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School of Medicine Greenville

Just What the Doctor Ordered - Episode #2

Match Day with Dillon Isaac

Match Day is one of the most significant milestones in the life of a physician. In this episode, we had a chance to sit down with one of the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville's own students, Dillon Isaac, to discuss his journey to and through medical school before his big match on March 19th.

Abby Britt  0:14  
Hello, and welcome to Episode Two of just what the doctor ordered the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville podcast. We're excited to provide insight on medical news and events in the Upstate conducting crucial medical conversations and answering questions as well as a deeper dive into awards, programs, philanthropy and more at the School of Medicine Greenville. My name is Abby Britt and I am so excited to kick off our second episode of just what the doctor ordered. This episode will be centered around Match Day, the long awaited day for medical students where the national resident matching program releases the results to those applying for residency and fellowship training positions. So medical students will be matched with their desired program, they'll be told where to live. And this is all in a little envelope. And this day literally changes their entire life. So it's super exciting. Today, we'll be taking a deep dive into what is the most amazing, nerve wracking, exciting events for graduating fourth year medical students or M4's as they are known in the medical community. So let's get started. So just to kick things off and get us rolling. Dylan, could you tell us two truths and a lie about yourself? And Bonus points if they're medical related?

Dillon Isaac  1:33  
Okay, let's see. My favorite animal is the kangaroo. I can play the piano and I love to work out. 

Abby Britt  1:49  
Okay. I'm gonna guess the workout one, because we're in Corona. That's a lot. Yeah, that's my guess. 

Dillon Isaac  1:58  
I love working out. 

Abby Britt  1:59  
You love working out. Okay, what's your lie? 

Dillon Isaac  2:02  
I can play the piano.

Abby Britt  2:03  
Oh, okay. I have always been told that doctors make really good piano players. I don't know where I heard that from. But...

Dillon Isaac  2:10  
I was in band for six years, like in middle school in high school. But I played like the horns, trumpet trombone and things like that.

Abby Britt  2:17  
Oh, okay, gotcha, gotcha. I'll think of one for me. So, two truths and a lie. I spent my eighth birthday in the hospital. There's one. I have been to 10 different countries. And I am six foot, now you guess.

Dillon Isaac  2:41  
 The six foot? 

Abby Britt  2:42  
Okay. Okay, that was way too easy. I would have totally thought you would have gotten gone for the country's one. But okay, so now that we are a little bit warmed up, just tell me for those who don't know what is Match Day?

Dillon Isaac  2:58  
So Match Day is essentially, this big day each year or 14 med students find out where they end up, or that where they're going to spend the next three, four, or even five years of their lives, making it this big thing. So essentially, on the 15th, you get an email, finding out a few your soap eligible or if you have to soak. And then if you don't have to, then you just kind of chill in that week. And you find out where you're going to be on that Friday. 

Abby Britt  3:24  
How does it all work? 

Dillon Isaac  3:25  
We all put our rank list into this algorithm. We rank most people, rank, maybe 10-15 places. And then the programs put their top candidates on rank list as well. All those numbers go into a rank list. And if you rank a program, that's number one, and they rank you number one that's most likely where your match. But if there's some discrepancy in those numbers, then they'll send you to your next best match. I guess that's where the term match comes from.

Abby Britt  3:52  
Gotcha. Wow, that's kind of cool. It seems like a lot of pressure. Because it's all in one day. You know,

Dillon Isaac  3:58  
Exactly. I'm currently waiting. So the pressure just builds

Abby Britt  4:02  
Does the School of Medicine Greenville have a special way of announcing matches?

Dillon Isaac  4:07  
Yeah, um, pre COVID, we would actually have a little celebration where everyone meets up, and they open the envelopes, and they found out where they match. And then you can go on stage and announce where you're going to be practicing the next three to five years of your life. This year, we are giving out care packages things like whiteboards where you can write where you're going to be I think you're getting like a dozen boxes, a dozen chocolate chip cookies. Things like that. And then we're doing a virtual match day.

Abby Britt  4:36  
So I'm guessing that everyone just finds out virtually and then it's like a giant zoom call kind of thing. 

Dillon Isaac  4:42  
Exactly. 

Abby Britt  4:43  
So how are you feeling? 

Dillon Isaac  4:44  
I'm think I'm appropriately anxious. 

Abby Britt  4:48  
Yes, I would say so. But are you excited?

Dillon Isaac  4:52  
 I am excited. I'm hoping I end up at my number one but I would not be upset with any other places I ranked. 

And what is your number one?

My top three places are UNC Chapel Hill, Louisville and here at Prisma health.

Abby Britt  5:06  
Okay, awesome. What program do you want to go into?

Dillon Isaac  5:11  
Yeah, so I'm going into internal medicine and pediatrics, also known as med pedes. I like to call it the forever doc. So I can see kids all the way from the womb to the tomb is a phrase to say pretty often. 

Abby Britt  5:23  
So why did you want to choose med beads? 

Dillon Isaac  5:27  
Yeah. So when I first came into med school, I thought I wanted to do orthopedic surgery, I quickly found out that wasn't my thing. Then I wanted to do physical medicine and rehab. It really didn't excite me when I did my physical medicine and rehab rotation. And then I did surgery. So I thought I want to do general surgery for a while. But what I realized that I didn't actually like doing the procedures, I liked to talk to the patients pre op and post op, making sure their chronic conditions were being well managed and ensure that there were no post op complications. And if it were that we can manage those appropriately. And I found that the med pedes positions were kind of leading that way. I love internal medicine, because I'm kind of the point person for my parents and their chronic conditions and giving them evidence based facts. So that's kind of where the medicine component comes from. And then I just love the pediatric population, kids are so candid, and very resilient. And I remember this one instance, where I was in Simpsonville. And I know this kid with a left knee contusion he was on a treadmill and he fell hurt himself pretty bad. So and as I'm leaving the room, the kid jumps off the table, and he gives me the biggest hug. And I'm looking at his grandma like what is going on? And she tells me "he's a hugger". And I'm like, I can tell I can tell on that. And that was kind of moment that solidified definitely to work with the pediatric population.

Abby Britt  6:43  
That is so sweet. Oh, my gosh, you can think of that kid every time you're wondering, why am I doing this? Because you can see the direct impact that you have on people, which is amazing. 

Dillon Isaac  6:54  
Exactly. 

Abby Britt  6:54  
So would you say that your parents are the inspiration behind you going to medical school?

Dillon Isaac  7:01  
Yeah, I will say they're a huge part. I'm born and raised in South Carolina. I'm an underrepresented minority in medicine. So I have a lot of direct exposure to chronic illnesses and impact that has on my community.

Abby Britt  7:13  
Tell us a little bit more about your journey to and through medical school. Now that I know that you are part of a underrepresented population.

Dillon Isaac  7:24  
So I would say the first exposure I had to medicine was probably when I was around six or seven years old. That's when my grandmother first started going to dialysis for complications related to type two diabetes. And I kind of just became I've always been interested in like Legos and putting pieces together and trying to understand how things work. And so that inclination kind of transfered to trying to understand like how the human body works, and what happens when things go wrong, and how can we fix it. So I became a little bit increasingly intrigued when I was exposed to that with my grandmother. And then when I grew up older, around 10, or 11, my uncle had triple bypass surgery. And so the inclination kind of just kept progressing. I wanted to understand like, what what goes wrong with the human body? How can we fix it. And then in college, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. And by that time, I kind of had like a basic understanding of how to look into literature and research. So I kind of started serving as the point person for medical advice and kind of serving like a translator between my dad's PCP and urologist, and making sure that he understood what he needed to do and just trying to make sure that was easily digestible for everyone. So medicine kind of became this thing that was increasingly pulled towards based on these experiences with my family members. And I gotta say, as I've gone to med school, it's kind of awesome to serve as that point person even more like a sister who just had her first child eight weeks ago. Also kind of talking to her about what to expect postpartum, things like that. It's really awesome to kind of have that, that knowledge on my belt and actually calm my parents and friends whenever it comes to medical issues or questions, but to answer your question. I went to Claflin University. I graduated with a degree in biology and a minor in Chemistry. And as soon as I graduated from class, I went to Duke masters of biomedical sciences and graduated that next year. I did research and do the Department of Surgery for about a year and then I came to USC Greenville to pursue medicine.

Abby Britt  9:29  
You don't have any qualms about going to Duke and then now going to USC you know that huge rivalry?

Dillon Isaac  9:37  
Not at all. This is when USC had made it to the I think it was the Final Four. I might be getting wrong. And Duke was also in the Final Four of course, because you know, it's an amazing team. And I was kind of like placing wagers in like mentally on like if USC won that's you know, that's where I should go for med school, but here I am.

Abby Britt  9:59  
Yeah, you still ended up where you're supposed to be, which is amazing. What is different about the USC School of Medicine Greenville? What do they have that's different as a medical school to offer to future students who want to be like you.

Dillon Isaac  10:15  
I'll say, the environment is just so collaborative. One of my biggest fears going into med school was that it was going to be this cutthroat competition like environment. And I was just going to be constantly stressed and fatigue. I mean, I am pretty stressed and fatigued because you know, medical school is intense. But there's never been an instance where I haven't felt supported here. If anything was going on, I could always reach to reach out to Student Affairs, or even my other classmates who more often than not, are going through the same thing that I'm going through. Matter of fact, one of my best friends from med school, just had their first kid. And they made me the godfather to their son. And I was, you know, it's kind of like a quick relationship to develop. But that's kind of just what is med school fosters, building true relationships. And I guess, the struggle of med school just connects people a lot quicker than any other situation.

Abby Britt  11:05  
I know that I've heard great things about the medical school, but it's nice to hear from the inside, what great things that they're doing.

Dillon Isaac  11:13  
Yeah, and one thing I really like is the lifestyle medicine component. I've always been a big advocate of self care and just make sure you put yourself first you know, acting as your your first patient. The school really teaches you how to do that. It's not just a concept, but they actually teach you how to practice self care in a sustainable way.

Abby Britt  11:32  
Do you have any advice for medical students who will be participating in the matchday process next year?

Dillon Isaac  11:39  
Yeah, I'm wondering if they'll still do virtual interviews, but don't be afraid to reach out to program directors or even residents at institutions to find out what the vibe is at the place. And just be genuine. I feel like a lot of times, even though it's virtual it's easy to tell when people aren't being genuine over zoom, or WebEx. And then don't stress it. I'm telling myself that every day, but honestly just trying to internalize it, but it'll work out. I believe it'll work out and I end up exactly where I need to be on March 19.

Abby Britt  12:11  
There you go. Awesome. Well, I hope you enjoyed our conversation with Dylan as much as I did. And that's a wrap. Thank you for tuning in. For more news you can use coming to you from the USC school medicine Greenville. Want to find out we're Dylan matched please join us for an update during our next episode to be released May 1.


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