The third Friday in March is "Match Day" at medical schools all across the country, when future physicians learn where they'll be starting their careers as residents.
At the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, students approached a podium, opened an envelope, and shared the surprise announcement with classmates, friends, and family of which city and hospital they’ll be heading to.
UVM medical student Mustafa Chopan learned he is off to the University of Florida in Gainesville.
“The real work starts right now,” Chopan told necn.
Chopan is the U.S.-born child of refugees who came to the San Francisco area in the 1980s from Afghanistan, during the Soviet-Afghan war.
“I'm just very grateful and fortunate that America had open arms for the Afghan refugees after the Soviet invasion,” Chopan said. “That was a big deal for not only my family, but for many of the families I know back in California.”
Chopan said he now wants to focus on plastic surgery, after being inspired to pursue reconstructive work by a very severe burn his late uncle suffered.
“Unfortunately, he passed away, but I know wherever he is, he'll be happy,” Chopan said of his choice to pursue plastic surgery.
“[Medical students] often want to go into a specific specialty to follow their dream of helping people that have specific maladies,” observed Bill Jeffries, the senior associate dean for medical education for the Larner College of Medicine. “And I’m inspired by these students each and every day—it’s one of the reasons I really enjoy coming into work every day.”
Whatever their individual dreams may be, UVM’s medical students from the class of 2017 start in on them now.