N.J. medical students attend Match Day; Cherry Hill twins prepare to go their separate ways

N.J. medical students attend Match Day; Cherry Hill twins prepare to go their separate ways

By Kelly Roncace, South Jersey Times

On March 20, medical students across the country gathered together to find out where the next chapter in their lives would take place.

Match Day is a yearly celebration where graduating medical students receive letters informing them of what program they have been "matched" with for their residency.

Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine students attended a Match Day celebration at The Mansion on Main Street in Voorhees to open their envelopes.

Dr. Kathryn Lambert, Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine's dean of student affairs, said, medical students spend four years training in a classroom and hoping to get their medical degree.

"But to get licensed, they need to complete post medical school training or a residency," Lambert said. "Match Day is when the students find out where they are going to do their residency training and finding out what program matched with them."

For RowanSOM students April and Kim Barnum of Cherry Hill - twin sisters - this year's Match Day would not only tell them where they would do their residencies, but also how far apart they would be from each other.

The girls, who are 25 years old, have gone through school together since kindergarten.

Match Day will be the day they find out how far they will be separated from each other for the first time.

Kim, who is going into the osteopathic field, already found out she will be doing her residency at in Overlook Medical Center in Summit.

"We expected it at this point," Kim said. "We went to college together, then didn't expect to go to medical school together, but we did."

So April's turn came to learn where she would spend the next four year's of her own medical career.

Her first choice, Kaiser Permanente is located in Oaklyn, California. Her other choices are in the New England area.

"We had a long discussion about it, but we felt like it's time to have our own personal growth," April said.

After a "3, 2, 1" countdown, April opened her letter, along with the 140-plus other medical students, to see if she would soon be bi-coastal.

"I'm going to Brown (University in Providence, Rhode Island)," she said, obviously excited. "I'm really excited. I'm the first in my family to go to an Ivy League school."

One of her top choices, April had to read the letter over a few times for the news to sink in.

Kim was also pleased.

"North Jersey and Rhode Island aren't too far apart," she smiled.

Fred Barnum, the girls' father, said the past couple months have been an adventure.

"It's been a long journey in many ways," he said. 

After approximately 20 trips to places like Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginia, all over New England and this area, Barnum is happy with the locations his daughters matched with.

"It's just nerve wracking for me because they're twins and they've been together all their lives," he said. "I don't think they will realize, until they go through it, how much they will miss each other."

However, it will be easier for them to see each other, being on the same coast.

"It will be easier for them to get home," said Marian Barnum, the girls' mother. "Just a car ride away."

In addition to Kim and April, 142 graduates in the osteopathic and allopathic fields were matched with their residencies.

According to RowanSOM Spokesperson Jerry Carey, 140 of the 144 graduates were successfully matched with residency programs.

"That's 97 percent which is better than last year's national average," he said.

Of those who matched, two are military students who will go into a military program after graduation, and 51 students will remain in New Jersey.

"That's important because many students tend to set up their practice where they do their residency," Carey said.

Students in this year's graduating class will be traveling to 18 different states including California, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, with many remaining in New Jersey, Carey said.

Additional Details:

Date Published: Sunday, March 22, 2015 - 08:00