OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Friday morning, 131 UNMC medical students were handed white envelopes that held the key to their future. Family and friends gathered in Baxter Arena surrounding the class of 2022 with love and support as they found out where they would be completing their residency.
Match Day, according to UNMC is one of the most exciting and anxious moments in a medical student's life. Months of interviews and years of studying come to a head when they learn to what residency program they have been matched — where they usually spend three to five years, depending on their specialty.
Cheers, hugs, and tears of happiness all erupted as the medical students opened their envelopes.
Student, DJ Maar, says all the hardships have been worth it to get to this moment.
"The last couple of months have been a big emotional roller coaster. A lot of uncertainty and anxiety of 'where are we going to go, am I going to match at all?'" Maar said. "I felt like I couldn’t sleep Sunday night and then, just to get the email I matched on Sunday morning, it's a huge weight off my shoulders. Then today, to know where I’m going to San Antonio for my five-year residency in ear, nose and throat — it's an unbelievable feeling."
Maar says San Antonio was his first choice and he's excited to get started. He never thought he'd go to medical school, or even college, but now reminds underrepresented students they can achieve their dreams.
"I want to leave a message for people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, that if you really work hard and have a dream, things are really possible and you can accomplish those goals," Maar said.
Students will be attending residency programs all over the country, including here at UNMC.