“Match Madness” takes over UConn Medical School

FARMINGTON -- It may be a far cry from March Madness, but based on the crowds at UConn Medical Center Friday, you'd never be able to tell they were actually gathered for "Match Madness."

The  pressure filled event known as "Match Day" happens at medical schools across the country., when fourth-year students learn if they've been admitted to their doctoral residency programs. As the clock struck noon Friday, about 84 UConn med students opened their envelopes and made their matches.

"This is just the most joyous day of the year, it's real and it's just wonderful," said Associate Dean for Student Affairs Dr. David Henderson.

Fourth year med student Evan Tomkiewicz, originally from Plattsburgh, N.Y., found his match in Indiana, where he will pursue emergency medicine at the University of Indiana School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

"You put everything into this," Tomkiewicz said. "This is kind of the culmination of everything you've done so far and you find out where you're going to go."

After opening her envelope, Fludi Naka, an Albanian immigrant and fourth year UConn med student, found her match in dermatology at Columbia University in New York.

"Having this [match letter] in my hand is surreal," Naka said. "There are no works to describe it. I really want to give back everything I can because I've received so much and now it's my turn."