For Mark Yost, the answer meant he was going home. When the clock struck noon this third Friday of March, 167 Harvard Medical School (HMS) students — 163 clinical and 4 non-clinical — learned where they will spend the next three to seven years of their training, and the specialty in which they’ll work.
Yost matched to UCLA Medical Center for general surgery, one of the specialties with fewer candidates. Internal medicine led the pack of specialties, with 32 students entering that field. Others included orthopedics, urology, and neurology.
Yost said UCLA “was my first choice for residency.”
“My sister lives in Los Angeles and my parents live very close by in California. I’m going home.
“This has been one the most stressful and difficult times in my life. I didn’t anticipate it and I’m really glad that everything turned out well and I’m really looking forward to the future.”
Yost said it was hard for him to choose between UCLA and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, where he served his internship.
“There’s a sense of loss at the opportunities you lose,” he said. “I’m proud to say I’m a Harvard alum and I’m going to spread what makes Harvard special to California and beyond. I can’t wait for it.”
Suspense had filled the air at the Tosteson Medical Education Center in Harvard Medical School until 11:50, when Fidencio Saldaña, HMS dean for students, invited everyone to get their matches from the five society tables spread around the room — but not before he rang the bell at the top of the hour with help of HMS Dean George Q. Daly.
When the ringing subsided, cheers erupted and some chaos ensued as students rushed for their envelopes.
For classmates Diana Miao and Brandon Law, successfully matching together at Johns Hopkins made the day perfect. They met in class at HMS and have been dating for the past four years. They huddled with friends to open their envelopes together on the count of three.
“Their passion for caring for others instills hope in us that the world will continue to be a better place thanks to them.”Fidencio Saldaña, HMS dean for students
Another classmate, Kyle Burton, said he realized he’d chosen the right path while working in the Crimson Care Clinic. On what he thought would be a routine diagnosis one day, he instead recognized that the patient was experiencing a life-threatening condition.
“I realized I could see myself in this position,” Burton said.
Saldaña said he was “incredibly proud of everything our students have accomplished.”
“Their passion for caring for others instills hope in us that the world will continue to be a better place thanks to them.”