In the tradition known as “Match Day,” thousands of medical students across the country simultaneously open envelopes containing the destination of their residency programs. Surrounded by family and friends, they celebrate the culmination of years of hard work.
Forty-eight graduating medical students from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) regional campus in Amarillo participated in the 2017 national Match Day ceremony March 17 at the Amarillo Country Club. Two of the TTUHSC students, Miles and Ruth Grant, happen to be husband and wife, and had the good fortune of matching with the same medical facility to complete their residency programs.
The match process is completed by the National Residency Matching Program. It provides an orderly system for matching the preferences of applicants with those of residency program directors. Students are obligated to go to the institution to which they have been matched.
Students go to medical facilities throughout Texas and the United States. The Grants will go together to University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri (part of University of Missouri Health Care). Miles will complete an integrated plastic surgery residency, while Ruth was matched with a psychiatry residency.
"We were incredibly fortunate to have Dean Jordan and Kristin Stutz helping us,” Miles said. “Not only did they provide guidance throughout the process, they also contacted programs in which one of us had been invited to interview in hopes of securing an interview for the other. This really improved the number of options we could match at together!"
The couple applied to close to 80 locations with residency programs in both of their disciplines. Of those that invited them to interview, Miles and Ruth were able to rank nine that offered both psychiatry and plastic surgery.
If trying to align their career trajectories wasn’t challenging enough, the Grants welcomed their first child into the world during the residency interview process: their daughter, Ella, was born in November. Ruth said she attended two interviews while pregnant, but took the baby with her to the remaining interviews after Ella was born. Ruth’s aunt and Miles’ mother took turns traveling with Ruth so that they could tend to Ella during the interviews.
“While Ella has been an incredibly easy baby all along, we could not have done it without the help of our family and everyone at TTUHSC," Ruth explained. “It really has taken a village.”
Miles and Ruth first met while attending University of Texas at Austin. Miles, from North Texas, was attending law school; Ruth, an Amarillo native, studied psychology. The couple has been married eight years. They already felt grateful for gaining early acceptance to TTUHSC together for medical school. Now they’re excited to move their young family to Missouri.
“We came into medical school together, and Lord willing we’re leaving together,” Miles joked.