Resiliency shines at Match Day 2021

Fourth-year medical students at Baylor College of Medicine did not let a pandemic stop them from safely celebrating Match Day 2021. Match Day, held Friday, March 19, at medical schools across the country, marks the culmination of the annual National Resident Matching Program that pairs fourth-year medical students with residency programs throughout the nation.

An event that followed public health guidelines was held at Baylor for students and College leadership only. A brief program was livestreamed, after which students had the option to open their envelopes that held their residency match or leave campus and receive an email announcing their match so they could open with family and friends. Many students chose to watch the program at home with loved ones and wait to receive their email later that morning.

Regardless of specialty, Klotman reminded students that, “when you open your envelopes or emails, know that each of you are matching where you are needed. It is not so much where you match, but what you do when you are there. This is just the beginning of your careers.”

Dr. Jennifer Christner, dean of the School of Medicine, acknowledged the important affiliated institutions where Baylor medical students train during medical school and acknowledged their work during the pandemic.

“You are all essential! A year ago [when the pandemic began] you all got the call to find out who would be in clinic, who was available. You took that call and now you are going out there to continue your work,” Christner told the matching students.

Dr. Alicia Monroe, provost at Baylor, reminded students that today was also a call to action. “Baylor is the foundation to empower you to make a difference in society, your community and in your patients’ lives. You must be willing to speak the truth and advocate for equity.”

Dr. Joseph Kass, associate dean of student affairs, also addressed students at the Match Day program, and Yasmin Khalfe, president of the Class of 2021, spoke on behalf of her peers.

Reflecting on the past year and moving forward she said, “A year ago we didn’t know what Match Day would look like, but we are flexible, and we learn to adapt.”

One student participating in the Match, Brittany Bryant, shared her motivation to pursue a career in medicine.

Brittany Bryant
Brittany Bryant, right, with classmates at Match Day 2021.

As a young girl, Bryant lost two of her four younger sisters to Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome, a genetic condition that can lead to seizures, joint and muscle stiffness and other physical and intellectual disabilities. Growing up with special needs sisters piqued Bryant’s interest in medicine. She became interested in chronic pain management in particular when her one-year-old sister was administered morphine through hospice care, allowing her to smile and have meaningful interactions for the first time.

Bryant began writing children’s books in high school to help other children overcome tragedy and maintain hope when going through similar experiences. In medical school at Baylor, her pediatrics rotations held special significance since they were completed at Texas Children’s Hospital, where her sisters were diagnosed, even though her family was from Dallas. Bryant matched in anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic with an intern year in pediatrics at the University of North Carolina. She plans to specialize in pediatric chronic pain management.

Watch this highlight video, and find a photo album capturing the excitement here.