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Travis Hughes had been assured by both mentors and peers that he was a front-runner for a super-competitive dermatology residency: He had a double degree from Harvard University, experience as a clinical scientist at a health tech startup, and a CV with nearly 40 publications and four patents. Still, during Match Week in March, he failed to land a residency slot, along with 7.1% of fourth-year medical students in the U.S.

While many in his position were upset, Hughes said he was relieved. His part-time job at a startup had nudged him toward industry. The push from the Match was all he needed to set out on this new path. Now, he could forgo the long hours and low pay of residency for a comfortable lifestyle in industry.

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