NYITCOM students participate in 2021 Match Day

Students celebrate virtual match day

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Friday was Match Day for medical school across the country including for the students at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.

It’s the day students learn where they will complete their residency.

NYITCOM at A-State celebrated Match Day with a virtual celebration due to COVID-19 that was streamed on Facebook.

Students heard from NYITCOM Dean Dr. Nicole Wadsworth, NYITCOM at A-State Campus Dean Dr. Shane Speights, and NYITCOM at A-State Associate Dean Dr. Amanda Deel.

Dr. Wadsworth said the day was unlike most Match Days the students could have anticipated.

“It’s also true that our experiences today will serve as a testament to the tenacity, resilience, and ingenuity of our profession,” Dr. Wadsworth said.

Dr. Shane Speights the school is extremely proud of the student doctors, but also said he wanted students to take a minute and reflect back on their time.

“That about your route to Jonesboro, almost four years ago now,” Dr. Speights said. “That first day of medical school and everyone was packed into the auditorium of Wilson Hall and social distancing wasn’t even a phrase. The anxiety and emotions you felt as you attended your first anatomy lab, took your first medical exam, or saw your first patient while wearing that short white coat.”

One of the students matched today was Derika Mays who is originally for Osceola.

She says she has wanted to be a physician from a very young age.

“As a matter of fact, I was probably seven or eight back when I first said I wanted to be a doctor,” Mays said.

Her journey was not a conventional one, she said. She began her career in the medical field as a Registered Nurse.

“I’m thankful for that experience because I had to work with amazing physicians and it sparked my interest again,” Mays said.

She said it was a dream come true to go to medical school in Northeast Arkansas. She said she applied only to NYITCOM at A-State and was accepted.

Now she will spend her residency at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital in Internal Medicine.

“This is probably the happiest I’ve been in a long time,” Mays said. “This is the ultimate of my dream. Very unconventional journey, but I’m so happy to be here as a wife, as a mother, as a former nurse, I’ve overcome so many obstacles and it’s just, you know, I’m just filled with so much joy.

Of the students who participated the this year’s match, 70% were placed into primary care programs, 33% into family medicine programs, 28% into internal medicine programs, and 10% will specialize in pediatrics, OB/GYN, or psychiatry.

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