esteemed internal medicine program but because her husband is a second-year orthopedic surgery resident at UPenn. "While doing a six-week rotation at the university, it became clear to me that hematology/ oncology is a great fit for me and the perfect clinical counterpart to my research in breast cancer. I really see myself doing this for the rest of my career.

She was thrilled to have matched at UPenn, exclaiming, "I can't wait to begin a life with my husband under one roof."

While some students, like Long Island native Bryan Tischenkel, were glad to be remaining close to home (placing in anesthesiology at Columbia University), others were excited to be leaving home to explore new territory. "I always wanted to live outside New York," said Brooklynite Yoland Philpotts, who found a good fit at Massachusetts General Hospital, in internal medicine. "They were really forward about saying 'What are your interests? Where do you see yourself?' and then saying 'This is what you can do when you're here,'" he explained.

Ms. Berkin got a similar feeling at Johns Hopkins, where she placed in obstetrics/gynecology. "It reminded me of Einstein," she said of the Baltimore institution. "There are no airs here, and I was looking for an environment that reflected that. In the interviews we chatted about my life, my perspective on things. They really wanted to know me as a person."

While the students spoke glowingly of their new assignments, Dr. Baum spoke similarly about them. "It's extremely gratifying to see how well our students do in the Match," he said. "Clearly it's the breadth of the Einstein faculty and the students' own hard work and intelligence that gets them where they are, but it's wonderful to give them support along the way and to celebrate their successes."

Photo Gallery

(To view slideshow of photo gallery, click on an image below; then move your mouse over the left or right margins to navigate.)

Dr. Nadine Katz assesses the mood Dr. Stephen Baum sounds the gong Mad crush for the “envelope” Linda Gillespie, registrar, with Christina Chin, student affairs administrator Almost doctors… Anticipation

Initial reaction Making a call Revealing letters Going places New York state of mind California, here they come

Jacqueline Herold with faculty member Dr. Marla Keller Young pediatrics resident Excitement of the moment Happy hug

Posted on: Thursday, March 29, 2012