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Graduating medical students learn residency futures on 'Match Day'

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WINSTON-SALEM - Friday was Match Day at medical schools across the country. More than 16,000 graduating seniors learned where they'll spend the next three to seven years of residency training.

Emotions ran high at Wake Forest University's School of Medicine. Students waited anxiously.

"Yesterday I wasn't,” said Pedro Cardama. “Five minutes ago or five minutes before, yes."

One hundred fifteen graduating medical students took part in an oft-repeated ritual, opening envelopes to learn the next step in their careers as doctors.

"The programs submit their match list of who they want,” said Dr. Mark Knudson, associate dean of student services. “Students submit their match list of where they want to go."

Sylvana Hidalgo knew she'd have a job. The question was where.

"I had to figure out what coast I was going to be in,” said Sylvana Hidalgo. “I applied to programs in both New York and California."

It was up to a computer to make the call.

"A computer program ranks and matches programs and students together to give everybody the highest possible choices," said Knudson.

Hidalgo, who hails from Pasadena, California plans to be a pediatrician. She found out she'll stay on the east coast.

"I am going to Columbia,” she said. “Children's Hospital of New York."

Parents are proud no matter where their children end up.

"I was fighting for the west coast but, you know, Columbia's not a bad deal and so that's nice," said David Hidalgo.

A married father of a two-year old, Cardama is eyeing a future in emergency medicine. He got just the news he'd been hoping for.

"That I got to stay here,” he said. “I got my number one choice. It's kind of like the lottery, so, I just won the lottery right now."

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