This past Friday was Match Day for the nation’s fourth-year medical students and other residency applicants. A record high of nearly 48,000 applicants submitted program choices for almost 40,000 positions.

Making the Rounds

Get the latest advice, interviews and discussions on the most important topics affecting the lives and careers of medical students and residents.

The group of M4s 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 in medicine.

Student: Haidn Foster.

Medical school: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Specialty and residency program: Internal medicine at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

What was the biggest factor in your specialty choice? Throughout most of medical school, I was confident that I wanted to go into internal medicine. The breadth and scope of training in Internal Medicine, as well as the myriad opportunities for specialization following residency, are really unparalleled. And as someone who is interested in potential fellowships in hematology/oncology and palliative care, going into internal medicine was a natural fit.

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Student: Anuranita Gupta.

Medical school: Drexel University College of Medicine.

Specialty and residency program: Internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

How do you plan to move medicine during your residency training? It is difficult to anticipate which specific opportunities I will be drawn to during my time in residency and I want to remain open to any opportunities I receive to move medicine.

Other than the clinical care of my patients, I hope to mentor and teach students as it is very fulfilling to pay forward the guidance I have received thus far. I have also been involved with Pennsylvania Medical Society and AMA in medical school. Our patients’ health is not only influenced by pathology in the body but also by their environment, policies and resources available. Advocacy and policy work examines these external factors and how to improve them and move toward equitable access to health care.

Find out what veteran physicians remember from their Match week.

Student: Anna Heffron.

Medical school: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Specialty and residency program: Emergency medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

How would you describe the emotions you felt upon finding out your Match destination? I was thrilled, ecstatic, a little bit shocked, and I still can’t believe I matched here. This was my No. 1 program and had absolutely everything I was looking for in residency, so it feels unreal that it actually worked out. And most of all when I opened the letter, and still today, I just felt so grateful—so many people helped me get to the point where I knew what I wanted and where I could do that, so many people have helped me the whole way here.

I did also feel some sadness, though: I have really amazing friends who didn’t match where they really wanted to be, or who went through the Supplemental Offer and Assistance Program or are pursuing other options. They are going to be incredible doctors, and they have put so much time and energy and hope into this, and you can’t really celebrate Match Day without considering how painful it is for some really wonderful physicians. It makes it all the more pressing that we do something to change this very broken system that can so badly hurt amazing future physicians.

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Student: Swetha Maddipudi.

Medical school: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Long School of Medicine.

Specialty and residency program: Family medicine at Mount Sinai Downtown (New York).

What was the biggest factor in your specialty choice?

I wanted a specialty grounded in primary care that would also allow me to utilize my MPH and continue to participate in advocacy work as a physician. During medical school, I realized that family medicine (FM) physicians were the ones who were always out in the community serving in various clinical and nonclinical capacities. As someone who craves a diverse and dynamic work environment, the multitude of opportunities available for FM docs was a huge draw.

Learn more from AMA member James Jerzak, MD, about what it’s like to specialize in family medicine.

Student: Danielle Rivera.

Medical school: University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

Specialty and residency program: Child psychiatry at the University of New Mexico.

As a soon-to-be resident, what advice would you offer medical students who are about to start the residency selection process? Start thinking about what you want in a program early. More and more specialties are going to give you the opportunity to express specific interest in a limited number of programs, so make sure you take the time to develop a sense of what you want in a residency program.

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