Tears streamed down faces and champagne poured into glasses last Friday on Match Day, a day of anticipation and celebration for medical students around the country. On this day, medical students find out where they will spend the next four years training as residents.
This year, at the Stanford School of Medicine, students gathered in Berg Hall to open red envelopes at exactly 9 a.m. -- their first reactions on display as their families and loved ones watched with pride and celebrated with photos and teary-eyed hugs.
Before and after the grand reveal, we spoke with students who matched. For Joy He, an MD-PhD student of nine years, it was especially emotional.
"During medical school, I lost my mom on my first day of my PhD in 2017," He said. "She passed away unexpectedly. It's amazing to come to this day because I wasn't always sure that I would get here."
It was a tough journey for her, but the day commemorates all that she's fought for.
"It's a dream come true," He said.
She was with her husband and father at the event, but she thinks her mom would be proud of her, too.
"When I was younger, I would talk to my mom about the dreams I had of becoming a neurosurgeon," He said. "No matter what school is in that envelope, I'm going to be excited and just feel lucky I'm pursuing my dream. I know that she'll be watching over me and cheering me on."
Here we share a video with He's story and the stories of many others who are celebrating their achievements.
Photo and video by Todd Holland