Match Day 2012

April 1, 2012

Forget March Madness, it was Match Madness at Baylor College of Medicine March 16 as 158 fourth-year medical students learned where they would be going for their residency training.

Match Day is the culmination of the National Residents Matching Program that pairs fourth-year medical students with residency programs across the country.

Students and their families, along with faculty and staff, gathered in the BCM courtyard for the festivities. Students mobbed the match board promptly at 11 a.m. to grab the envelopes that revealed their match.

Before the unveiling of the board, a group of students surprised the crowd with a flash mob dance performance. The entire class assembled for a group photo, and several speakers addressed the students and their families.

Dr. Mary Brandt, associate dean of student affairs , noted that 100 percent of the fourth-year students matched. This was Brandt's first Match Day as associate dean, and it will be an experience she won't soon forget, especially since she Tweeted the entire event starting first thing in the morning. To read her Tweets, go to www.twitter.com/drmlb. Coverage of the event can also be found on the Baylor Facebook page.

The places you'll go!

Dr. Paul Klotman, president and CEO at BCM, emphasized to students that even if they didn't get their first choice, they would end up at the right place – the institution that made them their first choice.

In addition, Klotman told the students that they were exceptionally well-trained for the next step in their medical careers and that they would always represent Baylor.

Dr. Stephen Greenberg, dean of medical education, reminded students that Baylor will remain their home and they will always be welcomed back. He quoted the wise of words of another doctor, Dr. Seuss, from the book "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what to do. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go. You're off to great places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So, get on your way!"

Class president Amy Pearlman addressed her peers, and then led a countdown to 11 a.m. Thirty percent of the students are staying at Baylor College of Medicine with the rest spreading across the country for their residency training.

Match stories

Chisa Echendu is one of the students who will stay at BCM, where she will conduct her residency in radiation oncology. Echendu came to BCM to pursue a Ph.D. in molecular virology and microbiology. After being diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing treatment, she decided to pursue her medical degree.

Echendu shared the match experience with her husband, twin toddler daughters and other family members.

Two BCM students who will be heading out of Texas are Chethan Ramamurthy and Barbara Robles, a married couple who matched at the University of Pennsylvania in internal medicine and psychiatry, respectively.

"We're so happy with our match, and we've had a great day sharing this experience with our family."

Match Day was the end to a busy couple of months for the couple, who married in a Hindu wedding ceremony in India in February and in a Catholic ceremony in Edinburg, Texas the weekend before Match Day.

The next step for students is graduation, which is set for May 22 at 7 p.m. at Jones Hall in downtown Houston. The speaker this year is Dr. Eric Topol, director of Scripps Translational Science Institute.