The two weeks between the last step of the residency-selection process and Match Day are long for fourth-year medical students — filled with anxiety about where they will train at programs across the nation and where many will stay on to practice medicine. But today, after two years of virtual Match Day gatherings, OHSU students and their loved ones were able to come together to celebrate the culminating moment in person.
With several young children in tow, they began arriving in the third-floor Robertson Life Sciences learning studios at 7:45 a.m. Led by Student Affairs Deans Ben Schneider, M.D., and Rebecca Cantone, M.D., the program kicked off at 8:15 a.m. with an acknowledgment of the Native peoples on whose land the medical school stands.
“Land Acknowledgements increase the visibility of Native American issues but are ultimately hollow without action,” said Jared Delaney, M.D., Class of 2025, a Wy'East Scholar and president of the Native American Association of Medical Students who is Klamath, Modoc, Yaqui, Tohono O'odham. “OHSU has shown a commitment to said action and exhibits unequivocal support to the Native students here and to the Native American community as a whole. OHSU is very effective in uplifting the voices of Native Americans in education and in medicine.”
Grace Clark, M.D., Class of 2022, thanked her classmates for inspiring her hope in the future of medicine.
“I trust that we have the skills and abilities, as well as the empathy and commitment to person-centered care, to disperse across specialties and geography and spark improvement and growth for the sake of caring for our fellow humans," she said. "Thank you all for inspiring my hope for the Future of Medicine."
At 9 a.m., students ripped open their match envelopes in unison, following a time-honored tradition playing out at the exact same time at medical schools across the country. Shouts, hugs and tears erupted across the room.
The OHSU School of Medicine M.D. Class of 2022 posted a 100% match rate, with all 149 students matching to a residency program. Students matched in 23 specialties in 32 states – including 28% of the class matching in Oregon, the highest percentage of any state. View more program statistics: Match Day 2022 Infographic
In addition to learning their match, for more than 93% of the class, Friday also marked their last day of medical school. Because of OHSU’s time-variable, competency-based curriculum, the majority of fourth-year students complete their graduation requirements by the end of the third quarter. Most residency training programs begin in July.
OHSU's 23 residency programs that take part in the match also posted a 100% match rate, with 191 out of 191 slots filled, including the new transitional year program that prepares physicians for entry into specialties such as radiology, anesthesiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, radiation oncology, and others.
The dual 100 percent match rates are indicators of OHSU’s strong national reputation.
The matching algorithm
The National Resident Matching Program, or NRMP, uses a mathematical algorithm to place applicants into residency and fellowship positions at programs that also prefer them.
Training programs create a rank list of their desired applicants. Applicants create a rank list of their desired training programs. The match is determined by an algorithm that sorts through each medical student’s list of residency programs they’d like to attend and aligns their preferences with the student chosen by the directors of residency programs. Later today, detailed data about the numbers of students matching to various specialties will be posted here.
“The excitement and pride we feel for our students fills the air,” Schneider said. “Match Day is a day to celebrate their incredible dedication.”
Match Day is also the beginning of medical students transitioning to alumni status, as they look ahead to their post-medical school training. Craig Swinyard, OHSU senior director for alumni engagement, asked the fourth-year students to think about the students who went before them and are now in residencies or practicing as full-fledged physicians.
“They stood right here and were anxious and excited and nervous and wondered if they were really ready for this next step. And it turns out, they were,” Swinyard said. “So, as you step into this next chapter, remember that you’re not alone. Approximately 1,500 OHSU alums have graduated in just the past 10 years, and they’re ready to serve as a resource to you.”
For siblings, Mary and Nathaniel Earp, who grew up in West Linn, their upbringing in an environment where both parents had health care careers influenced their decisions to go to medical school. They were both accepted to OHSU, attended together and are both pursuing careers in internal medicine.
In 2016, before entering medical school, their mom, Deb Sheaffer, passed away from breast cancer. Their father, Ron Earp, underwent lymphoma treatment during medical school. Both are combining empathetic healing with clinical problem-solving.
“I know how hard it can be for patients and family members,” Mary Earp said. “I include and ensure that my patients' family members are doing well.”
“Bringing humanity to medicine is meaningful to me,” Nathaniel Earp said.
Leading up to Match Day, the siblings mentally prepared for the possibility that they would soon go their own ways, depending on where they matched. Opening their envelopes on Friday, they learned that he will train at OHSU and she will train at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, along with her classmate and partner Adam Roscher.
Ron Earp was at his children’s side for the celebration.
“It’s a little overwhelming, but a good overwhelming,” he said. “Their mother would be so proud.”
Genevieve Benedetti had a nontraditional path to medicine.
While completing her undergrad degree at U.C. Berkeley in Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies, Benedetti developed a passion for social justice and went on to pursue a master’s degree in public policy at the University of Chicago. Interested in the intersection of public policy and medicine, she spent four years completing her premedical prerequisites at Portland State University and was accepted to OHSU. While at OHSU, she gave birth to twins.
“It’s been a long road to get to this place,” said Benedetti, who spent Match Day at home with her 1-year-old twins, husband and parents.
She said her varied experiences taught her to be comfortable with uncertainty. “I can see a wonderful future in many different settings and I’ll be grateful for whatever the future brings,” said Benedetti, who matched to OHSU in internal medicine.
“I am absolutely overjoyed,” said Benedetti, who celebrated with family as the twins napped.
Francie Goodstein, who along with her family moved to Singapore at the age of 6, traveled across Asia, studied in Spain and taught biology to college students in China. Driven by her passion for global health and adventure she fulfilled her dream of becoming a physician.
Her interest gravitated towards anesthesiology after rotating in the neuroscience ICU.
“I was fascinated by the why behind every medication choice and ventilator adjustment,” Goodstein said. “I also found the most fulfillment and meaning when caring for the sickest patients in the hospital.”
During the pandemic, she came to appreciate the relationships anesthesiologists build with patients. Wherever she goes for residency, she plans to foster community. On Friday she was thrilled to learn that her destination is University of California at San Francisco in anesthesiology.
Sen “Andrew” Yang, knew what his future would be before the traditional Match Day. Ophthalmology is one of a few medical specialties that run a separate residency match through an organization known as SF Match.
Yang was 8 when he, his parents and his younger brother immigrated to the U.S. from the Chinese city of Zhanjiang, which is located on the southwestern side of Guangdong province. They received asylum from the U.S. and settled in Southern California.
Inspired by his mom, who provided care at nursing facilities, and his grandparents who received lower-quality health care in China, he decided to go to medical school.
“I had a dinner celebration with my friends and couldn’t sleep the night before my match. My mom in California stayed up with me and the results came in at 5 a.m.,” said Yang, who learned he is staying at OHSU. “I am grateful.”
Erin Hoover Barnett contributed to this report.