Medical students celebrate Match Day in rock-star fashion
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine students receive 100 percent residency match
As they prepared to learn the next step in their medical careers, fourth-year students at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM) clutched sealed envelopes to their chests, squeezed hands, closed eyes, and said private meditations, hoping to shape their dream residency program into reality. When the clock struck noon, 43 students at VTCSOM joined thousands of medical students across the United States in opening their envelopes and learning where they matched.
At the schools’ 10th annual Match Day ceremony on Friday at Roanoke’s Jefferson Center, 100 percent of the class matched to a residency program. Classmates, faculty, friends, and family members cheered as each student approached the microphone on stage to announce their next destination and pin their picture on a map of the U.S.
“I am so proud of the Class of 2023 and all they have achieved over the past four years. Their dedication, knowledge and clinical skills are evident in the residency matches they have earned at some of the most prestigious programs in the nation,” said Lee Learman, dean of the school. “As a newer medical school, our graduates are our best spokespeople. Their outstanding work as residents will resonate and reflect positively on the high quality of education at VTCSOM.”
Students at the Match Day celebration wore special T-shirts, leather pants, jean jackets, sunglasses, and other assorted bling, fitting the theme of rock stardom as they learned their destinations. They will enter 15 different specialties in 15 states and 23 different academic health centers. Since its first class in 2014, VTCSOM students have matched in 33 states and the District of Columbia.
“The class of 2023 has continued VTCSOM’s history of Match Day success and has somehow set the bar even higher,” said Aubrey Knight, senior dean for student affairs. “We will have graduates at many of the most prestigious academic health systems in the country. I couldn’t be more proud of the Class of 2023.”
According to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), the 42,952 applicants who certified a rank order list made it the largest match in the organization’s 70-year history. There were 34,822 who matched to a first-year position at a rate of 81.1 percent nationally.
Eight of the upcoming VTCSOM graduates will stay in Virginia, with a record six remaining in Roanoke to complete their entire residency with Carilion Clinic-VTCSOM.
“Roanoke truly has become home over the past four years and I’m thrilled to remain here and help contribute to this community,” said Davin Combs, who will be an emergency medicine resident at Carilion Clinic-VTCSOM. “The culture of this program and all that I’ve learned here drew me to this opportunity and I am really excited for the future here.”
The most represented specialties among VTCSOM’s Class of 2023 were internal medicine (8), general surgery (7), obstetrics and gynecology (6), pediatrics (4), anesthesiology (3) and emergency medicine (3). Two students matched in neurosurgery.
“I am over the moon excited,” said Maya Langman, who matched in neurosurgery with the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. “This has been a lifelong dream of mine and the fact that it has come true is hard to believe.”
For the first time, two students matched at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.
“I’ve always wanted to go home to Boston, and I just fell in love with the child psychiatry program there,” said Sahana Nazeer, who will be joined by classmate Oscar Alcoreza at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Their emphasis on equity and inclusion and belonging is the environment I want to continue to grow in. I’m excited for the journey.”
Seo Hyun Kim became the first VTCSOM student to match with the University of California-San Diego Medical Center, with a residency in internal medicine. Other institutions students matched with included Yale-New Haven Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins Hospital, UNC Hospitals and more.
Patrick Barrett and Ellen Shrontz achieved a couples match in general surgery at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. It’s a homecoming for Shrontz, who grew up in the area.
“I haven’t fully processed it yet. It’s going to be really nice to be back home with friends and family,” she said. “I love the area and I know Patrick will too.”
In the 2023 national match, there were 1,239 couples participating. Of those couples, 1,095 had both partners match and 114 had one partner match for a rate of 93 percent. Barrett said going through the match with his significant other took a lot of pressure off.
“It was really great to go through this process with someone else. We helped each other through it and were interested in the same aspects for a residency program,” he said. “It actually made it all much less stressful.”
Surrounded by family and friends after the ceremony, Sarah Yosief grinned broadly while wearing a Duke University basketball jersey. There, she will be an internal medicine resident.
“I’m very excited to be going by to my undergraduate institution at Duke. This has been so emotional. I’m grateful to have my family and my entire support system here, I could not have done it without them,” she said. “I am so happy to look around and see all the smiling faces of my classmates, finding their dreams.”