Excitement Builds for Match Day

Dr. Young Walker passes out an envelope to a fourth year medical student at the 2018 Match Day event.
Dr. Young Walker passes out an envelope to a fourth year medical student at the 2018 Match Day event.

Members of the University of Missouri School of Medicine’s Class of 2019 are eager to open their envelopes and learn where they will begin the next chapter of their lives as doctors.

Match Day is the annual event in which fourth-year medical students around the nation simultaneously learn where they will spend the next three to seven years as resident doctors. MU’s Match Day ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the medical school’s Acuff Gallery, where family and friends will gather to celebrate the moment with the students.

“I am most excited about the doors that open the moment I open that envelope,” said Rebecca Aguayo, who is pursuing a career in family medicine.

Leading up to Match Day, students interview with U.S. teaching hospital program directors. Students rank their top residency program choices in order of preference, and program directors rank the students. The National Resident Matching Program uses this data to match each student to a program.

Aguayo said MU’s patient-based learning curriculum prepared her well. In PBL, students work in groups to learn from real patient cases.

“It allowed me to dive into the details important for my understanding,” she said. “I was truly learning what was expected and beyond.”

Aguayo, who got married and had a daughter while in medical school, said the faculty and her peers helped her balance the challenges of her busy new life.

“I never felt like I didn’t have someone to reach out to during my tenure with MU Med,” Aguayo said.

Stephen Luebbert is hoping to match in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

“Match Day will reveal the results of all the work I have put in over the last four years of medical school,” Luebbert said. “I had the fortune of seeing many outstanding programs while I was interviewing, and I can’t wait to find out where the Match takes me.”

Luebbert is grateful for the bonds he formed with his classmates.

“Many of them have become my closest and dearest friends that I will likely keep in touch with for the rest of my life,” he said. “Even with how stressful medical school could be, I could always lean on my friends within the class when I needed it.”

Aundria Eoff said volunteering at the MedZou Community Health Clinic, a faculty-sponsored clinic that provides free primary care to uninsured patients, confirmed she was doing the right thing by pursuing a career in medicine.

“There was a tremendous amount of support from everyone working together toward the common goal of connecting the local underserved community to health care at no cost,” she said.

Eoff, who interviewed for family medicine residencies, said her family will join her to enjoy the Match Day moment.

“I can’t wait to spend this moment with my parents, who have been extremely supportive throughout my education,” she said. “I can already see the waves of relief on their faces when they see I’m finally going to have a regular paycheck for the first time in 27 years.”

Visit the School of Medicine’s Facebook page at 10:55 a.m. CDT on Friday, March 15.