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The Wait Is Over: It’s Match Day 2020

March 23, 2020

Alexandra Laps (left) excited to be matched to Yale and Chlesea Alvarado (right) finds out her match remotely

UMSOM Medical Student Celebrate Matches Virtually

Jasmine BlakeEven as physicians across the United States and around the world confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of the residency match is more evident than ever.

Braden AndersonAccording to the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), this year’s Main Residency Match is the largest in history, exceeding the more than 44,000 applicants who registered for the 2019 Match.

Cristian SalgadoThis year, 161 University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) students matched at 73 different hospitals in 29 states. Thirty-eight members of the Class of 2020 will stay in the state of Maryland for their residency training.

Helen CheungAmong these students is Jasmine Blake, MSPH. From a young age, Jasmine had a natural curiosity for medicine and science. “My annual doctors’ visit was my favorite day of the year!” she said. However, growing up in a rural and medically underserved community, her yearly checkups were sometimes the only exposures she had to the field.

Chelsea Alvarado“I credit my family, teachers, and mentors for realizing my potential early on and helping me in nurturing my gifts,” she noted. Prior to medical school, Jasmine earned a Master of Science in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University and worked in Bangladesh learning about health systems.

“Those experiences further solidified my interest in medicine, and more particularly, my desire for caring for marginalized populations,” she said. Jasmine, who is set to graduate in May, will become the first doctor in her family. She matched in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Braden Anderson is also the first in his family to become a physician. Most of his early exposures to medicine were through sports injuries he received while playing football through college.

“Back then, I always wanted to know more,” he said. “I remember reading up on my injuries to get a better understanding of what was really going on.” Braden’s curiosity for finding cures to his pain ultimately propelled his passion for radiology. He will be joining the University of Chicago Medical Center in Diagnostic Radiology.

“Medicine has always been in my blood,” said Alexandra Laps. Alexandra comes from a long line of podiatric physicians, and although she loved the hands-on approach to podiatry, she desired to learn how to take care of the entire body.

“This is what ultimately drew me to Emergency Medicine,” she said. “I am excited about a future career in which I can learn to do a variety of procedures from head to toe.” Alexandra matched with Emergency Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

While Cristian Salgado loved science and research, it wasn’t until he started volunteering at clinics that his passion for medicine crystalized.

“I wanted to combine all my interests and passions,” he said. “I discovered that becoming a doctor would allow me serve others, which is something that I want to do every day.”

Cristian looks forward to a career in pediatrics and academic medicine and credits his family for their unwavering support throughout his medical journey abroad.

“My parents, my brother, and all of my family are still back home in Ecuador. It is a great honor to represent all of them every day,” he said. Cristian matched in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Helen Cheung also found her passion for medicine through service. While in college, she dedicated several hours working one-on-one with families in navigating access to healthcare, food, and housing.

“These encounters, along with several others, opened my eyes to the link between poverty and poor health,” she said. Helen also looks forward to her training in pediatrics and will be couple matching with her fiancé, Michael Tzeng, who will be pursuing Internal Medicine also at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. The couple will be getting married this year in May.

Chelsea Alvarado’s affinity for basic science led her to pursue a career in pharmacy, but an unexpected diagnosis in her family changed the trajectory of her life. “When my father was diagnosed with head and neck cancer, I started to reevaluate my career path,” she said. “Subsequently, I began shadowing physicians and learned how multifaceted the medicine profession was.”

Chelsea has decided to pursue a career in family medicine and looks forward to caring for vulnerable patients throughout their lives. She matched at Montefiore Medical Center. “I have learned so much over these years and I remain humbled and thankful to have received my medical training at the University of Maryland,” she said.

2020 Match Day Reaction Videos

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 45 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1.2 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has more than $540 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 student trainees, residents, and fellows. The combined School of Medicine and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact more than $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu

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