March 26, 2015

Match Day reveals medical students’ future addresses

At last Friday’s Match Day, graduating Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) students and their family members and friends packed Langford Auditorium, anxiously waiting for the clock to strike 11 a.m.

At Match Day, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine student Vanessa Buie reacts after learning she’s heading to the University of Chicago for her residency in General Surgery. Her parents, Frederick and Valeska Buie, were on hand for the event. (photo by Anne Rayner)

At last Friday’s Match Day, graduating Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) students and their family members and friends packed Langford Auditorium, anxiously waiting for the clock to strike 11 a.m.

That was the moment thousands of medical students across the country would learn where they would spend the next several years in their medical residencies.

Match Day is the crowning moment of the National Resident Match Program (NRMP), which matches thousands of medical students with residency programs at medical centers and hospitals across the country.

Jordan Cohen (Emergency Medicine) and Kate Doherty (ObGyn) learn they’re going to Brown University at Match Day. (photo by Anne Rayner)

This year, 117 fourth-year VUSM students are graduating, and 91 were on hand to participate in the annual tradition.

Amy Fleming, M.D., VUSM’s new associate dean for Medical Student Affairs, randomly selected envelopes from a basket. Each student came to the stage to a personalized song and a picture montage.

Rich Latuska was hoping to match in Pediatrics at his top choice — Vanderbilt University Medical Center. There was a lot riding on where he would land. His partner of three years is a member of the incoming class at VUSM and they wanted to be in the same city.

Lilly Zhu is staying at Vanderbilt for her residency in Dermatology. (photo by Anne Rayner)

The couple waited nearly two hours before learning his fate.

“I was the eighth from last name called,” said an exuberant Latuska. “This has been very stressful. This day is the culmination of everything you have worked for over the past four years. And it all comes down to what is in that one envelope.

“It was a weird mix of anxiety and excitement all the while thinking your name would be the next one called. It was great watching everyone, but it just built up my own butterflies.”

Latuska was joined on stage by his parents and partner, Nick Kuhl, to unveil that he would indeed be staying at Vanderbilt.

Sarah Eckhardt (ObGyn), center, is congratulated by Amy Fleming, M.D., left, and Eckhardt’s mother, Mary Ellen Hoffman, after learning she’s headed to the University of Southern California. (photo by Anne Rayner)

The elation was electric throughout Match Day. Family and friends applauded, whistled and cried as students announced their matches.

Fleming mirrored the emotions of the audience in Langford Auditorium.

“Our students consistently match at the top schools and hospitals in the country. It’s an amazing and proud, proud day. I mean, my face hurts from smiling so much,” Fleming said.

The morning started off with a welcome from Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. He also continued a Vanderbilt tradition by putting money in a fishbowl that would go to the last student called as a reward for patience. Students placed $1 into the pot as they received their envelope.

Fayrisa Greenwald, who matched in Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, was this year’s fishbowl winner.

“It was really exciting seeing all of my classmates go up and get such great news,” she said. “It was kind of a pleasure being the last one for that reason.”

Jordan Cohen (Emergency Medicine) and Kate Doherty (Obstetrics and Gynecology), the only couple-match present at the event, made sure to place their $2 bill into the bowl as a sign of luck that they would be paired together.

They each read the other’s letter. Cohen couldn’t contain his excitement while waiting for his fiancee to read the contents of the envelope she held.

The couple is heading to Brown University.

“This was amazingly nerve wracking,” said Cohen. “Vanderbilt has done a great job shepherding us through this stressful process. This day was momentous.”

With the largest stressor checked off, both say it is time to enjoy the coming months highlighted by graduation, marriage, moving and residency.

One of the surprises of the day was the presence of Scott Rodgers, M.D., former associate dean for Medical Student Affairs and now chair of Psychiatry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, who congratulated the class and wished them well. He also sweetened the fishbowl with a donation.

Although not the only student to dance and sing her way to the stage, Kat Weber Montgomery was the only one in bare feet.

She had kicked off her heels while enjoying the festivities and when she heard her name called, she sprinted to the stage.

Rob Turer (Emergency Medicine) and his girlfriend, Laura Pratt, make their way on stage in style. Turer matched at the University of Michigan. (photo by Anne Rayner)

“You hear your name and it sort of takes you by surprise,” Montgomery said. “I was just so excited I left my shoes. I mean, someone hired you to be a physician. That’s huge,” said a beaming Montgomery.

Four years ago Vanderbilt was her top choice for medical schools. She matched at Vanderbilt for her residency in Pathology.

Match Day was Webcast live to allow family and friends unable to attend the opportunity to watch the proceedings.


David Amsalem – UC San Francisco, Emergency Medicine
Jonathan Andereck – Northwestern McGaw, Emergency Medicine
Nkiruka Arinze – Boston U. Medical Center, General Surgery
Eric Armour – Columbia U. Medical Center, Child Neurology
Maggie Attia – VUMC, Internal Medicine
Jeffrey Bennett – Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics
Jana Bregman – VUMC, Medicine-Preliminary; U. of Maryland, Ophthalmology
Vanessa Buie – U. of Chicago Medical Center, General Surgery
Courtney Campbell – Ohio State U. Medical Center, Internal Medicine
Brian Cash – UCLA Medical Center, Orthopaedic Surgery
Jeremy Chan – U. of Washington Affiliated Hospitals, Child Neurology
Frances Cheng – Yale-New Haven Hospital, Pediatrics
Sean Chester – George Washington U., Emergency Medicine
Sarah Coggins – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pediatrics
Jordan Cohen – Rhode Island Hospital/Brown U., Emergency Medicine
Monica da Silva – VUMC, Surgery-Preliminary; Johns Hopkins Hospital, Anesthesiology/Critical Care
William Davis – U.S. Air Force, Emergency Medicine
Alejandro de Feria Alsina – Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Internal Medicine
Mary DeAgostino-Kelly – Hospital of the U. of Pennsylvania, ObGyn
Gadini Delisca – U. of Michigan Hospitals, Orthopaedic Surgery
Shyam Deshpande – Boston Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics
Jacob DeVolder – VUMC, Internal Medicine
Kathleen Doherty – Brown U./Women’s & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, ObGyn
Andrew Dornan – Loma Linda U., Psychiatry
Stessie Dort – All Children’s Hospital Florida, Pediatrics
Adeline Dozois – Carolinas Medical Center, Emergency Medicine
Hillary Drexler – U. of Michigan Hospitals, Anesthesiology
Sarah Eckhardt – U. of Southern California, ObGyn
Kristen Eckstrand – UPMC Medical Education, Psychiatry
Gretchen Edwards – VUMC, General Surgery
John Erickson – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pediatrics
Cristina Farkas – UCLA Medical Center, Pediatrics
Elana Feingold-Link – Pennsylvania Hospital, ObGyn
Aliya Frederick – U.C. San Diego, Child Neurology
Stephen Gadomski – Thomas Jefferson U., General Surgery
Kelly Garcia – VUMC, Emergency Medicine
Anna Garcia – Hospitals of the U. of Pennsylvania, General Surgery
Elizabeth Green – VUMC, Surgery-Preliminary; Urology
Fayrisa Greenwald – NYU School of Medicine, Psychiatry
Calvin Gruss – VUMC, Anesthesiology
Katherine Guess – VUMC, Surgery-Preliminary
Kevin Ha – NYU School of Medicine, Med-Preliminary/Neurology; Neurology
Alison Hanson – NY Presbyterian Hospital, Psychiatry
Brendan Hayes – Western Michigan U., Emergency Medicine
Brian Heiniger – John Peter Smith Hospital, Transitional; UT Southwestern, Ophthalmology
Catherine Higham – VUMC, Medicine-Preliminary; Boston U. Medical Center, Dermatology
Laurence James – Case Western, Internal Medicine
Pawina Jiramongkolchai – Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Otolaryngology/Research
Deepa Joshi – Northwestern McGaw, Pediatrics
Rebecca Kasl – VUMC, Neurological Surgery
Jacob Kaufman – Duke U. Medical Center, Internal Medicine
Patrick Kelly – VUMC, Neurological Surgery
Lucy Kennedy – VUMC, Internal Medicine
Simeon King – U. of Missouri-Kansas City, Psychiatry
Shannon Koh – UPMC Medical Education, Internal Medicine
Rosalynne Korman – UC Irvine Medical Center, Pediatrics
Chirag Kulahalli – Emory U. School of Medicine, Internal Medicine
Caroline Lai – VUMC, Surgery-Preliminary; Urology
Danielle LaMorte – Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Pediatrics
Richard Latuska – VUMC, Pediatrics
Margot Lazow – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics
Michael Maggart – VUMC, Medicine-Preliminary; Jackson Memorial Hospital, Radiology-Diagnostic
Jasia Mahdi – St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Child Neurology
Irene Mathier – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pediatrics
Alexandra May – UT St. Thomas Hospitals, Medicine-Preliminary; VUMC, Ophthalmology
Benjamin McCormick – U. of North Carolina Hospitals, Surgery-Preliminary; U. of North Carolina, Urology
Ian McGjuinness – U. of Colorado Denver, Neurology
John McKenna – VUMC, ObGyn
Monique McKiever – UT Southwestern Dallas, ObGyn
Stephen Mendenhall – Indiana U. School of Medicine, Neurological Surgery
Tyler Merceron – Emory U. School of Medicine, General Surgery
Carrie Moore – Duke U. Medical Center, General Surgery
Ashley Morgan – Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics
Katherine Morone – VUMC, Neurology
Samaiya Mushtaq – UT Southwestern Dallas, Psychiatry
David Neblett – VUMC, Pediatrics
Elizabeth Nguyen – U. of Washington Affiliated Hospitals, Pediatrics
Matthew Ning – Washington Hospital Center, Medicine-Preliminary; UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Radiation-Oncology
Mitchell Odom – U. of Michigan Hospitals, Emergency Medicine
Omobolanie Oyefule – Cleveland Clinic Florida, General Surgery
Neelam Patel – Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Medicine-Preliminary; U. Hospitals Jackson, Dermatology
Rachna Patel – Drexel U./ Hahnemann University Hospital, Internal Medicine
Chengwei Peng – Yale-New Haven Hospital, Internal Medicine
Alejandro Perez – Methodist Hospital Houston, Pathology
Michael Poku – Johns Hopkins Hospital, Internal Medicine/Urban Health
Edward Powers – Duke U. Medical Center, Internal Medicine
Cristin Quinn – VUMC, Pediatrics
Mythri Reddy – Central Iowa Health System, Transitional; U. of Chicago Medical Center, Radiology-Diagnostic
Charles Rodriguez-Feo – U. of Washington Affiliated Hospitals, Plastic Surgery
Pooyan Rohani – UT at Austin Dell Medical School, Transitional; Massachusetts General Hospital, Dermatology
Tulsi Roy – U. of Chicago Medical Center, Plastic Surgery
Sina Salehi Omran – UPMC Medical Education, Internal Medicine
Richard Samade – Ohio State U. Medical Center, Orthopaedic Surgery/Research Track
Chelsea Samson – Broadlawns Medical Center, Transitional; Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Radiology-Diagnostic
Vasanth Sathiyakumar – Johns Hopkins Hospital, Internal Medicine
David Shau – Emory U. School of Medicine, Orthopaedic Surgery
Arnold Silverberg – U. of Florida-Shands Hospital, Orthopaedic Surgery
Priya Sivasubramaniam – VUMC, Pediatrics
Ciaran Smolinsky – Cooper U. Hospital, ObGyn
Kristin Stevens – U. of Minnesota Medical School, Otolaryngology
Ariana Tabing – U.S. Navy San Diego, Internal Medicine
Jarred Tanksley – U. Tennessee Knoxville, Transitional; Duke U. Medical Center, Radiology-Diagnostic
Kenneth Taubenslag – UPMC Medical Education, Transitional; U. of Pittsburgh, Ophthalmology
Matthew Taussig – St. Joseph Hospital, Surgery-Preliminary; Duke U. Medical Center, Radiology-Diagnostic
Diana Thiara – UC San Francisco, Medicine-Primary
Robert Turer – U. of Michigan Hospitals, Emergency Medicine
Carla Valenzuela – Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Otolaryngology/Research
Lu Wang – Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Emergency Medicine
Kathleen Weber – VUMC, Pathology
Kelly Williamson – Northwestern McGaw, General Surgery
Anne Wilson – VUMC, Anesthesiology
Nichelle Winters – VUMC, Internal Medicine
Rachel Wolf – UPMC Medical Education, Medicine-Pediatrics
Andrew Wu – U. of Minnesota Medical School, Medicine-Pediatrics
Emily Zern – Massachusetts General Hospital, Internal Medicine
Lilly Zhu – VUMC, Medicine-Preliminary; Dermatology