Mercer University medical students celebrate Match Day

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – More than 40 future doctors at Mercer University found out where they’ll spend at least a year getting in-depth training for a specific branch of medicine.

It’s part of the annual Match Day celebrated by senior medical students across the country.

“Not the beginning of a journey, but definitely a big step in that direction,” Ulysses Davila, a senior medical student heading to Virginia Commonwealth University for a residency in pediatrics, said.

A big step for Davila.

“I decided to take the plunge and I applied and just more and more throughout the year, the more experience I got in pediatrics, the more I liked it,” he said.

He’ll head to Richmond after he graduates in May.

“Throughout the interview season, it’s just a place that I kept thinking of whenever I’d go to any other program and I think you’ll find that for a lot of people when they talk about this program is just how great the people are,” Davila said.

He’s one of 44 seniors on Mercer’s Macon campus matched to different residencies across the country.

From California to New York and everywhere in between, the future doctors will focus on different branches of medicine.

“About 50% of the students will either be in Georgia or one of the contiguous states so we think that’s good because they’re likely to come back to the state and practice,” Dr. Patrick Roache, the dean of Mercer’s School of Medicine on the Macon campus, said.

Roche says it’s the program’s goal to retain a lot of the graduating doctors in Georgia or at least close by — helping those who don’t have healthcare.

“We strive to graduate docs who stay in Georgia and largely do primary care,” Roache said.

While Ulysses is heading more than 500 miles away, he’s looking forward to a chance to dig deeper into helping sick kids.

“This is a life that I don’t think they ever expected for me and I think it’s a good feeling to know that I’m going to be able to inspire others in my family to do something great,” Davila said.

More than 100 senior medical students from all three Mercer campuses were matched into different programs.

Dr. Roache says about 70% of the graduating doctors will focus on the core areas of medicine including pediatrics and emergency medicine.

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