March 20, 2015 - In his 25th and final Match Day address, Dean Richard Krugman, MD, advised a room full of nervous medical students that their future held more than what was contained in the sealed black envelope they were about to open.
“Many of you will open these envelopes and be incredibly excited because you will have gotten your first choice,” Krugman said Friday in a gold-and-black decorated ballroom at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Denver. “Many of you will open these envelopes, and you’ll be excited because you got one of your choices. Some of you will open an envelope and say, ‘Oh my God.’
“The extraordinary thing about a medical career is that nothing is forever. Opportunities exist to change course and change your lives whether you plan them or not.”
At the age of 72, Krugman, who is stepping down after a quarter century as dean of the CU School of Medicine, will rejoin the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. His first plan for his new job is a research sabbatical to Belgium and the Netherlands that he put off in 1990 to become dean.
“Whether that will be my last career or just my next career I have no idea,” he said.
For Ryan Best, who matched on his first choice, Maine Medical Center in Portland, a flexible career sounded good but, at the moment, mainly for his wife.
“My wife is in law school,” said Best, who will go into internal medicine. “She’s finished her basic requirements so she’ll do the rest of her hours there, but still graduate from DU.”
Amanda Barton, who will intern at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, plans a return to Colorado someday. “It’s three years,” the Arvada native said with a shrug. “Then maybe I can come back for a fellowship.”
New physicians will notice some big differences right away in residency, Krugman said.
“For one thing, you’ll be paid,” he said to the biggest applause of the morning. “I think you’ll find that works.”
Each year in mid-March, graduating medical school students across the country find out simultaneously where they will perform their residencies, which can last between three and 10 years. The students have visited residency programs and ranked the places where they hope to get training. Those places have ranked the students they want for their programs. When all that ranking is done, the National Residency Matching Program puts it all together to determine the match for more than 16,000 graduating seniors from across the United States.
The CU School of Medicine matched 158 students to residency programs on Friday.