GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Nearly 50 medical students from Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine piled into the BOB in downtown Grand Rapids Friday for match day.
After four years of hard work, medical students across the country were waiting to receive their letters at noon, which let them know what school they’ve been accepted into for their residency.
Two MSU students, Allison Pushman and Orrie Close, began dating in their first year at the college. Now, three years later, they’re engaged and hoping to start a family.
However, their plans could be put on hold if they don’t get into the same school.
“We applied all across the country,” Pushman said.
If finding the perfect match for one student isn’t hard enough, finding the right school for two is even more challenging, according to Community Associate Dean Margaret Thompson.
“It is hard to get and they have to interview at twice as many places,” said Thompson. “[They] have to think really hard about how to write down their preference list so they can get where they want to be. So, it’s very hard.”
Thompson said students begin applying at the start of their fourth year of medical school. She said some students apply up to as many as 80 programs and interview 20 to 30 times. Students then submit a list ranking the programs in the order of which they hope to be accepted. Then, the program ranks them and creates a match.
Close and Pushman, alongside their classmates, ripped open two envelopes, hoping for one dream.
That dream came true.
“We’re really happy that we’re going to do all our training in the same place,” Pushman said.
They were accepted into the University of Pittsburg Medical Center.
The couple said they’ve had a lot of sleepless nights.
“It’s just a lot of relief,” Pushman said.
All the while, Thompson cautions the couple not to get too cozy just yet.
“The temptation is to relax, because when you’ve been shooting for something for three and a half years and you win, it’s going to be really easy to back off, but they can’t do that now,” Thompson said. “They’ve got the trophy but they’ve got to keep going.”
Thompson said this event is the best day of the year for her. She said this group of students, expected to graduate in May, were wonderful to work with.
“These students are really well prepared to go out across the country and train,” she said. “They’re going to represent the College of Human Medicine really well.”
Pushman and Close said the University of Pittsburg places them both close to home. It also gets them one step closer to achieving their dreams, both professionally, and as a family.
“[It’s] been a long road,” Close said.