Farah Dadabhoy was a teenager living in Karachi, Pakistan, when a massive earthquake struck the country’s northern region in 2005 killing thousands and living millions homeless. She wondered how she could help and her interest sparked her journey into medicine.
"I realized I wanted to be out there working and being part of those rescue efforts and so I was thinking about who is going to go and assist and how can I help the most,” says Dadabhoy. "I thought a physician would be most effective way for me to help at that time. I started thinking about it then, and I as I grew older I really enjoyed the sciences and learning about the human body and so all of those came together.”
A fourth-year medical student, Dadabhoy is now on the cusp of realizing her dream of practicing emergency medicine. Soon she and her colleagues in the Class of 2017 in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine will find out where they will spend the next three to seven years training as residents. The Queen City is a destination for some, while others will call new communities across the nation home during their residency.
At UC, they will gather in a room, E-351 in the Medical Sciences Building on Medical Campus Friday at 11:30 a.m. to find out their residency destinations during the annual Match Day celebration. Other medical students in medical school around the nation will also learn where they matched around this time. Dadabhoy and her classmates have completed an exhaustive months-long residency interview process with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), which links program preference of students with those of residency program directors.
"I think emergency medicine fits my personality well,” says Dadabhoy, 29. "I am always on the go. I am always thinking, ‘What is the next thing I can do?’ I was pretty open when I started my third year of medical school. In pre-clinical years everyone told us to go on to the wards and clinics and I enjoyed a lot of subspecialties.
"I enjoyed pediatrics,” says Dadabhoy. "I enjoyed OBGYN, I enjoyed surgery and I enjoyed internal medicine. I realized I didn’t want to lose any of it and I found that I was having a hard time figuring out which route. I started thinking about why I became a doctor. I found that emergency medicine would give me the skillset to work with all patients. The motto of emergency medicine is any patient anywhere.
"That really helped me find where I wanted to be,” says Dadabhoy. "I wanted to be taking care of any patient. That might be somebody who has knee pain or somebody who needs shelter for the night. I found that with emergency medicine I could take care of all the patients and be there for them on their hardest day.”
During UC’s Match Day student names are called lottery style during the event. Each student hurries excitedly to the front of the lecture hall to open their residency envelopes in front of their classmates and friends and others watching at home on streaming video
Clad in class T-shirts with music in the background, the matching will be screened live in Kresge Auditorium, where many parents and family of med students gather. A huge map of the United States is on display and students are allowed to stick a pin on the location on the map where they have matched.
UC’s Academic Health Center will also post photos from Match Day via twitter using the hashtag #UCMatch2017. Follow the event on Snapchat
If you can’t attend Match Day feel free to view it live by visiting http://med.uc.edu/matchday
. Pre-recorded Match Day content is available at 11 a.m. Event streaming starts at 11:45 a.m.
This year Dean William Ball, MD, of the College of Medicine, will pull the first envelope for the class, with Aurora Bennett, MD, associate dean of student affairs and admissions, and Bruce Giffin, PhD, associate dean for medical education, pulling the rest of the envelopes for Match Day.
"The significance of Match Day for students is it is the day that everything they have been working for during those prior three years culminates and finally knowing what path they are going to take as far as the specialty,” says Bennett. "They have done all the vetting in terms of all the possibilities and they have come to decision and now they get to find out that indeed that decision is being confirmed. They also find out where they are going to live for the next three to seven years of their lives.
"I think what is special about UC’s Match Day is that all the students are together,” says Bennett. "They are sharing in the angst of waiting to see what they open in their envelopes and sharing in each other’s joy. Allowing each one to have their own time to be able to tell the class where they are going and what they are matched in. It’s a shared experience. Our students are very supportive of each other. This really is the moment.”
Dadabhoy says she hopes to match in a community where her husband, a graduate of medical school in the United Kingdom, can also find residency in his chosen field, ophthalmology. Her journey into medicine has been shaped by a supportive family—her father looked at her as a baby and thought she might someday be doctor—by a larger society that sent conflicting messages about the role of women in modern Pakistan.
Navigating these varied and different environments has made Dadabhoy passionate about working with vulnerable populations, especially women. While at UC, she researched pubertal health in girls and volunteered at Withrow High School, holding health literacy workshops for adolescents. Last year she was part of a team of UC students that won a national competition to improve healthcare in the Amazon Basin. Moving forward, she hopes to continue to work with underserved populations and to use her training to develop and advance emergency care in Pakistan.
While Match Day holds special significance for medical students, program directors at the College of Medicine and UC Health are also eager to learn their incoming residents.
"Match Day is just as thrilling for the programs as it is for the students as we’ll learn who our new trainees will be for the next three to four years, says Keith Luckett, MD, associate program director, recruiting and fellowship placement, UC Internal Medicine Residency Program. "There has been a lot of effort put into selecting and interviewing these candidates. We are excited to see who we will be matching with us and look forward to welcoming them into the University of Cincinnati family.”