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Medical school grads take next big step

Smiles, tears of joy and even a couple of screams accompanied Mayo Medical School's Match Day luncheon on Thursday, when 34 graduates found out where they will be fulfilling their residencies.

Having applied and interviewed with several different residency programs nationwide, each medical student had ranked his or her choices and hoped for the best. For the more competitive specialties, some students interviewed with as many as 25 to 30 programs, said Patricia Barrier, Mayo Medical School's associate dean for student affairs.

The National Resident Matching Program in Washington D.C., coordinates applicants' preferences with program directors' preferences. There are about 25,000 residency positions with approximately 36,000 applicants competing for them.

"It's kind of a unique feeling, because in the past, whenever I've felt a bit nervous for things, there was always some kind of performance to do — either an exam or presentation," said Rod Rahini, a graduate of Mayo Medical School. "And today, there's no performance. You just have to show up and receive your envelope."

Adetolu Odufuye was hoping to get a residency with one of two programs in the Twin Cities.


Odufuye was born in Atlanta and her family moved to Lagos, Nigeria, when she was just 2 months old. A tragedy early in her life made her want to be a doctor. When she was 8, her family's home caught fire. Her eldest brother was badly burned, but in Nigeria, people must pay in advance for medical treatment, she said.

"We lost him because my parents could not afford medical care. So, when they took him to the hospital, they didn't do anything for him... He died as a result of his burns," she said.

On Thursday, Odufuye got her desired emergency medicine residency at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

Rahini received his No. 1 choice for internal medicine and was smiling from ear to ear as he hugged and shook hands with fellow graduates.

"I feel very lucky I got my No. 1 choice, which was Johns Hopkins," he said. "I just got off the phone with the program director, and I just feel very lucky and fortunate."

Of the 34 graduates receiving matches, nine will do residencies at the Mayo Graduate School of Education and four will be at medical centers in the Twin Cities.

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