Reflections April 2017

News & Events

By Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

In the world of Harry Potter, a wizard's future is predicted by an old, battered hat. The Sorting Hat looks into the minds of incoming students and declares with certainty where each one fits.

While I am culturally incompetent when it comes to Harry Potter, I am quite familiar with the annual traditions of medical schools. And I can declare with certainty that this time of year always feels a bit magical.

In mid-March, fourth-year medical students discover where they have matched. In other words, they learn where they will spend the next 3-6+ years training in their chosen specialties.

Match Day occurred nationwide on March 17 for about 18,000 graduating medical students, often joined by equally nervous families and friends. One of the advantages of being in the Pacific Time Zone is that our students only had to wait until 9 a.m. for that countdown to "precisely noon Eastern Standard Time."

A distinct advantage of Match Day at UNR Med is the amount of pride put into planning this event. Each year, the Student Affairs and Dean's Events + Protocol teams select a different theme, and match results are revealed in incredibly clever ways. This year, UNR Med students entered the Great Hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for a Harry Potter-themed celebration. Under floating candlelight, 61 students learned where they'll complete residency by opening personalized golden snitches.

It didn't matter if you knew a quaffle from a quibbler - and rest assured, I did not. The shrieks of the students, the smiles on the faces of spouses and parents, made for one of the most exciting and memorable days of the year. And the match results illustrate the outstanding education received by our students, making them competitive for top residency programs in Nevada and across the country.

Twenty-five graduates, including four from the Class of 2016, will train in Nevada's own residency programs. This rate of attracting students to stay in-state, 40 percent, speaks to the quality of our residency programs. Together, these physicians will help ease our state's shortage in mental health care, general surgery and primary care specialties.

Our students also found homes in programs from Dartmouth to Cedars Sinai, from the University of Washington to Duke, and from the University of Alabama-Birmingham to the Oregon Health Sciences. They will train in leading programs, often in specialties that Nevada doesn't yet have. We are hopeful that they will eventually find their way back to our state.

We are proud of every single one of our students. As alumni, they will serve as ambassadors for UNR Med. They will demonstrate the quality of our education to program directors across the country. They will open doors for future UNR Med graduates. They are the ultimate reflection of our faculty and staff's dedication to educate the finest possible physicians in service of the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities.

Based on these results, it is clear we have succeeded. And that feels like pure magic.


Contact

Anne McMillin, APR
Editor, News and Publications
Office: (775) 682-9254
Cell: (775) 427-9377
amcmillin@med.unr.edu

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is a research-intensive, community-based, statewide medical school that has served Nevada for more than 47 years as its first public medical school. Our vision is a healthy Nevada, supported by our mission: establishing excellence in medical education, medical care, research and community engagement, while committing to a culture of respect, compassion and inclusion. Through targeted growth and investment in research, clinical services, education and outreach, we are a resource for improving health care regionally and across the country. For more information, visit: med.unr.edu.