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Tufts University School of Medicine

A Match to Celebrate

Robin Cotter and Katelyn Foley celebrate after finding out they both got into their first-choice residency programs on Match Day at Tufts School of Medicine on March 15, 2019.
Monday, March 18, 2019 - 8:00pm

Sofia Gambuto has wanted to be a doctor since she was a little girl. The problem was, she was never a stellar student. In her first two years of college, taking pre-med classes, she struggled and ended up doing very poorly, as in “grades that do not get you into med school,” she said. “I didn’t feel I was smart enough to be a doctor.”

So, as people do, she took a semester off to live in a Zen monastery. It was there, while following the Buddhist practice of picking up earthworms on the sidewalk and moving them to the safety of the dirt, that she had an epiphany. The exercise was so comforting and fulfilling, she knew she had to be a doctor. She would do whatever it took. She went back to school, studied her butt off, completely turned her grades around, and got into Tufts School of Medicine.

Her Zen training served her well in the nerve-wracking run up to Match Day, March 15, the day fourth-year medical students learn where they will spend the next few years completing their residencies. That calm helped her and her boyfriend, Shaun Sekhon, also an M19, earn the award for “most chill couple” in this year’s couples match.

The pair had a long list of places where they would be happy to go, Sekhon said, but as the staff handed out envelopes and champagne to the excited fourth-years gathered in the Medical Education Building, he was holding his breath to see if Gambuto would get her top choice, her “dream placement” in emergency medicine at Cook County in Chicago.

They hesitated to open their envelopes. “Should I open yours, and you open mine?” Sekhon asked.

As they put off the big moment another minute—and for readers until the end of this story—all around them there were whoops and hollers—and even an air horn—as their classmates learned their own placements. People swiped paper napkins from the buffet table to wipe away tears of joy. Then began the mad texting to friends and family who could not be there.

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