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Match Day 2019

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2018 - Autumn


Winter in Connecticut unfolded slowly over 2018-19, bracketing the bulk of the coldest weather with snowstorms in November and March. By March 15, the remnants of that March storm, wreathes of gray, melting ice, embellished parking lots and sidewalks like illustrations on the pages of a medieval manuscript. Spring was ready to arrive and announce itself. At Yale School of Medicine, an annual crowd of students, faculty, family, and friends gathered in Café Med, at 367 Cedar Street, eager to see what four or five years of hard work had wrought.

The students were there to find out where they’d matched; others were there to offer support or help the students celebrate.

“I came here to feel the excitement of Match Day again,” said Jacob Siegel, MD, a dermatology resident at Yale New Haven Hospital who stopped by on his way to a clinic. “It’s a special day in the life of a doctor.”

At noon, Nancy Angoff, MD ’90, MPH ’81, MEd, HS ’93, pulled open the glass doors to the Harkness Ballroom and the fourth-year students surged inside. Their goal: a letter, containing within the details of the next years of their lives—a location, a program, and a new beginning; the years they’d first be able to practice as doctors, healing wounded or ill patients.

Eighty-five students entered the room and it was quickly filled with whooping, elated shouts. Triumphant YSM students offered hugs to each other and to family. Others, more muted, considered their time at Yale with stoicism and circumspection.

Tejas Sathe, a fourth-year student who matched in general surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia, was among the elated. “I’m very thankful to Yale School of Medicine and to my wonderful classmates. It was a blessing to go here, and I’m confident that the many creative projects I had a chance to participate in—the second year show, starting a business—gave me a decisive edge when it came to applying to residential programs. This is a great day.”

Sathe’s family, visiting for the occasion, helped place his accomplishment in context. “Tejas wanted to practice surgery because it’s an outcome-driven field; one performs surgery, there is a positive end result. He’s been thinking about being a doctor since he was 6 years old,” said his father, Sudarshan Sathe.

Every year, the process of matching students with residency programs keeps Angoff, associate dean for student affairs and associate professor of medicine, busy until the last day. Most students match straight away, but there are always holes that emerge. “It’s usually very stressful in the last week leading up to Match Day,” Angoff said. “But we’re always so proud of our students and happy for them as they learn where they will start their professional careers.”

Two fourth-year students, Paul Bourdillon and Mohammed Imran Ghare, swapped stories with well-wishers outside Harkness Ballroom after the presentation. Ghare will be joining his spouse and daughter at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. “Yale was the perfect sandbox to learn medicine and learn what it takes to be a doctor,” he said. “And I’m really looking forward to reuniting the family!”

Bourdillon, who will pursue a residency in internal medicine with the University of Washington, “couples” matched too, and will be moving to Seattle soon. “I’m incredibly excited that we were able to match together at a place that we both love,” he said

Another student, Alice Lu, an MD-PhD candidate, said that the day can be different for dual-degrees like herself. “I’ve been to a lot of Match Days,” she said. “It’s always a fun day.”

One thing about this Match Day was different from others. Whereas in years past, students matched and then immediately left campus, this year they will stay for the newly revived “4th Year Show.” They will also have another two weeks of class: a capstone course that’s part reflections on their time at YSM, and part preparation for what they’ll encounter as residents. David Rosenthal, MD, assistant professor of medicine, who is teaching the course, was on hand with a mobile “selfie” booth so that students could take photos.

“This is a nice way for students to release from the pressure of all the work they put in over the years,” said Rosenthal. “We hope we’ve prepared them for what’s next.”

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