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Vital Signs

DMS celebrates mid-March Match madness

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For fourth-year med students, the most important mid-March date is not the deadline for submitting their NCAA brackets but the day they learn where they'll do their residencies.

By David Corriveau

Dr. William Green, dean of DMS, couldn't resist the juxtaposition: The day after the NCAA revealed which 65 college basketball teams would play where in the Division I men's tournament, 87 DMS fourth-years were poised to learn where they would spend their next several years of training.

"This is truly a fun, March Madness type of moment," said Green, before helping Dr. Susan Harper, assistant dean of medical education, hand out the envelopes at DMS's Match Day ceremony on March 18.

Fun: Along with the fun—cake, cheers, and hugs—came butterflies for Maria Miranda and Ragavan Narayanan. They were among several couples in the class wondering if they'd end up at the same institution, or at least within commuting distance of each other.

Narayanan opened his envelope first and learned that he'll be doing surgery at Harvard's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Then Miranda's envelope informed her that she'll be doing internal medicine at UMass in Amherst, just 45 minutes from Boston. "I was worried," Miranda said with a smile of relief. "You never know."

Celebrating success

See more images of DMS students celebrating Match Day.
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For Sherzana Sunderji, the president of the DMS Student Government, reality and hope also matched up: She'll be going into pediatrics at her first choice, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Why pediatrics? "Kids smile and laugh," says Sunderji, who was raised in Canada after her parents fled Idi Amin's dictatorship in Uganda. "They make me happy," she adds.

Rank: Under the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), the soon-to-be-graduates rank their preferred training programs, while the directors of residency programs nationwide rank the applicants. A computer then pairs students with programs. (For a student's-eye view of Match Day, see the article "Striking matches".)

This year, 21,749 of a record 30,543 students who applied to the NRMP received matches, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. From Dartmouth, the 87 new M.D.'s will fan out to 26 states and the Canadian province of Ontario; the top destination, drawing 18 of the '10s, is Massachusetts. Miranda and 14 other students chose internal medicine, 11 are going into pediatrics, and 10 into anesthesiology.

Why pediatrics? "Kids . . . make me happy," says Sherzana Sunderji.

Incoming: While most of the DMS '10s head off around the country, the Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME) at DHMC expects to welcome 79 new residents this year. According to GME's Christina Trottier, 13 are DMS graduates, 11 of them from the Class of 2010.

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