MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than 180 senior medical students at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine came face-to-face with their future on Friday.
These students, along with their colleagues at medical schools across the nation, held their breath for Match Day.
No they’re not going on a dating website, but rather they’re taking a major stepping stone into a doctor’s future marking the transition from eight years of college and medical school into a lifetime of healing and miracles.
Students were called one by one; they were handed an envelope and inside of that envelope, they discovered the name of the residency training program they have been matched with.
Most students end up with their program of choice, usually in the city of their permanent home.
Others that are not so fortunate and will wind up with their second or third choice.
Medical student Marvin Smith was one of the lucky ones.
“Elated, words can’t describe,” said Smith. “But this is only the beginning. This is only the beginning.”
Smith learned he got his number one pick, a residency in orthopedic surgery, at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
It’s been a dream realized today after nine years of hard work. He was pre-med in undergraduate school and played college level football at the same time.
He took a year off to do research to boost his chances of getting into this highly competitive specialty. Now, on the verge of graduating from medical school, he has learned he accomplished his goal.
“It’s been my number one choice,” he said. “[I have] been through a lot of ups and downs. But it’s real.”
Last year the number of medical school seniors entering residencies in family medicine or primary care was up nine percent over 2009, but for those choosing that path, it was a tough choice.
“Students are not really rewarded for it and it is a very tough thing to have to go into just in terms of medical school debt,” said Jennifer Greig.
The average medical student taking out loans to attend UM will rack up $150,000 in debt according to school officials.
Many students look at the mountain of bills and decide to choose more lucrative specialties than family medicine or primary care.
That is a huge worry because if health care reform is going to work in any way, a growing shortage of primary care doctors must be remedied.