Now 266 soon-to-be doctors know where they’ll spend the next few years.
The fourth-year medical students from Creighton University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center received their assignments Friday for further experience, called residency training.
Friday was what’s known nationwide as Match Day, and it’s usually a festive time in which med students get their assignments in auditoriums full of classmates and family members. More than 37,000 slots were available for matches across the nation, according to the National Resident Matching Program.
Because of the new coronavirus outbreak, many stayed home and received their assignments by email. Some at Creighton went to the Criss Health Sciences Building where they received envelopes containing their appointments.
They were assigned to small groups in different rooms at the Criss building because of concern about spreading the disease by gathering in large numbers.
John Morelli of Kansas City, Missouri, opened his envelope at his house in Omaha. His wife, Creighton Prep teacher Madeleine Morelli, built a little stage for her husband and a couple dozen people watched him open the envelope on live video through social media. Morelli is headed for Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he will train in pediatrics.
“It was great,” he said later. Vanderbilt was his top choice, he said.
Michael Kavan, an associate dean in Creighton’s School of Medicine, bought cupcakes for the students who chose to pick up their envelopes on campus instead of by email. Music hummed through the room that Kavan oversaw — Kool & the Gang, Pharrell Williams and others playing celebratory tunes.
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After graduating from med school in May, they will be full-fledged doctors. The UNMC and Creighton graduates will set out for assignments this summer in Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Wisconsin and elsewhere.
“And it’s been a long road, years of preparation,” said UNMC med student Morgan Walgren, who grew up in Stromsburg and Osceola, Nebraska. She celebrated her assignment with family, friends and a pair of dogs in her sister’s house in Gretna.
Walgren will do her internal medicine residency at UNMC, which delighted her. She had said on Thursday: “I would be very, very happy” at UNMC.
At Creighton, Jake Dovgan picked up his envelope and took it back to his apartment. The information in his envelope said he, like Morelli, would go to Vanderbilt in Nashville.
That was fine with Dovgan, who has a younger brother in med school at Creighton. Their father, also a Creighton grad, is a physician in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Jake Dovgan is from.
He was joined at his place by his fiancée, brother and sister-in-law, plus about 55 friends and family members who watched on video by social media. Dovgan will train in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Creighton matched 138 students (including 43 in the Phoenix program) and UNMC matched 128. The training typically lasts three or four years.
Ferdinand Osayande of Omaha, a fourth-year med student at UNMC, learned that he would gain training in psychiatry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He opened the envelope in his parents’ house in front of his fiancée, sister and parents.
It worked out well. He wanted to land near his fiancée in Wichita, and this was close enough to delight in.
“We popped some champagne to celebrate,” Osayande said. “There were lots of hugs, of course.”