WAUSAU - Students at the Medical College of Wisconsin Wausau campus were "matched" on Friday and found out where they would be spending the next few years of their medical training.
After three years of hard work, "Match Day" sorted thirteen future doctors in Wisconsin into residency programs around the country. Their matching ceremony was nothing short of magical.
Instead of Harry Potter's Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, medical students got sorted into more fitting houses on Friday. All thirteen students in the first graduating class of the Medical College of Wisconsin's branch in Wausau were matched to the training program they'll spend the next three to five years completing. After that, they'll become full fledged doctors.
Some of those students were from the area, like Gina Groshek from Rosholt.
"I am thrilled. This has been a week of a lot of built up anxiety," Groshek said.
Groshek will specialize in family medicine at the University of Minnesota and hopes to practice medicine close to home.
"I don't feel like we're going to leave the Midwest, this is kind of home for us," Groshek said.
Groshek's classmate Chris Zeman, who played the voice of the sorting hat at the event, won't transfigurate just yet.
"I really couldn't make up my mind with what I want to specialize in yet so I'm taking another year to really make that more concrete," Zeman said.
We first met Zeman in 2017. He's an Iraqi war veteran and father of three who decided to attend medical school after seeing medics save soldiers on the battlefield and surgeons back home save his new born daughters life.
Zeman still hopes to come back to the area once he's completed his residency.
"And we're going to try our best to come back to the Wausau area, we really love living here and it's still a place we want to raise our family. So that's our plan," Zeman said.
Dean Lisa Dodson hopes that many of her students will follow that same route.
"Most of our students are from here, hopefully will be coming back here after they finish their training," Dodson said.
A reappearing trick would be good for Wisconsin too. Up to 40 per cent of the state's family doctors are expected to retire in the next ten to 15 years according to the Wisconsin Council on Medical Education and Workforce. But the students and staff at MCW Central Wisconsin are making sure that the Northwoods doesn't go through that dry spell.
"Medicine has always been a little bit magical," Dodson quipped.
Those MCW students will graduate this spring and begin their residencies this summer.