Match Day—the day new medical school graduates learn which residency program they were accepted into—seems like a century ago for 2012 chief surgery residents Amy Makley, MD, and Michael Goodman, MD.
"It was absolutely nerve-racking. I was one of the last 10 to get called … I sat through Michael matching at UC and another person we thought would match here who didn’t so there were so many emotions swirling,” recalls Makley. "Fortunately, when it was called I got my No. 1 choice—UC—so the wait was worth it.”
They agree that the magnitude of your new responsibility as a surgery resident doesn’t truly hit you until your first nurse call or order as an intern—and you are solely responsible for answering the call.
On the eve of that monumental day in careers of future physicians and surgeons across the United States, Makley and Goodman say their best advice is to foster those relationships with your fellow residents.
"Those people you are thrown in with will become your closest friends and confidants and your support system. You live and breathe the hospital and caring for patients together every day and you ride through it all together—good and bad,” says Makley.
Goodman adds: "Relax for the next couple of months, but be ready for the marathon when residency starts. It’s a big jump from being a fourth-year med student to a resident. You get the title of doctor but you don’t really feel it until you’re in the role. The more you can mentally prepare for that, the better off you’ll be.”
Choosing the UC College of Medicine
Ohio born and raised, Makley grew up in Troy near Dayton and completed her bachelor’s in chemistry at the University of Dayton. She wanted to stay close to home, so she applied for medical school at the UC College of Medicine and subsequently matched for general surgery residency.
"The students who were ahead of me in undergrad and came to UC for medical school were the type of people I wanted to associate with and be like. UC had that same ‘good people’ community feel as UD,” recalls Makley. "I didn’t know what I wanted to do going into medical school, so it was important to choose a medical program that offered good breadth of options but that was also relatively close to home. UC was a great fit.”
Although Goodman’s path to UC wasn’t as direct as Makley’s, he ultimately chose the program for the same reasons: a quality, diverse curriculum that was close to family. During his senior year of undergrad at Duke University, Goodman met the woman who ended up becoming his wife. Two years into medical training at Albany Medical College, he transferred to UC so they could be closer to her family.
"I knew UC had a quality medical training program that was more likely to result in me matching for surgical residency in Cincinnati,” says Goodman. "It was an unexpected choice for an East Coast guy like me, but it has turned out to be a great move. Beyond medicine, I told my wife that my requirements for a city were pro football, pro baseball and college basketball … Cincinnati met those requirements and it gave us access to family who could help with our kids.”
The Next Step — Trauma Fellowships
Makley and Goodman will start one-year trauma/critical care fellowships this fall—Makley at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Goodman at University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston. Both hope to return to Cincinnati as part of the UC College of Medicine faculty practice, which staffs the Level I trauma center at UC Health University Hospital.
"The trauma department here is fantastic and for a Midwestern center, we have an incredible penetrating trauma rate and one of the best surgical intensive care units in the area. Plus with the evolving acute care surgery service, it is the same faculty here so it’s a very cohesive team. That three-in-one aspect keeps you on top of your game,” says Makley.
"We were both in a trauma research lab and we started developing our own research interest areas, so the ability to be able to come back and build on that for a career is very appealing,” adds Goodman.
Makley investigated hemorrhagic shock and damage control resuscitation; Goodman focused on traumatic brain injury—both in preclinical models. Both worked in the labs of Alex Lentsch, PhD, and Timothy Pritts, MD, PhD.
The Appeal of Academic Medicine
Choosing to pursue a career in academic medicine comes with the added challenge of conducting bench-to-bedside research and responsibility of teaching the next generation of surgeons.
For Makley and Goodman, those added elements are exactly what is calling them to the academic medicine career path.
"All the things we look at in the UC trauma lab, we can easily associate with our patients. The opposite also holds true—what we see in our patients, we can take back to the bench to investigate. That holds it all together for me.”
"Medical students and especially residents will continue to challenge you throughout your career. A big part of it for me is to the opportunity to work with residents and medical students. It not only gives you the opportunity to teach them, but it really shows you how much you’ve learned when you start teaching others,” adds Goodman.
About UC’s Surgical Residency Program
Founded in 1922, the UC general surgery residency program has graduated more than 260 general surgery residents. Now under the leadership of director Bradley Davis, MD, UC’s surgical residency program is focusing on core curriculum enhancements that will take the program to yet another level of excellence.
UC general surgery residents complete five years of surgical training with an optional two years of research experience. Resident interviews begin in November each year, with residents being matched in mid-March. The 2012 Match Day occurs March 16 at 11:30 a.m. in the Medical Sciences Building, Room E-351
Starting with the 2011 class, the program underwent several key changes, including:
- Increased trainee class size from six to seven residents per year.
- Implementation of the American Board of Surgery’s SCORE portal, a new tool to model educational objectives and introduce uniform curriculum across all departments of surgery. Until now, there has been no "standard” surgical curriculum to test against.
- Introduction of a more robust menu of virtual simulation practice opportunities with inanimate and animate models to perfect surgical skills prior to entering an operating room. These opportunities exist through virtual reality simulation equipment housed in the Woliver Laboratory for Simulation and Education in Surgery and a fully equipped operating room in the Center for Surgical Innovation.
>>For more information about the UC general surgery residency program and other medical education programs, visit surgery.uc.edu.
>>To watch 2012 Match Day live via streaming video on MedOneStop. The event will be streamed live in Kresge Auditorium on March 16, 2012, starting at 11:30 a.m. until completion.