Match Day 2015

Posted in GUMC Stories

MARCH 20, 2015 – The annual event known as Match Day—a pivotal day in the life of graduating medical students —was March 20 this year. At medical schools nationwide, at the same moment, fourth year graduates opened the envelopes that informed them where they will be deployed for their residency programs.

Under the auspices of the National Resident Matching Program (new window), residency program directors and applicants are paired based on rank ordered preferences from both, based on a mathematical algorithm.

At Georgetown, nearly 200 students donning their class t-shirt were surrounded by excited family and friends who gathered for the magical noon hour when envelopes are ripped open.

“The ‘match’ is probably the most critical day in the lives of these young men and women,” explained Stephen Ray Mitchell (new window), MD, dean for medical education at the School of Medicine.

And the envelope please

Claire Thesing (M’15) matched with her first-choice program in family medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

She described the Match moment as “Surreal! I’m so excited to be going to a strong program,” Thesing said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to match with my first choice.”  

Thesing is also a scholar in the National Health Service Corps (new window), the federal program that connects primary health care providers to areas of the U.S. with limited access to care, in exchange for financial and other support. Once her residency is completed she will practice medicine in a yet-to-be-determined underserved community.

“My National Health Service Corps commitment helped form my decision to pursue family medicine, as I felt this field would best prepare me to provide quality, comprehensive care to the greatest variety of patient needs,” Thesing said.  

A primary care calling

Like many who pursue medicine, Thesing said, “I wanted to make a positive, personal impact on the lives of others.” During college, she interned with a pediatrician and in a public health foundation in her home state of New Hampshire, which further bolstered her interests in medicine. Her awareness of and appreciation for primary care also came from her physician father, who practices and teaches in a Dartmouth-affiliated family medicine residency program.

And then there was a clarifying experience. “My experiences working with refugees from Iraq, Bhutan and the Congo, relocated to New Hampshire, are what truly made clear to me that I not only wanted to be a doctor, but I wanted to be in a position to provide vital, lifelong care to all people, especially to underserved populations” she said. “Primary care embodied such ideals.”

The Georgetown experience

In completing her medical studies at Georgetown, Thesing also found her match. “As a medical student at Georgetown, I found the early lectures explaining how patient care requires an understanding of the patient’s social background in addition to their medical history to be compelling,” she said. Thesing said her third-year family medicine clerkship was particularly influential, as she observed relationships between physicians and families that included an understanding of the patients’ social and family life, in addition to their health conditions.

“I also had the opportunity to attend national family medicine conferences where I heard the same themes that were so important to me – care for the whole patient in the setting of their unique, personal life circumstances; being there as a resource and anchor for them in whatever variety of health issues they may encounter,” Thesing said. “All of these interactions with the field of family medicine assured me that this, indeed, is the field for me.”

Her faculty advisor, Vincent WinklerPrins, MD (new window), a family medicine physician, described Thesing as one of the “finest students” he has worked with. “She has fully incorporated our school’s motto of Cura Personalis, care for the whole person, into her DNA.”

By Todd Bentsen
GUMC Communications