This past Friday was Match Day for most of the nation’s fourth-year medical students.

A record-high 40,084 applicants submitted program choices for 37,256 positions. The group of trainees who found out about their future homes included thousands of AMA members, a few of whom offered their thoughts on the process of Matching and their ambitions moving forward. 

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Student: Baillie Bonner.

Medical school: University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
Specialty and residency program: Obstetrics and gynecology at Rush Medical Center.

What are you looking forward to most about residency?

I’m really looking forward to being part of a team and being able to contribute more. One of the most frustrating parts of being a medical student for me was feeling like I could do more, but not having the credentials or power to do so.

How will you move medicine during your residency training?

I plan to stay involved in organized medicine and since I’m moving to Chicago, I am excited that I can move medicine through the AMA. I am excited to be able to not only be involved in advocacy, but also to have medical students that hopefully can also get plugged in to fighting for patients on a larger scale.

Learn how Ms. Bonner helps tackle the underlying barriers to care.

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Student: Avani K. Patel.

Medical school: University of Mississippi School of Medicine
Specialty and residency program: Psychiatry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

What was the biggest factor in your specialty choice?

A little before this time last year, I didn’t know what I wanted—let alone what specialty I was meant to pursue, so I actually withdrew from match and delayed graduation to pursue a number of other opportunities such as a Master’s in Health Care Administration. I came into medical school absolutely determined to pursue Anesthesiology. However, during my fourth year, I realized it may not be the career path meant for me. I really enjoyed my Psychiatry rotation during my third year, and one of my attendings convinced me to spend a month-long fourth year rotation in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Needless to say, that month changed my life.

How will you move medicine during your residency training?

Having grown up in a state with the highest physician shortage in the country and a rural area at that, I have seen first-hand what health disparities looks like, especially in mental health. I hope to be a part of the solution in closing the gap and de-stigmatizing mental health care. Serving my community and home state is the greatest gift and matching into training at my number one program is the greatest blessing!

Learn how Ms. Patel is working to improve the culture of medicine.

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Student: Deena Kishawi.

Medical school: Stritch School of Medicine Loyola University Chicago.
Specialty and residency program: Obstetrics and gynecology at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

What are you looking forward to most about residency?

I’m excited for quite a few things about residency, but at the top of my list is finally being a doctor in a specialty that I’m passionate about. I also can’t wait to work with patients in a field where together, we can make an impact and improve women’s health. I’m able to work in my Chicago community, and my patients are from all backgrounds—some are Chicago natives like myself, others are immigrants or refugees, others are just passing through for temporary visits in the U.S.—so it’s fulfilling to be able to give back to the community I call home. And as you can imagine, this has been something I’ve been working towards throughout all my education, and I’m finally not a student!

How will you move medicine during your residency training?

I’m looking forward to continuing my work with health policy while I’m a resident. I’ll have different insight since I’ll be taking care of patients directly, which will allow me to better understand their needs and how healthcare can better serve them. With that, I’d be able to shift the discourse regarding health policies about women’s health and continue to advocate for my patients. I’m most excited about working with women and embarking on a journey of healthy practices and reproductive justice as we write policies that can better serve my future patients.

Learn how Ms. Kishawi is mentoring young Muslim women.

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