BALTIMORE - Just before noon Thursday, medical students from all across the country held their breaths for one brief moment.
For those about to graduate from Johns Hopkins University school of medicine, the future unfolded with a countdown. It's called Match Day.
Medical student Nathan Skelley says it is one of the most exciting days of his life.
"Five years of my life is all decided in the next hour by one line on a piece of paper."
Match Day means a mixture of adrenaline and anxiety as medical students from around the country, in one instant, discover what's next.
On this St. Patrick's Day, 97 soon-to-be doctors from Johns Hopkins gather around pots of golden opportunity and wait to learn which hospital they will travel to for their residency work.
Thomas Koening, Associate Dean at Johns Hopkins, says it is bittersweet.
"It's sad to see them go. But there's also this sense of excitement because we just can't wait to see what's going to happen next. We know it's going to be pretty amazing."
Nathan Skelley hopes for a hospital in the Midwest, close to home.
"This is where we get the skills of the trade, I have the knowledge now from Johns Hopkins Medical School. In residency I'll learn how to implement those skills."
Lorenza Frisoni says she appreciates the hard work it took to get to this point.
"It's a big journey that comes to an end. A lot of sweat a lot of tears, sometimes."
But with just moments to go, the cardboard "coins" are handed out and all the work seems worth it.
Kavan Clifford got great some fantastic news.
"I got my first choice, staying here at Hopkins. So I will be a Hopkins-trained aenesthesiologist."
Lorenza is bound for New York, Columbia University Medical Center - not bad as a third choice.
Nathan is going home to Saint Louis. As a new adventure takes these 97 around the country, the Associate Dean leaves some words of advice.
"Have faith in themselves. Take care of themselves and those that they love. And have fun with it. And please, stay in touch with us. We really want to know what's going on."
The soon-to-be doctors will report to their posts in July.
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