Each spring more than 15,000 students graduate from U.S. medical schools, eager to serve. Lilla Marigza shows us how young doctors kick off their careers with a half-century old tradition.
(Locator: Nashville, Tenn.)
Louise Bacon: "General surgery, Morehouse School of Medicine." (crowd cheers)
Two months from graduation, these future doctors at Meharry Medical College are finding out where they'll spend the next three to seven years. Thousands of med students across the U.S. apply for residency openings through a computerized placement service. The announcement ceremony is called "match day."
Eric Davis: "I matched in my first choice-the University of Mississippi in Jackson, Mississippi."
It's been four years of sacrifice for these aspiring doctors and their loved ones. Many are non-traditional students juggling work, school, and family.
Rayina McGee, Meharry Medical College 2010: "I have to thank Meharry for giving me a chance as a mom and a wife; to take a chance on someone who's a little bit older than the rest of the students here."
Arnold Henry, Meharry Medical College 2009: "I don't take this moment lightly. I don't take this moment lightly at all because I didn't know whether this moment would come, whether through gang violence, being arrested, or just being told I'm not smart enough. Well, I'm telling you God works miracles and it's a miracle I'm here today."
Meharry was founded in 1876. Today, nearly 20 percent of African-American physicians and 30 percent of African-American dentists practicing in the U.S. are alumni of this United Methodist- related school.
Dr. Wayne Riley, President, Meharry Medical College: "Graduates, it means more than 'medical doctor.' It means 'make a difference.'"
DuMetz Scott: "I matched in psychology at Harvard University."
Each push pin on this map represents a Meharry doctor starting a career of service.
Alexis Rodriguez: "I matched pediatrics, Yale, New Haven."
On average, 76% of Meharry graduates practice in underserved communities and more than 60% of graduates from the School of Medicine enter primary care.
For more information about Meharry, call 615-327-6000.
Meharry is one of 11 historically black colleges supported by the United Methodist Black College Fund.
This video was first posted on March 6, 2010.