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Event reveals next stop on students’ medical journeys

Mar. 21, 2019, 9:09 AM

Chike Osita Abana and his wife, Courtney Mitchell Abana, PhD, react after learning at Match Day that he will do his radiation oncology residency at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Chike Osita Abana and his wife, Courtney Mitchell Abana, PhD, react after learning at Match Day that he will do his radiation oncology residency at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. (photo by Anne Rayner)

by Kathy Whitney

Match Day is the crowning moment of the National Resident Match Program, which matches thousands of medical students with residency programs at medical centers and hospitals across the country. On March 15, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Match Day ceremony was one for the books.

Deviating from tradition, this year’s Match Day ceremony provided the fourth-year students with the option of opening the envelopes containing their residency match information from their seats in Langford Auditorium at precisely 11 a.m., or to wait to open the envelope on stage in front of their classmates and loved ones.

“We changed the Match Day ceremony this year, responding to a growing percentage of students who chose to not participate in the on-stage portion,” said Amy Fleming, MD, MHPE, associate dean for Medical Student Affairs. “To encourage the broadest participation in this class celebration, to maintain aspects valued by our student body and to respect concerns around the vulnerability of opening the envelope on stage, we allowed students the choice.”

School of Medicine students Joey Starnes and Lauren Slesur participated in a ‘couples match,’ and will be staying at VUMC for their pediatric residencies. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Regardless of which option they chose, all participants had the opportunity to come on stage — accompanied by a personalized song and a video screen of photos — and announce where they will continue their training. Per Vanderbilt tradition, each student placed $1 into a fishbowl after Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, dean of the School of Medicine, made an initial donation of $300.

“The 2019 graduates are an incredible class of leaders who have matched into top training programs across the U.S.,” Fleming said.

“This was a spectacular Match year. Not only did we have an incredibly high number of students matching into the most prestigious programs across the nation, but more importantly we knew how very happy our students would be with their matches.”

This year 24 percent of the graduates will stay at Vanderbilt for residency or internship. Six couples participated in a ‘couples match,’ including Melissa and Nathanial Bloodworth, parents to two young children. They are staying at VUMC for their internal medicine residencies. Couple Joey Starnes and Lauren Slesur are also staying at VUMC for their pediatric residencies.

“The end of medical school is definitely a bittersweet feeling. It is both really exciting to be starting the next stage in our lives and also sad that our class will be spreading out across the country over the next several months,” Starnes said. “I have been going to Match Day for years now, and I think it really epitomizes the culture here at VUSM. There is such a genuine excitement in the room as everyone is so happy for everyone else. That sense of camaraderie and mutual support is one of the reasons I fell in love with Vanderbilt.”

Daniel Hong, who will be doing his orthopaedic surgery residency at Columbia University Medical Center, took home the fish bowl for being the final student named on Match Day.
Daniel Hong, who will be doing his orthopaedic surgery residency at Columbia University Medical Center, took home the fish bowl for being the final student named on Match Day. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Family members came from near and far to support the students. Barbara McMullan’s sister drove to Nashville from Iowa after her flight was canceled.

Those who couldn’t attend the ceremony watched it via livestream and some phoned in. Dominique Dabija’s phone rang as she stepped up to the microphone to announce her match results. On the other end were her parents, calling from California. Others used their phones to FaceTime with fiancées and family members.

For Chike Osita Abana, Match Day was the culmination of seven years in the MD/PhD program and the realization of a childhood dream that began in his home country of Nigeria.

“I grew up in a very under-resourced part of Lagos, Nigeria, where I had near-death battles with asthma, and later embarked on the daunting journey of becoming a physician in the U.S. by studying for the SAT with candlelight and photocopied textbooks,” he said. “I moved to the U.S. alone at the age of 17 on a full-tuition merit scholarship to attend Lee University, where I managed to excel, despite being temporarily homeless, by working as a janitor among several other on-campus jobs.”

Dominique Dabija’s parents called as she found out she will do her emergency medicine residency at Ohio State University Medical Center.
Dominique Dabija’s parents called as she found out she will do her emergency medicine residency at Ohio State University Medical Center. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Abana will be doing his radiation oncology residency at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“I was pretty intentional about where I applied to residency,” said Jessica Burris, who will be doing her psychiatry residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital. “I looked for programs that were innovative, diverse and service-oriented, housed in institutions with a similar perspective.”

All told, of the 98 students matching into residency programs, 19 students matched to internal medicine residencies; 34 students matched into surgical residencies including nine into general surgery, five each into neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery, and three each into OB-GYN, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery and urology; eight each matched into emergency medicine and pediatrics; four into psychiatry; three each into child neurology, Med-Peds, diagnostic radiology and neurology; two each into anesthesiology, dermatology, interventional radiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation; and one each into family medicine, psychiatry-family medicine combo and radiation oncology.

 

Residency Assignments

Chike Osita Abana – U. of Texas Houston, Medicine Preliminary; U. of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Radiation Oncology

Michael Ahlers – UCLA Medical Center, Internal Medicine

Kathleen Anthony – Greater Lawrence Family Health Center Mass., Family Medicine

Laura Armstrong – VUMC, Child Neurology

Nicolas Baddour – U. of Washington Affiliated Hospitals, Internal Medicine

Daniel Balikov – U. of Michigan Hospitals, Medicine Preliminar/Ophthalmology

Melissa Bloodworth – VUMC, Internal Medicine/ABIM Research Path

Nathaniel Bloodworth – VUMC, Internal Medicine/ABIM Research Path

Deke Blum – U. of Tennessee Memphis, Neurological Surgery

Jessica Burris – Yale-New Haven Hospital, Psychiatry

Jackson Cabo – VUMC, Urology

Benjamin Campbell – VUMC, Otololaryngology

Nikhil Chavali – Jackson Memorial Hospital, Neurology

Amalie Chen – Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Medicine Preliminary/Neurology

Stephen Chen – U. of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Orthopaedic Surgery/Research

Joshua Cockroft – U. of Cincinnati Medical Center, Psychiatry-Family Medicine

Sean Collon – U. of Utah Affiliated Hospitals, Medicine Preliminary/Ophthalmology

Joshua Corriveau – VUMC, Psychiatry

Dominique Dabija – Ohio State U. Medical Center, Emergency Medicine

Adam Daily – Virginia Mason Medical Center, Urology

Melissa Day – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics

Laura Dellalana – St. Mary’s Hospital, Medicine Preliminary; VUMC, Dermatology

Joseph Ebersole – Massachusetts General Hospital, Emergency Medicine

Parker Evans – VUMC, General Surgery

John Ewing – VUMC, General Surgery

Benjamin Fensterheim – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pediatrics

William French – U. of North Carolina, Urology

Gregory Fricker – Massachusetts General Hospital, Medicine-Pediatrics

Kathleen Gallagher – VUMC, General Surgery

Jean-Nicolas Gallant – VUMC, Otolaryngology

Jason Gandelman – UC San Franscisco, Psychiatry

Jocelyn Gandelman – CA Pacific Medical Center, Medicine Preliminary; UC San Francisco, Dermatology

Kaitlin Geck – Virginia Mason Medical Center, Internal Medicine

Maria Grig – VUMC, Medicine Preliminary; Massachusetts General Hospital, Anesthesiology

Glenn Harris – Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Medicine Preliminary; Northwestern McGaw, Neurology

Jacqueline Harris – UC San Francisco, Otolaryngology

Sarah Heerboth – U. of Utah Affiliated Hospitals, OB-GYN

Kathleen Hiltz – Johns Hopkins Hospital, Internal Medicine

Lauren Holroyd – Barnes-Jewish Hospital, OB-GYN

Daniel Hong – Columbia U. Medical Center, Orthopaedic Surgery

Tracey Hong – VUMC, Medicine Preliminary; Stanford, Anesthesiology

Timothy Hopper – Duke U. Medical Center, Internal Medicine

Alexander Hysong – Carolinas Medical Center, Orthopaedic Surgery

Vishesh Jain – St. Vincent Hospital, Medicine Preliminary; Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Radiology-Diagnostic

Lillian Juttukonda – Boston Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics

Daniel Kashima – U. of Michigan Hospitals, Child Neurology

Patrick Keller – Johns Hopkins, Plastic Surgery

Thomas Klink – U. of Minnesota, Medicine-Pediatrics

Nicholas Kuhl – Hospitals of the U. of Pennsylvania

Joshua Latner – U. of Florida Shands Hospital, Medicine Preliminary

Chelsea Lawson – U. of Colorado, Pediatrics

James Leathers – UC Davis Medical Center, Emergency Medicine

Andrew Legarreta – U. of Pittsburch Medical Center, Neurological Surgery

David Liles – VUMC, Neurological Surgery

Michael Litt – Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Internal Medicine

Jia Liu – U. of Michigan Hospitals, Emergency Medicine

Bianca Martinez – U. of Kentucky Medical Center, Transitional; Temple U. Hospital, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Matthew McKenna – VUMC, Surgery Preliminary; U. of Pennsylvania Hospitals, Radiology-Diagnostic

Barbara McMullan – Billings Clinic, Internal Medicine

Shilpa Mokshagundam – VUMC, OB-GYN

Steve Monk – Carolinas Medical Center, Neurological Surgery

Nishit Mummareddy – VUMC, Neurological Surgery

Majaliwa Mzombwe – Maimonides Medical Center, Medicine Preliminary; Jackson Memorial Hospital, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Rachel Newton – Medical U. of South Carolina, Pediatrics

Shelby Payne – Health ONE, Transitional; Stanford, Radiology-Diagnostic

Andrew Perez – Medical College of Wisconsin, Interventional Radiology

Hannah Phelps – Barnes-Jewish Hospital, General Surgery

Giulia Porcari – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Child Neurology

Samuel Posey – Carolinas Medical Center, Orthopaedic Surgery

Katherine Prendergast – NYU School of Medicine, General Surgery

Shayan Rakhit – VUMC, General Surgery

Patton Robinette – Duke U. Medical Center, Orthopaedic Surgery

Sydney Rooney – U. of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pediatrics/Scientist Development

Pranav Santapuram – Emory U., Internal Medicine

Andrew Sayce – U. of Pittsburgh Medical Center, General Surgery

William Scheving – UCLA Medical Center, Emergency Medicine

Steven Schneeberger – Ohio State U. Medical Center, Plastic Surgery

Kelly Schuering – Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Internal Medicine

David Scudder – U. of Colorado – Medicine-Pediatrics

Megan Shroder – VUMC, General Surgery

Mohammed Shwetar – U. of Virginia, Internal Medicine

Lauren Slesur – VUMC, Pediatrics

Justin Smith – Columbia U. Medical Center, Psychiatry

Joseph Starnes – VUMC, Pediatrics

Matthew Stier – VUMC, Internal Medicine/ABIM Research Path

Katherine Sumarriva – U. of Tennessee, Transitional; Duke U. Medical Center, Ophthalmology

Supisara Tintara – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Internal Medicine

Al Valmadrid – VUMC, Surgery Preliminary/New Integrated Plastic Surgery

Graham Van Schaik – VUMC, Emergency Medicine

Sonal Walia – Indiana U., General Surgery

Jennifer Watchmaker – Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Surgery Preliminary; Interventional Radiology

David Wharton – Baylor College of Medicine, Internal Medicine

Joseph Isaac Wong – UCLA Medical Center, Internal Medicine

Rochelle Wong – Cornell Medical Center, Internal Medicine

Donald Wright – Yale-New Haven Hospital, Emergency Medicine/Research

Catherine Xie – Yale-New Haven Hospital, Internal Medicine

Veronica Young – Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Emergency Medicine

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