Los Angeles, CA – Today Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science applauds students and faculty after a successful Match Day - the day on which medical students across the country find out where they will spend their residencies after graduation. Friday morning, twenty-six eager Charles R. Drew University students huddled before a crowd of friends, family and faculty to open their official Match Day envelopes that determine the next chapter in their medical careers.
The National Resident Matching Program, which oversees the process, said this afternoon that of 16,527 applicants graduating from US medical schools, more than 95 percent were selected for a program this year, the highest rate in 30 years. Fifty-seven percent were matched to their first choice.
Dr. David Carlisle, the new President of Charles R. Drew University summarized the day, “Match Day was an amazing reminder of the emotional impact an institution like Drew has on people’s lives. Looking around the room during the student speeches, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. So many of these students come from humble backgrounds and are first generation college educated - so learning that they’ve made it to the next step, that they’ve succeeded where they may have been told they couldn’t is a testament to their determination.”
Manuel Campa matched with his first choice, Family Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He gave enthusiastic praise to his family at home and his “other family” at CDU. “Everything about this program has made me a better person.” Campa chose Harbor so that he could stay close to the community and school he adores. “I want to watch CDU evolve to be an even more amazing place. I have no doubt that Dr. Carlisle’s vision will take it to the next level!”
Leticia Campbell gave one of the most heartwarming speeches after learning that she matched with Loma Linda University for Obstetrics and Gynecology. A former HIV counselor with a passion for women's issues in underserved communities, Campbell welled up with tears of joy and excitement as she spoke about the work she will get to do to help women and children in communities like Watts. “CDU gives a world class education. It teaches the importance of giving back and helping those in need,” she said. Leticia then added, “In 5 or 10 years I hope to be practicing. By then I assume CDU will have an amazing, state-of-the-art hospital. It’d be a dream come true to come back to Watts and practice here.”
Among the most notable Match Day envelopes was that of Omar Kattan who matched with Massachusetts General Hospital for Internal Medicine, one of the best programs of its kind in the country. He noted, “I could not have done this without Drew." CDU President Dr. David Carlisle joked, “Omar’s match is no small feat. Years ago, Massachusetts General was my top choice and I didn’t get in, but I did my residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and I am very proud that five of our graduates also matched there!”
For coordinating Match Day 2012 at Drew, Dr. Carlisle gave special praise to Dr. Daphne Calmes, CDU’s Associate Dean of Medical Student Affairs and Curriculum, “There’s a reason every single student mentioned her and paid homage to Daphne. She runs a tight ship, but goes above and beyond in everything she does. Some students even call her the ‘speed dial Dean’ because she is available day and night to help students.”
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