NEWS | March 21, 2014

"The envelope please"

UC Davis School of Medicine students get their Match Day residency letters


In a room filled with excitement and joy, 96 students from UC Davis School of Medicine today learned where they will be continuing their medical education over the next several years as they train to become licensed physicians.

Alexis Gaskin matched to Howard University in Washington, D.C. Alexis Gaskin matched to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Like medical students across the country today, UC Davis medical students opened their official Match Day letters at 9 a.m.  and then celebrated their residency placements with family, friends, medical school leaders and staff during a special ceremony on the UC Davis campus.

“This day is like all my dreams come true,” said Alexis Gaskin, a fourth-year medical student from Vacaville, Calif., who matched in orthopedics at Howard University in Washington, D.C.  “Being able to visualize it [the match letter], to see it in my hand is really a dream come true."

Match Day is an annual event that occurs simultaneously at medical schools throughout the nation. The match letter informs students where they will be going during the next three to seven years for more specialized physician training.

This year, more than 17,000 U.S. medical school students participated in the residency match process. A computer algorithm from the National Resident Matching Program matches the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs at teaching hospitals throughout the country. The students apply for the available residency positions along with thousands of independent applicants, including osteopathic students and graduates of foreign medical schools.

“This may have been our most successful Match Day ever, with so many of our students getting their preferred choices this year," said Mark Servis, senior associate dean for curriculum and competency development at the School of Medicine. "This is a day students always remember, a day of excitement and a rite of passage, when they discover the next step on their journey to becoming future leaders in medicine and compassionate doctors in their communities.”

For UC Davis graduates, the majority of students (approximately 64 percent) will remain in California for their training, with about 20 percent of the Class of 2014 completing their residencies at UC Davis Medical Center. Fifty-one percent of the students chose primary-care residencies, which include family practice, pediatrics and internal medicine. About 11 percent of the graduating class picked advanced subspecialty programs such as anesthesiology, dermatology and radiology.

Arica Nesper, a medical student from Sonora, Calif., is headed to the Stanford University Medical Center for her residency.  

"We have an incredible department here at UC Davis (in Emergency Medicine). The people are incredible, the facilities are amazing, and I'm sure that extra exposure inspired me to choose emergency medicine as a profession,” Nesper said."

For UC Davis administrators, like the students, Match Day is one of their favorite days of the year.

"It represents the culmination of four years, or more, of medical education for our students,” said Servis, who also is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science. “I always think about where the students began and where they are today, and the transformation that has occurred that will make them the physicians they're going to be. For me, it’s very rewarding.”

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at