A buzz of nervous anticipation swept the Great Hall at Stranahan Theater as 165 graduating medical students at The University of Toledo waited with their families for the moment that would change their lives.
As the clock struck noon on Match Day, Sophia Toraby ripped open the envelope revealing she won’t be moving anywhere for her residency training. The Connecticut native matched in general surgery at The University of Toledo Medical Center.“I could’ve gone somewhere closer to home in New England, but my experience here made me want to stay,” Toraby said as her hands shook with a mix of excitement and adrenaline. “The specialty was a wonderful surprise. I had applied for both general surgery and ob/gyn. I let the national match math algorithm make the decision for me. I would’ve been happy with either. This is a great fit.”
“Match Day is a thrilling milestone for a medical student,” Dr. Chris Cooper, dean of the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, said. “Students at The University of Toledo did well again this year. They matched competitively throughout Ohio and the nation in a very competitive environment. Our faculty and staff are proud of this class for their years of hard work and dedication to become doctors. We are honored to help launch their careers.”
Through the waves of cheers and tears, fourth-year medical student Nick Oblizajek of Sylvania cradled his 4-month-old daughter, Addison, in his arms.“We’re moving the family to Minnesota,” said Oblizajek, who was placed into the Mayo Clinic’s three-year internal medicine residency program. “This is very special. The day Addison was born was the greatest moment of my life, but this match comes close.”
The same scene unfolded at medical schools across the country at precisely the same time as part of the annual Match Day ritual.
Nine of the 165 UT medical students will continue their training at The University of Toledo Medical Center as part of 12 who matched in northwest Ohio hospitals.
The students matched in 24 specialties, with 67, or 41 percent, in primary care fields. The top specialties for this graduating class were internal medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine and pediatrics.Ohio was the most popular state with 52 students matching there, followed by Michigan with 18, and California with 14. Overall, students matched with programs in 31 states.
“I have been waiting for this day my whole life,” said Anita Mallya, who will spend the next four years in the neurology residency program at the Albany Medical Center in New York. “I’ve known I wanted to be a doctor since I was 5 years old.”
“This is more of a big deal than graduation,” said Jessica Arden, who matched in radiation oncology at the Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak, Mich. “I am happy to be spending the next five years training close to my family. We’ve been waiting a long time to find out. It was a lot of work to get here.”
“I thought my heart was going to jump out of my mouth as we waited for noon to arrive,” said Hillary Liebler, who will head to Houston after graduation in May to complete her residency in internal medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. “This experience is rewarding and fulfilling. I’m excited for the next chapter to begin.”
Not only were graduating medical students proud of their placements, faculty and staff are pleased with the spike in number of budding doctors across the country who will be joining UTMC’s residency programs.
“The number of American medical school graduates choosing UTMC doubled compared to last year,” Cooper said. “We believe that the academic affiliation agreement with ProMedica is and will continue to strengthen our training programs, and this is having a positive impact.”