Hello, Match Day IRL! (And goodbye, Zoom.)

Match day is back.

After two years of having Match Day ceremonies held virtually due to the pandemic, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA hosted the in-person event on March 18 – and it was bigger and better than ever.

A cheering crowd of 400 guests filled Irma and Norman Switzer Plaza behind Geffen Hall, holding countless smartphone cameras, dozens of bouquets of flowers and more than a few adorable babies. The stage was filled with hugs and nervous smiles.

The 155 medical school class of 2022 students perched on the edges of their seats, eager to open their acceptance envelopes and learn which institutions they fit for their medical residency or advanced training in their clinical specialty.

“The past two years have been so difficult, both personally and professionally,” Dr. Lee Miller, associate dean of student affairs at the medical school, told them. “You have been removed from classrooms and clinical settings to navigate remote learning environments. You became masters of learning on Zoom and had to navigate virtual interviews for residencies.

Depending on the student’s chosen field, Match Day can influence where they will live and work for the three to seven years after graduating from UCLA.

At 9 a.m. sharp, along with their peers at medical schools nationwide, UCLA students tore up their acceptance envelopes. Screams of joy, groans of relief and emotional sobs filled the place.

For Fitz Gerald Diala, who emigrated to the United States at age 14, making his match was both a personal and professional step.

“I dream of being able to expand ophthalmology education and increase the level of practice in Nigeria, where I come from,” he said. KTLA News. Diala will travel across the country to train in ophthalmology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Eden Patton’s elated reaction to pairing up at UC San Francisco for an anesthesiology residency was captured in a Photograph from the Los Angeles Times.

“It means everything,” Patton told KTLA. “Things that I wished for so long ago, things that my family and I have really worked on. I am so grateful to UCLA for helping me get to this point.

According to Miller, nearly half of 2022 medical school graduates will study primary care in the fall and 20% will train to become surgeons. Three quarters of the class will remain in the West and 25% of the class will continue their residencies at UCLA.

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