March 18, 2024

Residency ‘Match’ program has record high applicant participation

Among those who matched during the National Resident Matching Program on Friday, March 15, were 92 members of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine graduating class.

Andrea Lopez, center, thanks her mother, to her right, for initiating their immigration journey from Honduras to the U.S. 20 years ago. Lopez will be staying at Vanderbilt for her otolaryngology residency. (photo by Susan Urmy)

The National Resident Matching Program reports that this year’s Match — the process of matching the preferences of applicants for U.S. residency positions with the preferences of residency program directors — had record high applicant participation. 

A total of 50,413 applicants registered in the 2024 Main Residency Match, an all-time high and increase of 2,257 or 4.7% over last year. The rise in applicants was driven largely by an increase of 1,986 non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates (IMGs) and 623 osteopathic (DO) seniors over last year. 

Among those who matched on Friday, March 15, were 92 members of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine graduating class. Thirty VUSM medical students will stay at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for residency, and five will stay for their preliminary year before going elsewhere for residency. Two couples entered the Match together. 

Nowrin Chowdhury, right, accepts the fishbowl of cash from Amy Fleming, MD, as the last student to come to the stage in Langford Auditorium. Chowdhury will be going to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for her pediatrics residency. (photo by Susan Urmy)

This year, 12 students will graduate with both MD and PhD degrees as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program. 

The breakdown of Match specialties for residency is: Internal Medicine: 14; Radiology-Diagnostic: 7; Anesthesiology: 6; General Surgery: 5; Pediatrics: 6; Psychiatry: 6; Dermatology: 4; Family Medicine: 4; Neurological Surgery: 4; Orthopaedic Surgery: 4; Otolaryngology: 4; Emergency Medicine: 3; Interventional Radiology: 3; Medicine-Pediatrics: 3; Neurology: 3; Obstetrics-Gynecology: 3; Ophthalmology: 3; Urology: 3; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: 2; Medicine-Psychiatry: 1; Oral Maxillofacial Surgery: 1; Pathology: 1; Plastic Surgery: 1; Thoracic Surgery: 1. 

Daniel Ragheb, who suffered cardiac arrest two years ago, matched to the Cleveland Clinic for his thoracic surgery residency. (photo by Susan Urmy)

“These past four years at Vanderbilt have been the best of my life, and the relationships I have built here will forever stay with me,” said fourth-year student Daniel Ragheb. “Almost a decade after being a cardiac surgery patient, and now almost exactly two years after suffering a cardiac arrest, I get to be on the other side of the table: I get to be a cardiac surgeon. Today, I matched at my dream program at The Cleveland Clinic for Cardiothoracic Surgery. This has been my lifelong dream, and my Vanderbilt family is the reason I get to realize it. I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Ragheb experienced cardiac arrest while playing pick-up basketball on campus with his friends and classmates in 2022. They saved his life with CPR and an AED.

Jessica Hanks and Patrick Doyle participated in the couples’ match and will be staying at Vanderbilt for her pediatrics residency and his interventional radiology residency. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Couple Patrick Doyle and Jessica Hanks grew up in Nashville and met at Eskind Biomedical Library during the summer of 2016. Doyle at the time was attending Northwestern University, and Hanks was at the University of Southern California, and their paths first crossed when they were doing summer research at Vanderbilt.

“Good fortune led us to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where we found an endless network of fantastic, brilliant people to learn and work alongside,” Hanks said. “With our families living in the Nashville area, we are thrilled stay at Vanderbilt for residency.”

Hanks matched in pediatrics, and Doyle matched in interventional radiology.

“VUSM transformed our life trajectory, and we cannot wait to give back to the community that means so much to us,” Doyle said.

Desmond Garner celebrates with his family as he announces he will be going to Northwestern for his otolaryngology residency. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Desmond Chavas Garner, the first physician in his family, matched into otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Northwestern University.

“Match Day is the day that medical students most look forward to, as it represents the culmination of years of sacrifice and dedication to the practice of medicine and the beginning of the next phase of our training.

“I am eager to put my knowledge and skills to use serving patients from all walks of life,” said Garner, who was an economics major in college and worked for a few years as a management consultant before deciding to change careers.

“So, I had to go back to school to take all the med school prerequisites before I could apply to medical school. As a career changer, I am especially grateful to have finally found my calling as a surgeon.”

The complete list of graduating medical students and where they matched for residency can be found here.