The excitement of Match Day is forever etched in Zack Funk’s memory.
Funk, a graduating medical student at the University of Florida, recalls the heavy anticipation of learning where he will spend the next four years of his life training as a resident physician. Recurrent chest flutters and an increased heart rate were commonplace on that fateful and consequential March 19 morning.
“Faster and faster my heart raced until, right at noon, my phone’s email app dinged,” said Funk, who at that moment found out the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville is his match. “My significant other, Megan, and I stepped away from our group briefly to share the moment together.”
Funk is one of 92 graduating medical students who will soon begin their residencies at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville. He will train in the emergency medicine residency program, one of the college’s 16 core programs.
Twenty-two percent of the college’s matched applicants are from Florida medical schools, including Funk and two others from UF in Gainesville. In all, 66% of the matches are incoming allopathic physicians and 34% are osteopathic.
They begin training on campus July 1.
“The fact that this day was the moment my classmates and I had been working toward since the beginning of medical school was not lost on me one bit,” he said. “The anticipation of opening the match email and seeing where the foundation of my emergency medicine career would be crafted made my chest flutter each time the thought bubbled to the surface.”
Funk said UF Health Jacksonville’s diverse patient population and its standing as the region’s only adult and pediatric Level I trauma center appeal to him. He believes the environment will equip him to be “ready for anything and everything” as an emergency medicine physician.
“Many of the patients have nowhere else to turn or have otherwise fallen through the cracks,” said Funk, who completed rotations at UF Health Jacksonville during medical school.
“Their conditions have often been unmanaged for so long that they present in extremis, affording residents the opportunity to quickly develop superb readiness to help someone on their worst day,” he said. “I have observed that the faculty members are acutely aware of the challenges residents will face and are always standing by to keep the train on the tracks, but largely let the resident take the role of conductor and find their sense of autonomy.”
In addition to the 92 residents, 45 other physicians will begin fellowship subspecialty training July 1 at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville. Program leaders, coordinators and other faculty and staff are eager to welcome them to campus, according to Linda Edwards, MD, senior associate dean for educational affairs at the college.
“Nothing can replace the excitement of seeing new faces on campus, especially knowing that they are entrusting us to help prepare them for the next journey in their careers,” Edwards said. “Despite the unprecedented challenges of the past year, we remain dedicated to continuing to provide an excellent graduate medical education experience in a safe and welcoming environment that is second to none.”
Senior Associate Dean for Educational Affairs; Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine; Associate Chair, Department of Medicine; Medical Director, Program for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities