Match Day for USA Medical Students - FOX10 News | WALA

Match Day for USA Medical Students

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Omar Mazher celebrates after opening his envelope and finding out he matched in psychiatry at Harvard. Omar Mazher celebrates after opening his envelope and finding out he matched in psychiatry at Harvard.

It's the closest thing to Christmas morning for fourth-year medical students and it happens at precisely the same time, across the country.

It's called "Match Day", and it charts their course for the next few years.

It's tense.

It's exciting.

And it happened Friday morning for 74 medical students from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

When they graduate, they're technically doctors, but it's almost impossible to get a job as a doctor without first getting into a residency program.

They gathered at the Mobile Convention Center to find out where they will do their residencies. Samuel Strada, Dean of the USA College of Medicine said, "Their training will take them to 18 different states across the country and a variety of different medical and surgical disciplines”.

There's no second opinion for these doctors. The assignment contained in their envelopes is final and legally binding.

That's not a problem for Omar Mazher, who's been studying to become a psychiatrist. He got his first pick; Harvard-Longwood Psychiatry in Boston.

"It's still sinking in,” he said. “It's unbelievable. The caliber of applicants interviewing around me were from some of the top notch schools around."

Griffin Collins, who is from Hoover, Alabama is going to Washington University-St. Louis Children's Hospital. "I'm really excited. It's a wonderful program, very well respected. I plan to pursue a career in pediatric hematology and oncology," he said.

Megan Missanelli had been carrying a class load and something else. "A baby girl. I just had a baby girl 6 weeks ago and fourth year, the schedule here is not as stressful as the first 3 years of medical school," Missanelli said.

She will remain in Mobile in an OB-GYN residence, one of 17 medical students who will work in the USA hospital system. Most of this year's class of 74 med students will be going into primary care.

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