DENVER (March 17, 2011) - Their futures were wrapped in green cellophane.
University of Colorado School of Medicine administrators took advantage of the convergence of Match Day and St. Patrick's Day this year, packaging each student's Match Day letter with a foam Ralphie and a CU mug and tucking it all in emerald green wrapping.
As 11 a.m. approached - the agreed upon moment across the country when most graduating medical students learn where they will train for their residency years - Associate Dean for Student Affairs Maureen Garrity recited an Irish toast and gave the green light to 140 students to open their envelopes.
The crinkling of cellophane filled the Invesco Field banquet room as spouses, parents, children and friends waited.
Then the inevitable happened: hugs, tears, shrieks, applause and text messaging.
And the question "Where are you going?" could be heard repeated throughout the room.
The school's 140 fourth-year students will disperse after graduation in late May to programs around the country. Some will practice in local hospitals, others are moving to Albuquerque, Providence, RI, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Boston, Stanford, Atlanta and elsewhere.
“Immeasurably harder,” is how Matt Myers describes going through medical school as a cancer patient. His specialty: Radiology.
Shane Cook says the mental toughness learned from playing football with the CU Buffs and getting picked up by two NFL teams is what gave him a leg up in medical school. His specialty: Orthopaedics.
Kelsey Hurley Walker teased her husband that her parents, his parents, their dog and her horse might learn where the two of them would match before he did. They matched as a couple, but he had plans to be in Guatemala studying Spanish on Match Day. Their specialties: Rural family medicine.