University of Vermont

Senior Med Students Experience Final Pre-M.D. Milestone: Match Day!

Chris Cahill and Erica Pasciullo
Fourth-Year medical students Chris Cahill and Erica Pasciullo both matched to resdiency programs in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Raj Chawla, UVM Medical Photography)

Every March, tens of thousands of senior medical students are at the “mercy” of a private, not-for-profit Washington, D.C.-based corporation called the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP®), home to a highly sophisticated computer algorithm that selects their fate following graduation: where they will serve their residencies as doctors. The occasion that marks this moment – called “the Match” – took place at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and at medical schools across the U.S. and in Canada on Friday, March 15, 2013, at noon. Results from UVM's residency match are available online.

The NRMP® was established more than 60 years ago to provide a uniform date of appointment to positions in graduate medical education. UVM College of Medicine student Christopher Cahill, a member of the Class of 2013, shares the history, purpose and impact of the Match in a web article, titled “The Matchmakers.”   

UVM’s Match ceremonies began at 11:30 a.m. in the Health Science Research Facility’s Hoehl Gallery. Balloons, a song, screams, laughter and tears filled the air during the hour-long Match Day event. UVM College of Medicine Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education William Jeffries, Ph.D., College of Medicine Dean Frederick C. Morin III, M.D., UVM President Thomas E. Sullivan, J.D., and Lewis First, M.D., professor and chair of pediatrics, provided remarks. Just before noon, Associate Dean for Student Affairs Christa Zehle, M.D., delivered the Match envelopes and introduced the student presenters.

Beginning at exactly noon, envelopes were randomly selected from a bin, and the student names on each of the Match envelopes were announced. Most students chose to come to the stage and share their results publicly, while others learned their results in private.

Below is a glimpse of a few of the 100 UVM medical students who matched on March 15:

·  Essex, Vt., native Jeffrey McLaren, has managed to mix lacrosse and medical school for four years. A football and lacrosse player at Wesleyan College, he worked as a medical assistant in orthopaedics at Fletcher Allen and joined the Vermont Voyagers semi-pro box lacrosse team before coming to the UVM College of Medicine. An assistant coach for Burlington High School’s boys’ lacrosse team since 2010, he says his approach to sports meshes well with his approach to medicine and his specialty choice of anesthesiology. “The operating room has a team atmosphere where it’s easy to be a player and a coach,” says McLaren, who enjoys the constant analysis required in sports and medicine. He matched to an anesthesiology residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass.

·  A UVM medical laboratory technology major who worked at the Mayo Clinic blood bank before attending medical school, Stell Patadji came to Vermont via UVM’s urban partnership with Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx. Though she always had an interest in pathology, she also considered emergency medicine before applying to pathology residencies in Boston, New York, Pittsburgh, New Haven, Conn., and Durham, N.C. The highlight of her medical school career was a rotation at UVM clinical teaching partner St. Mary's Hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla., “because of the diversity, challenge, and complexity of the patients we cared for, and working one-on-one with the attending physicians there.” Patadji, who credits the UVM/Fletcher Allen pathology faculty for solidifying her specialty choice, matched to a residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

·  Stockton, Calif., native and Dartmouth graduate Christopher Cahill did a “couples-match” with his classmate and girlfriend Erica Pasciullo, of Pittsburgh, Pa. He matched to a pediatrics residency at Children's National Medical Center and she in obstetrics/gynecology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Some of his most memorable medical school moments include helping deliver a baby and touching a beating heart. Cahill, whose father, mother, and two siblings are physicians, says he’s ready. “No matter how different a residency hospital, city, or state may be from Vermont, I have a solid foundation of clinical skills and knowledge I can use anywhere.”

Five students participated in early Matches through the military Match – one each in family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, neurology, and a transitional year (a flexible first year of graduate medical education that allows exposure to many specialties).

On Match Day “Eve,” fourth-year medical students at the University of Vermont were welcomed as soon-to-be members of the UVM Medical Alumni Association at the Class of 2013 Dinner. Leaders from their four years of medical school, including Deans Morin, Jeffries and Zehle, as well as Janice Gallant, M.D., associate dean for admissions, William Raszka, M.D., professor of pediatrics and course director, Attacks and Defenses, and Mark Pasanen, M.D.’92, Medical Alumni Association president and associate professor of medicine, spoke at the event, which also introduced the new Class of 2013 Class Agents Shetal Patel, Lizzie Anson, and Idil Aktan.

The event was available via a live videostream and will be available as a video the week of March 18. Members of the Class of 2013 will receive their medical degrees at Commencement on Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel.