Medical students celebrate at unconventional Match Day 2021

Updated: Mar. 19, 2021 at 9:55 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It was an unconventional Match Day, but still an important milestone for these medical students, a moment they’ve been anticipating for years.

“It’s a lot of mixed emotions. It’s been a day that we’ve been looking forward to for so long, for those of us that have known we’ve wanted to pursue medicine for most of our lives,” student Brooke Waltersheid said.

“It’s really a life-changing match,” Dr. Steven Berk, dean of the school of medicine, said.

On Friday, about 180 Texas Tech School of Medicine students learned what their futures would look like, the first time they see their names followed by an M.D.

“Just working all through high school, college, med school, and to finally get those two letters, you have to put in blood, sweat and tears,” student Mohammad Ali said.

Ali spent time as a young child helping Houston doctors translate for their patients who spoke Farsi. Now, with his schooling behind him, he is headed to one of his top-choice programs as a physical medicine and rehab resident at Loma Linda University in California.

“It’s a dream come true,” Ali said.

Some students in this class have placed in some of the top programs in the country, at TUT Southwestern, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital, to name a few.

“We love to see our students go to great places and make a name for themselves, but we also like them to stay here and help us continue to make a great name for ourselves,” Dr. Berk said.

20 students will continue their careers at Texas Tech.

Walterscheid is one of them. She will be pursuing dermatology, one of the most difficult specialties to place into.

“I started working with Dr. Tarbox and Dr. Sturgeon at the free clinic as a first year medical student and now, to think that I’ll be working alongside as a resident, that’s just the dream,” Waltersheid said.

The last year has presented challenge after challenge, making the celebration that much sweeter for those who made it through.

Though not able to celebrate this event in the traditional way, these soon-to-be doctors still had friends and family by their side, as they took their next steps into the future.

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