March 22, 2018

Match Day reveals residency locations for VUSM students

Fourth-year medical students Katie DesPrez and Joe Wick met at orientation during their first year at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Dago Estevez Ordoñez got some help from his family at last week’s Match Day — from left, wife Amy, holding daughter Emma Rakelle, mother Jacqueline Ordoñez, son Joseph Michael and daughter Esther Alejandra. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Fourth-year medical students Katie DesPrez and Joe Wick met at orientation during their first year at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“We sat next to each other at orientation and there was an activity where we had to introduce the person sitting to our right to the whole class,” DesPrez recalls of their first encounter nearly four years ago. “Joe was the person I introduced to everyone.”

The couple, who will marry May 12, learned on March 16 — Match Day — they will begin their married life in Sacramento, California, with residencies at UC-Davis Medical Center. DesPrez matched into internal medicine and Wick matched into orthopedic surgery. They were one of five couples matching together this year.

DesPrez’s parents, Roger DesPrez, MD, and Karen Carlson DesPrez, MD, are School of Medicine alumni, Class of 1982, and her grandfather, Roger DesPrez, MD, was on faculty from 1963-2002.

“It’s nice to carry forth a family tradition. My parents are great role models for a healthy balance between work and married life,” DesPrez said.

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.

Following Vanderbilt tradition, students and their loved ones gathered in Langford Auditorium where the fourth-year students’ names were randomly selected by Amy Fleming, MD, MHPE, associate dean for Medical Student Affairs. Each student approached the stage to a personalized song and a video screen of selected photos. After placing $1 into a fishbowl they received the envelope with their residency information.

Fourth-year class president Sir Norman Melancon speaks at last week’s Match Day event. (photo by Anne Rayner)

“The 2018 graduates are an incredible class of leaders who have matched into top training programs across the U.S. and Canada,” Fleming said. “We are thrilled with the Match results. I know our students are ready to continue their dedication to patient care, scientific discovery and service in their new roles. It is always bittersweet for me, watching these students I am so proud of accomplish their dreams and knowing many will leave. However, this year an incredible 26 percent of our graduates have chosen to stay and train at Vanderbilt for residency, marking the highest percentage in the recent past.”

Fourth-year student Dago Estevez Ordoñez was born and raised in Honduras by a single mother, and is the eldest of 10 siblings. He attended Brigham Young University on a tuition scholarship.

“It was quite an adventure. I got a job cleaning bathrooms at 3 a.m. on campus and saved every single penny I got because I was not sure how I would continue paying for the next year. After two semesters I was granted an academic scholarship and later other scholarships which allowed me to pay my way through undergrad.”

He and his wife, Amy Nicole, have three children and he has successfully managed to balance medical school with raising a young family.

“I had a very supportive spouse and that actually made med school go very smoothly. Plus, it has helped me become more efficient with time management, as I have to also make sure that I have time for my significant other and for my kids. You just learn,” said Estevez Ordoñez, who matched into neurosurgery at the University of Alabama Medical Center-Birmingham.

Karina Mendoza reacts after finding out she will do her internal medicine residency at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals. Looking on are her parents, Alex and Ingrid Mendoza. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Of the 77 students matching into residency programs, 16 students matched to internal medicine residencies; six each to orthopaedics and neurology; five each to emergency medicine, anesthesiology and diagnostic radiology; four to pediatrics; three each to otolaryngology, psychiatry, general surgery, medicine/pediatrics and urology; two each to neurosurgery and radiation oncology; and one each to plastic surgery, child neurology, family medicine, interventional radiology, preventive medicine, ophthalmology and vascular surgery. Three students will be completing their residencies in the U.S. military.

Karina Mendoza, who came to Vanderbilt from California, will be returning to the West Coast to do her internal medicine residency at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals. She recently finished a global health rotation in Leon, Nicaragua, and plans to work in infectious diseases, providing primary care to the HIV population.

“I’ve been looking forward to Match Day for four years. I used to watch it from my office, and I cried every year. It feels so surreal to be going through it myself,” said Mendoza, who has been a dedicated volunteer and student leader for the Shade Tree Clinic, the medical student-run clinic for Nashville’s underserved population.

“Medical school has been the best four years of my life. I knew that Vanderbilt was my place and these were my people.”


Residency Assignments


Eftitan Akam – Massachusetts General Hospital, Medicine-Pediatrics

Emilie Amaro – VUMC, Orthopaedic Surgery

Alexandra Arambula – U. of Kansas School of Medicine, Otolaryngology

Jillian Berkman – Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Medicine-Preliminary/Neurology

Kevin Bersell – Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Internal Medicine

Rohan Bhalla – VUMC, Surgery-Preliminary/Urology

Monisha Bhatia – Jackson Memorial Hospital, Internal Medicine

Ritwik Bhatia – Jackson Memorial Hospital, Neurology

Earllondra Brooks – VUMC, Medicine-Preliminary; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Neurology

Emily Chan – University of Saskatchewan, Orthopaedic Surgery

Alexander Chern – NYP Hosp-Columbia & Cornell, Otolaryngology

James Cook – VUMC, Surgery-Preliminary; U. of Alabama Medical Center, Radiology-Diagnostic

Samantha Cummins – UT Southwestern, Plastic Surgery

Matthew De Niear – VUMC, Surgery-Preliminary

Stephen Derryberry – VUMC, Surgery-Preliminary

Katherine DesPrez – UC Davis Medical Center, Internal Medicine

Dagoberto Estevez-Ordonez – U. of Alabama Medical Center, Neurological Surgery

Kareem Fakhoury – Maimonides Medical Center, Medicine-Preliminary; U. of Colorado School of Medicine, Radiation Oncology

Jacob Fleming – Methodist Health System, Surgery-Preliminary; UT Southwestern, Interventional Radiology

Julian Genkins – UC San Francisco, Internal Medicine

Catherine Gigante – Northwestern McGaw, Pediatrics

Eric Hall – VUMC, Internal Medicine

Mitchell Hayes – Oregon Health and Science U., Surgery-Preliminary/Urology

Emily Holmes – U. of Colorado School of Medicine, Pediatrics

Jiun-Ruey Hu – VUMC, Internal Medicine

Jennifer Huang – Cone Health, Medicine-Preliminary; VUMC, Radiology-Diagnostic

Sandeep Jain – St. Louis U. School of Medicine, Internal Medicine

Jessica Kaczmarek – Baylor College of Medicine, Internal Medicine

David Landzberg – Emory U. School of Medicine, Transitional/ Neurology

Benjamin Li – St. Mary’s Medical Center, Medicine-Preliminary; UC San Francisco, Radiation Oncology

David Li – VUMC, Internal Medicine

Jaims Lim – U. of Buffalo School of Medicine, Neurological Surgery

Paul Loeser – Johns Hopkins Hospital, Medicine-Pediatrics

Cassandra Loren – Oregon Health and Science U., Pediatrics

Eric Mace – VUMC, General Surgery

Daniel Markwalter – U. of North Carolina Hospitals, Emergency Medicine

Tanya Marvi – VUMC, Internal Medicine

Sir Norman Melancon – UCLA, Psychiatry

Karina Mendoza – U. of Washington Affiliated Hospitals, Internal Medicine

Jennifer Miao – VUMC, Internal Medicine

Kelli Money – VUMC, Medicine-Preliminary; BI Deaconess Medical Center, Neurology

Andre Morales – VUMC, Emergency Medicine

Zongyang (Tom) Mou – UC San Diego Medical Center, General Surgery

Whitney Muhlestein – Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Surgery-Preliminary

David O’Neill – UT Southwestern, Orthopaedic Surgery

Dillon O’Neill – U. of Utah Affiliated Hospitals, Orthopaedic Surgery

Chinoso Opara – U. of Washington Affiliated Hospitals, Internal Medicine

Brian Palmisano – Stanford, Internal Medicine

Margaret Pan – Riverside Regional Medical Center, Transitional; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Radiology-Diagnostic

Alec Pawlukiewicz – San Antonio Military Medical Center, Emergency Medicine

Douglas Pet – UC San Francisco, Neurology

Julia Pitkin – U. of Colorado School of Medicine, Pediatrics

Yuxuan Qiu – Ohio State U. Medical Center, Emergency Medicine

Krishnan Ramanujan – Columbia U. Medical Center, Anesthesiology

India Reddy – VUMC, Psychiatry/Research

Saad Rehman – Massachusetts General Hospital, Internal Medicine

Brittany Schneider – VUMC, Child Neurology

Carolyn Scott – UT St. Thomas Hospitals, Medicine-Preliminary; U. of Virginia, Radiology-Diagnostic

Elizabeth Sherrill – VUMC, Emergency Medicine

Alicia Stafford – Medical U. of South Carolina, Vascular Surgery

Blair Stocks – Baylor College of Medicine, Surgery-Preliminary/Urology

David Stonko – Johns Hopkins Hospital, General Surgery

James Su – VUMC, Surgery-Preliminary; Emory U. School of Medicine, Radiology-Diagnostic

Rafael Tamargo – UPMC Medical Education, Psychiatry/General

Margaret Tebbs – U. of Washington Affiliated Hospitals, Medicine-Primary

Amol Utrankar – Columbia U. Medical Center, Anesthesiology

Daniel Valenzuela – VUMC, Surgery-Preliminary/Ophthalmology

Jacob VanHouten – Yale U. Griffin Hospital, Medicine-Preventive/General

Kaitlyn Weeber – David Grant Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, Family Medicine

Johnny Wei – U. of Kansas School of Medicine, Anesthesiology

Joseph Wick – UC Davis Medical Center, Orthopaedic Surgery

Kareem William – Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Anesthesiology

Ashley Wu – VUMC, Medicine-Pediatrics

Deborah Xie – Johns Hopkins Hospital, Otolaryngology

Wu Yin – UPMC Medical Education, Anesthesiology

Brian (Holt) Zalneraitis – Madigan Army Medical Center, Orthopaedic Surgery