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Tufts Doctors Meet Their Match

 Tufts Doctors Meet Their MatchIn an annual ritual filled with suspense and excitement, fourth year medical students across the country find out where they’ll complete the next phase of their training. Boston.

Boston [03.19.04] Every year, thousands of medical school students gather in classrooms and conference rooms around the country to find out, all at the same time, where they'll complete the next phase of their training. Called "Match Day," the annual ritual - described by many students as more exciting than getting into medical school - is filled with suspense, anticipation and celebration.

"First came the sound of envelopes being torn open, followed by shrieks of delight, and an occasional sigh of resignation," reported the Associated Press, which was on hand at Tufts for the University's Match Day ceremonies. "Then came the clinking of champagne glasses, and the cell phone calls to family and friends as dozens of soon-to-be doctors leaned where they'd be working for the next three years or more."

It's all part of a complicated and suspense-filled process.

"Under the system, students put together a list of their top choices, as do the hospitals," reported AP. "A complicated computer algorithm sorts it out and essentially assigns students to the highest of their choices that also wanted them."

For fourth year medical students like Tufts' Priya Nampoothiri, the day's events carry great significance.

"The fourth year of medical school is laid-back, but now [I have] a real job where I go ahead and do what I want to do," Nampoothiri - who was matched with the Children's National Medical Center in Connecticut - told the Boston Herald. "It's that final transition into adulthood."

Seung Kim agrees.

"I'm very excited," the Tufts student, who was matched with New York University Hospital's anesthesia program, told AP. "Go to New York City and have fun for three years. I'm opening a new chapter in my life."

While the matching system has its critics - including several doctors who recently filed a lawsuit to disband the process - many at Tufts think it should remain part of the medical school experience.

"[Without the match system] programs would be telling students they have 24 hours to decide where it may not be their first choice," Dr. Amy Kuhlik - dean of students at Tufts' School of Medicine - told AP. "[The matching process] allows students to go after their dreams. If they don't get it, they don't get it."

On a national level, the majority of students do reach their dreams, with more than 80 percent of potential residents receiving one of their top three choices.

"I think it's a terrific way to do it," Tufts' Grant Yanagi, who was matched with a radiology program at George Washington University Hospital told AP. "It seems to work out for everyone in the end. I know I'm happy."

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