(Match-Day Slideshow, photos by various contributors-and at bottom of this story, LINK TO YOU TUBE VIDEO)
Imagine being handed an envelope that contained details of what your life would be like for the next few years. What kind of nervous anticipation might you experience?
Sixty-one students at the John A. Burns School of Medicine can tell you exactly what that feels like. On March 17, they were handed envelopes bearing the news about where they will spend their next few years of post-graduate training.
The envelope ceremony marked “Match Day”, observed simultaneously at every medical school across the country. At the UH Kaka’ako medical complex, the envelopes were opened at 7:30 a.m., triggering hugs, handshakes and even tears of joy, as students shared the news with family, friends and each other.
Koah Vierkoetter, who will receive her MD degree in May, came to the ceremony with her husband Reiner and their seven month-old son Niko in tow. They were thrilled to learn that she was accepted into a post-graduate program in Hawai’i to train in obstetrics/gynecology.
“It will be my pleasure to be able to go back to my home island of Kaua’i and serve as an OB/GYN,” said Vierkoetter, who said she is proud to have graduated from Kapa’a High School. “We badly need doctors of all specialties in Hawai’i.”
Members of this class competed with 1,900 applicants to get into the medical school. Women make up 66 percent of the class, a record.
A computer actually “matches” the students all across the country with training programs–including those affiliated with the medical school in Hawai’i–where the young MD’s will work in Island hospitals, while continuing to train under supervision in their specialty area.
The largest group of UH students receiving envelopes today (26) chose to stay in Hawai’i for the next step in their careers. Others will train in programs in 18 other states, stretching from California to Florida.
Click to see video below by Ron Paik.