It was a nail biter inside a packed auditorium at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Friday, not because of college basketball choices, but because of medical students’ picks for residency programs.

When the suspense ended, all 41 members of the school’s class of 2018 matched. It was the school’s fifth Match Day and the fifth time that its match rate was 100 percent.

During this year’s Match Day, themed “March Match Madness,” members of the graduating class learned where they would be spending the next leg of their medical education as they pursue residencies in their chosen specialties. Beginning at noon, students at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine — as well as students in all 140 other allopathic medical schools across the country — opened up envelopes to see where the next chapter would unfold.

The celebration was bittersweet, though, as it was the last one for Dean Cynda Johnson who has announced she will be retiring later this year.

“Achieving our fifth straight year with a 100-percent match is an indication of the quality of the program we have here,” Johnson said. “Our students’ academic and clinical achievements not only make us extremely proud but also spread a favorable reputation about our school all across the country where they do their residencies. I’m thrilled to end my time here with another perfect match, and I know there will be many more successful Match Days in the years to come.”

Members of the class will go into programs representing 15 specialties in 16 states and 30 different academic health centers. The most represented specialties in the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s class of 2018 include general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, and radiology.

The school adds Stanford, Dartmouth, and the University of Southern California to the list of prestigious programs to which its students have matched during the past five years.

“This was one of our most successful Match Days in terms of students getting in to their top choices as well as the caliber of programs in which they matched,” said Aubrey Knight, senior dean for student affairs.

Two students from the school’s class of 2018 will stay in Roanoke for their residencies, and another one will spend a preliminary year with Carilion Clinic, bringing the total number of students who have done part or all of their residencies in Roanoke to 27.

The Class of 2018 will graduate on May 5.

See a full gallery on the school's Facebook page.

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