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David Geffen School of Medicine
The Cutting Edge

Flash Match

Match Day. Everyone who has been through medical school can remember the jitters of that day, when soon-to-be newly minted M.D.s learn where the next several years of their lives will be spent in residency training. Will it be the warm, sunny climes of Southern California? Or the frosty, snow-blanketed winters of Michigan or New York?

This year, four enterprising students at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA - Justin Hayase, M.D. '12, Mitra Nejad, M.D. '12, Alyssa Scott, M.D. '12, and Lissa Yu, M.D. '12 - decided to try something new to defuse the tension. With the blessing of the administration, they assembled a "flash mob" of 50 people to disrupt the Match Day ceremony on the morning of March 16 by spontaneously breaking into a dance choreographed to Chris Brown's pulsating "3x Yeah."

It was one of those moments made for YouTube, and in no time cameras and cell phones were recording the event. The loudest cheers were saved for the end, when Neil Parker, M.D., senior associate dean for student affairs, and Meredith Szumski, director of student affairs, stepped forward and wowed the crowd with their own enthusiastic moves.

"If that didn't get your heart pumping, you are either asleep or dead," A. Eugene Washington, M.D., M.Sc., dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, proclaimed. He praised the graduating class, noting that its students were accomplished as well as artistic.

When the dance was over, culminating in an eight-clap and cheer, it was time to get on with the business of opening the white envelopes that would tell each student where he or she would be going next year. At 9 a.m., the students nervously filed outside to find the envelopes bearing their names. Pandemonium exploded on the patio of Covel Commons. Students erupted in triumphant screams and tears of joy, hugging their classmates and pumping their fists into the air. The majority of students received their first choices and smiled rapturously for photos, relieved to know the next step of their lives.

As for their own Match Day pairings, the UCLA flash-mob conspirators finished the morning with pleased smiles: Hayase was matched in internal medicine at UC San Diego; Nejad got ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA; Scott was paired in emergency medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Yu will be studying obstetrics/gynecology at Yale University.

A flash mob led by four David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA students defuses the tension of Match Day.


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