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Vital Signs

A matchy-matchy day for the fourth-years

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Match Day was full of dramatic moments, as Susan Harper gave Peter Burrage his envelope...

By Amos Esty

Before she began calling names and handing out Match Day envelopes to fourth-year medical students, Dr. Susan Harper, assistant dean for medical education, cited some statistics. There were cheers when she said diagnostic radiology was the top residency choice for the '09s, and more cheers when she said California and Massachusetts were the most popular destinations. But the loudest applause came when she said that every DMS student who participated in the Match had secured a spot. Then she and Dr. William Green, DMS's dean, started distributing envelopes one by one.

Rank: Similar ceremonies were taking place at schools all across the country. Every year, on the third Thursday in March, fourth-year medical students find out where they'll do their residency. In February, students list their preferences, and teaching hospitals rank their choices of students. Then a computer algorithm pairs students with hospitals. On March 16, the Monday before Match Day, the '09s learned if they'd matched at all, and on March 19 they found out where they're headed.

This year, a total of 29,890 would-be residents, the most ever, participated in the Match. Not all secured a spot, as only 22,427 positions were available.

Every DMS student who participated in the Match had secured a spot.

Despite the gravity of the occasion, DMS students were doing their best not to worry. "There's no point in being anxious about it, because it won't change anything," said Fuyuki Hirashima. But, she added, "it's hard not to think about it." Yasotha Rajeswaran said, "I was nervous for the past couple days, but today I'm more excited."

Name: Carolyn Presley was the last student called down the aisle to pick up her envelope. She was relieved when she finally heard her name, and even more relieved when the envelope contained good news. "I was so terribly nervous because I wanted to match at Yale, where my fianc'e is a graduate student," she said. Before heading to New Haven, Presley will walk down another aisle—"we are getting married in May," she added.

The 63 DMS graduates will head for 19 different states, with Massachusetts and California claiming 11 each. After diagnostic radiology, which drew nine '09s, internal medicine and anesthesiology were the top choices; 17 students matched in primary-care fields.

Incoming: As the DMS '09s spread out across the country, DHMC prepared to welcome 76 incoming residents, including four DMS graduates. In addition, the New Hampshire-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency will gain eight new residents, while 10 will begin their training at the Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency.

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