Match Day – which will be on March 18 this year – is the day when medical students find out which residency program they will be training at for the next three to seven years. Match Day is a rite of passage for students and its outcome can dramatically shape their career path and future. Many professionals experience similar watershed moments at some point in their career. This month, BWHers share their literal and figurative recollections of their Match Day moment.

LWT_GiorgioGiatsidis“The day I applied to my medical school with 1800+ other candidates and only 90 spots available, my odds were not encouraging. I remember my worried mum asking me if I had a ‘plan B’ for my future. I could not see any other option: serving patients was my life-choice. I applied only to that school, and I got the 10th slot. Years later, family and mentors advised me against applying for plastic surgery residency against slim odds. Clearly, I listened to no one and five years later I pursued my dream of becoming a reconstructive plastic surgeon. I’ve learned to always be confident in yourself and never give away your goals or dreams: ‘Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.’ (J.W. Goethe).

-Giorgio Giatsidis, MD, Department of Surgery

ShelleyTworoger“When I applied to combined medical school/masters in public health programs, I was asked at every single interview why I didn’t just go to graduate school because I was really interested in doing research. So I thought, why not go to grad school – but I didn’t really know what to do because I had never heard of epidemiology before and I knew I didn’t want to do basic science. My friend’s dad introduced me to epidemiology and I started doing research about the field. The confluence of working with people and dealing with data on a large scale was something that was really exciting to me. That one conversation made such a difference; you just never know how things are going to turn out.”

-Shelley Tworoger, PhD, Channing Division of Network Medicine

LWT_MarcPimentel“Looking back on Match Day 2010, my friends and I were eyeing the rows of envelopes that contained, in part, the summation of the past four years of medical school, as well as the answer to where we would be spending the next three (or seven) years of residency. Upon opening my envelope, I felt excitement about coming to BWH, and at the same time I felt that I’d miss my home in New York, where I’d spent the last 25 years. Fast forward through residency, a wedding, and a baby – and I’m happy to say that Boston and BWH is now the place I call home.”

-Marc Pimentel, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

LWT_ChantalKuhn“I’m here at BWH thanks to a job that I took 16 years ago, during the second year of my studies to become financially independent of my parents. My supervisor had the generosity to refer me to his former PhD supervisor in Oxford for an internship, thanks to colleagues from Oxford I got in touch with a great lab in Paris where I did my PhD and my PhD supervisor referred me to my current PI at BWH. I’ve been here now for three years and I wouldn’t like to be anywhere else!”

-Chantal Kuhn, PhD, Center for Neurologic Diseases