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Health

University of Pittsburgh's Match Day pairs future doctors with residency training

| Friday, March 16, 2018, 1:48 p.m.
From left: James Bowen, Sydney Beache and Corey Rearick during Match Day inside Petersen Events Center in Oakland on March 16, 2018.
UPMC
From left: James Bowen, Sydney Beache and Corey Rearick during Match Day inside Petersen Events Center in Oakland on March 16, 2018.
The envelopes please! Future doctors grab perhaps the most important letter they'll ever receive on March 16, 2018 inside Petersen Events Center in Oakland. Match Day occurs annually when aspiring doctors learn the next chapter of their medical careers. Here's how the matching procedure works: After months of lengthy interviews, applicants and residency programs rank each other, and a computer algorithm determines where the physicians will cultivate their respective crafts.
Suzanne Elliott
The envelopes please! Future doctors grab perhaps the most important letter they'll ever receive on March 16, 2018 inside Petersen Events Center in Oakland. Match Day occurs annually when aspiring doctors learn the next chapter of their medical careers. Here's how the matching procedure works: After months of lengthy interviews, applicants and residency programs rank each other, and a computer algorithm determines where the physicians will cultivate their respective crafts.
Sydney Beaceh and her father, Dr. Garth Beache at Match Day inside Petersen Events Center in Oakland on March 16, 2018.
Suzanne Elliott
Sydney Beaceh and her father, Dr. Garth Beache at Match Day inside Petersen Events Center in Oakland on March 16, 2018.
James Bowen receives his match for a residency at UPMC on March 16, 2018. Match Day occurs annually when aspiring doctors learn the next chapter of their medical career.
Suzanne Elliott
James Bowen receives his match for a residency at UPMC on March 16, 2018. Match Day occurs annually when aspiring doctors learn the next chapter of their medical career.

The anxiety level on the floor of the Petersen Events Center was high shortly before noon Friday as 146 soon-to-be graduates of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School learned where they would be spending the next to three to seven years of their lives.

The annual event called Match Day pairs medical students with a residency program through the National Resident Matching Program, a nonprofit that matches graduating medical student with residency programs across the country. Nationally, more than 31,000 future doctors were paired Friday to training programs.

Before learning their residency destinations, medical students clad in cobalt blue t-shirts gathered with family and friends. At the stroke of noon, they were directed over to a long table and told to find an envelope with their name and picture on it.

The envelopes contained perhaps the most important letters they would receive.

A quick countdown was given, and the future doctors opened their envelope.

Sydney Beache of Louisville, Ky., wiped tears from her eyes as she learned she was going to be doing her residency at Washington University in St. Louis. Her father, Dr. Garth Beache, a radiologist at the University of Louisville's School of Medicine, stood off to the side beaming with pride.

"Now, she's my peer," joked Dr. Beache, who surprised his daughter by attending the ceremony.

Sydney Beache, 25, is planning on specializing in general surgery with an emphasis on the liver and pancreas.

"I find it interesting," said Beache, who has an undergraduate degree in biology from Stanford University.

Corey Rearick of Beaver County told his wife, Markie, an oncology nurse, that if he got his wish and matched with the University of Chicago then she would have to buy a parka.

"That was the first thing he told me when he opened his envelope," Markie said. "But, I will always be a Pirates fan."

Rearick, 25, who has a degree in biology from Waynesburg University, will specialize in oncology at Chicago.

"I am really, really happy," he said. "Four years came down to 10 seconds."

James Bowen, the class president, who wants to specialize in pediatrics also got his first choice, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. His undergraduate degree is in biochemistry from Lehigh University.

"I knew I matched and was cautiously optimistic," said Bowen, 25, whose hometown is Flemington, N.J.

Overall, 37 medical students were matched to Pitt programs, said Dr. Joan Harvey, associate dean for student affairs. Johns Hopkins and the University of Michigan were matched with multiple Pitt students, she said.

"They are all top programs," she said. "You had a great match."

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at 412-871-2346, selliott@tribweb.com or via Twitter @41Suzanne.

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