Student-produced ‘Match Madness’ documentary debuts on WUGA-TV next week

“Match Madness,” a half-hour documentary that follows the lives of three University of Georgia medical students in the time leading up to their residency match day, debuts on WUGA-TV on June 16.

Graduate students in the Grady College Health and Medical Journalism program produced the half-hour documentary.

“This is a terrific, suspense-filled show that leaves you feeling good about the next generation of doctors,” said Patricia Thomas, who supervised this independent study project and directs Grady's graduate HMJ program.

“Match Madness” follows Brie Berry, Hammad Aslam and Ashley Austin, three members of the GRU-UGA Medical Partnership's inaugural graduating class, and shows them during the tense and stressful approach to March 21, the day when all graduating medical students throughout the country learn if they have been selected for their desired residency program.


Katie Ball narrates 'Match Madness.'

Since 2010, four teams of HMJ students worked on this project and together created more than 80 multimedia stories about the evolution of the GRU-UGA Medical Partnership and how it has changed the students, community care and research at the university.

Producers April Bailey, Katie Ball and Alicia Smith followed the medical students closely during their final semester of school and drew on archival footage shot by earlier teams dating back to August 2010.

This is the fourth half-hour documentary that HMJ students have produced for WUGA-TV over the past three years. Thomas thinks it is also the best.

“All three HMJ students were committed to telling stories of the med school's first graduating class,” said Thomas. “Everyone shot and edited video, Alicia Smith did the lion's share of script writing, Katie Bell narrated the show and April Bailey kept all the parts in motion. I'm proud of them.”

WUGA-TV Executive Producer Melissa Jackson worked closely with the students to make the show ready for prime time, and WUGA-TV Station Director Jimmy Sanders has been a long-time supporter of airing student shows of this type.

It helped that the student filmmakers had a great story to tell.

“Match Madness shows that a new medical school can not only survive, it can thrive,” said Thomas. Members of the first graduating class fared very well on March 21, and they'll do their residencies at some excellent institutions.”

The show will air on WUGA-TV the following times:

June 16 at 1:30 p.m.
June 17 at 10:30 a.m.
June 18 at 7:30 a.m.
June 18 at 11 p.m.
June 19 at 1:30 p.m.
June 22 at 8:30 a.m.
June 23 at 6:30 p.m.
June 23 at 11:30 p.m.
June 24 at 12:30 p.m.
June 25 at midnight
June 30 at 7 a.m.
June 30 at 1 p.m.

Local TV listings or the online WUGA-TV guide identifies the channels WUGA-TV can be viewed.

Match Madness is also available on the HMJ at UGA YouTube channel.

UGA Grady College
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in journalism, advertising, public relations, digital and broadcast journalism and mass media arts. The Sports Media Certificate program is aimed at preparing students for careers in sports writing, sports broadcasting and sports communications, and will be offered beginning in Fall 2014. Grady College offers two graduate degrees and is home to the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see www.grady.uga.edu or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.

Date: June 11, 2014
Author:  Katelyn Lewis, klewis@uga.edu
Contact:  Patricia Thomas,  pthomas@uga.edu