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Top Story: Class of 2015 med students have another outstanding match

Primary care prevails for newly minted doctors at UMass Medical School

It’s hard to pick a favorite story among all the great news we covered this year. So instead, we’re letting our readers pick. Here is one of the top five most-read stories published on UMass Chan News in 2015.

From the UMass Chan News editorial staff

Opening their Match Day envelopes in unison at noon on Friday, Mar. 20, the School of Medicine Class of 2015 at UMass Chan Medical School erupted in shouts of joy as they learned where they will begin their careers as doctors.

“This match is outstanding,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins in commencing the proceedings for 121 students. “We are so proud of you. Congratulations!”

Among their many accomplishments, the Class of 2015 is fulfilling the institutional mission to train physicians who will practice primary care, many of them in Massachusetts. Sixty-two students, comprising 51 percent of the class, are choosing careers in internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics. Add those matched in obstetrics & gynecology and emergency medicine, and 80 students representing 66 percent of the class are entering primary care specialties. Forty-eight graduates will begin practice in Massachusetts, including 12 who are staying at UMMS.

A match made in high school weds love and science on Match Day

For Templeton natives and childhood sweethearts Sarah LeBlanc Aker and Aaron Aker, the much anticipated day ended with tears of joy. Her match in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital dovetails with his next destination as a biomedical sciences PhD candidate at Harvard University.

“We’ve been very lucky that we’ve been able to support each other and grow together and our interests have complemented each other as scientists,” said Sarah.

After graduating from Narragansett High School, the couple attended UMass Dartmouth together. In 2011 Sarah began medical school at UMMS, and Aaron joined her a year later as a research technician in the virology lab of Abraham Brass, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology & physiological systems.

“[Pediatrics] was the first rotation I did in third year. I absolutely loved it and I knew right away that was the field I was going to go into,” she recalled before Match Day. She had just one word to say after opening her envelope: “Perfect!”

Hear more from the Akers in the video, and view other happy matches in the slide show. 

  • The crowd of fourth-year medical students and well wishers assembles for Match Day 2015 at UMass Chan Medical School.
  • Chancellor Collins opens the Match Day 2015 proceedings at UMass Chan Medical School.
  • Class of 2015 president Matthew Sloan reminds classmates to donate to the class fund.
  • School of Medicine Dean Terence Flotte, MD, congratulates the Class of 2015 on Match Day.
  • Interim Associate Dean of Student Affairs Michael Kneeland, MD, begins distributing the envelopes containing residency destinations at Match Day 2015.
  • Future family medicine physician Anne Barnard takes her envelope on Match Day 2015 at UMass Chan Medical School.
  • Nerissa Duchin and family are ecstatic to learn that she will begin psychiatry residency at Harvard Longwood on Match Day 2015 at UMass Chan Medical School.
  • Shu Yang and Karen Tenner made a couples match—he at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and she at Boston University Medical Center.
  • Sarah LeBlanc Aker and her husband, UMMS research technician Aaron Aker, will be together in Boston for the next phase of their careers.
  • Lauren Veit, soon to be a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston, is congratulated by Professor of Pediatrics Jerry Durbin, MD.