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A Date With Fate

A Date With FateAt this year's Match Day, over 140 medical students at Tufts joined thousands nationwide to learn where they'll spend the next leg of their medical training.

Boston [03.22.02] The screams of excitement at Tufts' School of Medicine at exactly noon on Thursday were echoed around the country, as 15,000 of the nation's doctors-to-be experienced their date with fate. An annual rite of passage, Match Day pairs fourth year medical students with the hospitals and clinics where they'll complete their residency programs.

"You can palpate the electricity, can't you," Tufts' Medical School academic dean Nicolaos Madias told Boston's Channel 5 news. "I mean, that's what they are working for for four years."

For medical school students at Tufts like Mary Hanna, who learned she will pursue her residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the day was extremely exciting.

"It was all gratitude," she told the Boston Metro, describing her emotions when she ripped open her envelope and learned of her residency. "I never imagined that I would get into their program, and all my anticipation just hit me."

Hanna will study anesthesiology -- one of the specialties rising in popularity in recent years.

"It's exciting," she told The Boston Globe. "You have to know about a lot of different things, ob-gyn, orthopedic surgery. You see the effects of the drugs right away."

The career path also gives her a lot more control over her lifestyle -- which is an increasingly important factor for students entering the medical field.

"Over the last four years, specialties such as anesthesiology and radiology have attracted increasing numbers of young physicians trained in the United States, a trend some attribute to the fact that doctors in those fields have more control over their work schedules at a time of increasing stress on the profession," reported the Globe.

Tufts' Dr. Amy Kuhlik -- the dean of students at the School of Medicine -- said many medical students are taking a long-term look at their careers when deciding on a specialty.

"People aren't just thinking about the next six or seven years," Kuhlik told the Globe. "They're thinking about the next 40."

For another Tufts student, giving back to his community was a key factor in picking the location for his residency.

Fourth-year student Kin Fung -- who grew up in Chinatown -- wanted to complete his residency at Tufts-New England Medical Center to retain close ties with his neighborhood.

"I grew up in this community, lived here all my life, and I'm probably going to live and die here," Fung told Channel 5 News -- Boston's local ABC affiliate station. "I just can't get enough of this place."

Like many of his Tufts classmates, Fung got his top choice and will continue his medical education at Tufts-NEMC in September.

Angela Jenkins -- another student at Tufts' Medical School -- had a unique set of criteria for picking possible residency programs.

"I only liked places that had baseball teams," she told the Boston Metro.

A baseball fan, Jenkins decided to pursue orthopedic surgery after her favorite pitcher -- David Cone -- got injured. She was matched to University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester on Thursday -- a good fit.

"[The residency at UMass] makes me feel very blessed to be near Boston and the Red Sox," she told the newspaper.

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