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Match Day at UC: Medical school grads get their residency assignments

Across the country, college students wait in anticipation for the March announcement that brings cheers of joy and hugs of celebration.

No, it’s not the NCAA basketball tournament. It’s Match Day, when graduating medical students find out which hospital has accepted them for residency to get advanced training in their chosen specialty.

On March 15, 645 UC medical students were among the 16,000 graduating U.S. medical students who learned where they have been matched. Graduating medical students celebrated their “matches” with friends and family.

Nearly half of the 107 medical students graduating from UC Davis in June will enter primary care medicine residency programs, the highest percentage in more than a decade, demonstrating the school’s ongoing commitment to alleviating the nationwide shortage of providers in the specialty.

“I am so thrilled to be going to my first-choice pediatric residency, and I am so thankful to UC Davis,” said Angela Venturelli, a 27-year-old graduate from South San Francisco who will be pursuing a pediatrics residency at Oakland Children’s Hospital. “The student-run clinics showed me how important it is for all people to have great primary care, regardless of age, status or class.”

Other UC medical schools have a similar rate. At UC San Francisco, 48 percent of the 158 students are matched in primary care specialties. Of those matched, 61 percent will be training in California, primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area.

At UC San Diego, 40 percent of its 131 students are matched in primary care specialties. Of those matched, 63 percent will train in California, with 26 percent staying in San Diego.

“It’s a lot of relief,” said 33-year-old graduate Pritha Workman, a former Marine, after finding that she will continue at UC San Diego for her residency in obstetrics-gynecology.

At UC Irvine, the future doctors are summoned to a podium one at a time to open an envelope and read aloud – before hundreds of family members, friends and classmates – the name and location of the hospital where each will spend the next three to seven years as a resident physician.

As part of this tradition, each student, upon reaching the podium, places a dollar bill in a well-worn doctor’s bag. The student called to the podium last – who had to wait the longest to learn his or her fate – wins the cash accumulated in the satchel. This year, 99 UC Irvine medical students took part in the event.

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