"Black Monday" finally arrives for med students

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Monday, March 12, known as “Black Monday” to medical students across the country, is a day that determines their fate. “This is the medical version of an NFL Draft,” said Dr. Herman Jones, Associate Dean for Student Affairs at OU Medical School.

Dr. Jones said this is career-making, and in some situations, career breaking.

Back in November students began traveling the country, interviewing at different residency programs for their chosen specialty.

“The students rank in preference the location and type of program they’d like to have and the residency programs rank their students by preference and a computer algorithm attempts to link those up,” Dr. Jones said.

Even after four years of medical school, Dr. Jones said some students don’t match with a program at all.

“They have to find plan B or plan C, perhaps a different location, even a different specialty.”

Medical students say it’s a day they have been waiting for, for years.

“It’s kind of a mix of excitement and nervousness,” Joseph Thurman said.

Another medical student, Evelyn Lorents, said she’s had a couple sleepless nights leading up to March 11.

As time passed Monday morning, students anxiously checked their phones and computers, waiting for an e-mail.

“I just got the e-mail,” Thurman said. “It says, ‘Congratulations you have matched.'”

So for this soon-to-be general surgeon, it’s another waiting game until Friday.

“We find out on Friday where we will be going, in my case for the next five to six years,” Thurman said.

Once the student becomes an official resident at a program, Dr. Jones said they make between $30,000 and $45,000 a year until they complete their training.

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