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OHSU Match Day 2024: A career-defining moment for soon-to-be physicians

M.D. Class of 2024 achieves a 99% placement rate; OHSU residency programs post 99% fill rate
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Rohi Gheewala, center, celebrates her Match Day reveal with her family during the OHSU School of Medicine Match Day on Friday, March 15, 2024. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)
Rohi Gheewala, center, celebrates her Match Day reveal with her family during the OHSU School of Medicine Match Day on Friday, March 15, 2024. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)

They held their envelopes, waiting in nervous anticipation.

At Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Medicine and at every other medical school across the United States, today is Match Day, a highly anticipated event when fourth-year medical students learn where they’ll complete their medical training as resident-physicians after they graduate.

In keeping with a long-standing tradition that unfolds simultaneously at medical schools around the country, at exactly 9 a.m. Pacific Time, students opened their envelopes and read the official match letters inside.

The 132 OHSU M.D. students who participated in the match posted a 99% placement rate. The M.D. Program works with students who don’t match to identify alternatives, such as research or other training opportunities that will allow them to continue careers in medicine.

The M.D. Class of 2024’s placements includes:

  • Students placed in 24 specialties in 20 different states, with 34% of students placing to institutions in Oregon.
  • 45% are entering primary care specialties, including internal medicine, family medicine or pediatrics.
  • 28% of the M.D. students are staying at OHSU for their residency programs.
  • 18% and 16% are entering internal medicine and family medicine, respectively — the most popular specialty picks for this class.

Learn more about Match Day

View Match Day 2024 Infographic.

View Match Day 2024 Data.

To match students to their residency program of choice, the National Resident Matching Program, or NRMP, uses a mathematical algorithm that places applicants into residency and fellowship positions at programs which also prefer them.

OHSU’s 24 residency programs participating in the NRMP match also posted a 99% fill rate, with 205 trainees filling 206 slots. The one slot that did not fill — reserved for a third-year resident — is traditionally challenging to fill due to a small pool of eligible residents.

The majority of the M.D. Class of 2024 began medical school during the darkest days of the coronavirus pandemic, before a vaccine had arrived and when much of life was virtual and separated. Yet they persevered through online classes and modified clinical experiences, adapting to changes as school gradually returned to normal to arrive at this moment. 

2023 White Coat Ceremony Tracy Bumsted, M.D., M.P.H. (OHSU)
Tracy Bumsted, M.D., M.P.H. (OHSU)

“I am thrilled with this year’s 99% placement rate,” said Tracy Bumsted, M.D., M.P.H., associate dean for undergraduate medical education in the OHSU School of Medicine. “It represents the determination and excellence of our students and the nonstop efforts of our OASIS Career Advising team, led by Dr. Benjamin Schneider. We’re all proud to be part of this important milestone and are eager to watch these talented students as they go on in their careers to lead, innovate and serve patients for a lifetime. Congratulations M.D. Class of 2024!”

In addition to now knowing their residency placements, many M.D. students — 86% of the class — are marking just one more week of medical school. Because of the M.D. program’s time-variable, competency-based YOUR M.D. curriculum, the majority of fourth-year students complete their graduation requirements a term early and transition to alumni status.

Karen Gunson, M.D., OHSU M.D. Class of 1981 and OHSU residency class of 1985, is president of the OHSU School of Medicine Alumni Leadership Council, and warmly welcomed now-matched students to the alumni community. Among them were Rohi Gheewala, Hao Tan and Mackenzie “Kenzie” Whitcomb.

Rohi Gheewala, Radiation Oncology

Rohi Gheewala (OHSU)
Rohi Gheewala (OHSU)

Gheewala, 26, grew up in Hillsboro, and is thrilled to match with the University of Pennsylvania Radiation Oncology Residency Program.

Gheewala discovered an interest in medicine early on while interning with the City of Hillsboro as a high school student, recognizing community needs through various sectors of local government, including health and education. As a Portland State University student, she eventually met cancer care physicians at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center (now the Cancer Center at OHSU Hillsboro Medical Center) who became her mentors while working on research projects investigating disparities in brain and spine cancer care.

“I was inspired by how the physicians walked patients through complex clinical information in a way that was honest yet hopeful and extremely compassionate,” she said. “Their mentorship was the biggest thing that helped me solidify that radiation oncology was the right path for me.”

As a medical student, Gheewala worked with the M.D. Program’s Undergraduate Medical Education Curriculum Committee and Equity & Justice Subcommittee, helping to increase cultural competency training for students and updating the curriculum’s medical terminology for better inclusivity.  

During the most difficult moments of medical school, Gheewala found motivation in the story of her mom, whose limited resources and cultural differences growing up in India challenged her ability to pursue formal education.

“I will forever admire her fierceness and persistence advocating for herself against all odds,” Gheewala said.

After residency, Gheewala hopes to practice in Oregon in a community-based cancer center and meaningfully contribute to medical education.

Hao Tan, Neurological Surgery

Hao Tan (Courtesy)
Hao Tan (Courtesy)

Tan, 27, grew up in Sherwood, Oregon, and is excited to match with Emory University School of Medicine Neurological Surgery Residency Program.

“This is a huge day for my parents and family,” Tan said. “They made big sacrifices to rebuild a life in America. All their efforts are coming to fruition.” 

Tan’s family immigrated to Oregon from China when he was 4 years old; his father abandoned his physics Ph.D. aspirations to become a software engineer, while his mother decided to forgo her corporate background and worked as a medical assistant.

Chasing an interest in science, Tan attended the University of Oregon as a Stamps Scholar, graduating in 2018 with a B.S. in human physiology. A stint working at a health clinic in Southside Chicago cemented his interest in medicine. 

In medical school, Tan was drawn to neurosurgery for its mix of complex diseases, patients in need of the highest levels of treatment, and the field’s proclivity for innovation and scientific inquiry. 

The flexibility of the OHSU M.D. Program’s YOURMD curriculum allowed Tan to take a year off between his third and fourth years of medical school to explore neurosurgery further through a research fellowship in the lab of Ahmed Raslan, M.D., interim chair and professor of neurological surgery, OHSU School of Medicine.

Working alongside the residents and faculty of the OHSU School of Medicine’s Department of Neurological Surgery helped affirm his interest in the field. Tan considers himself “incredibly lucky to have had amazing mentors within the department who have been incredibly invested in my growth and success.”

After residency, Tan would like to practice in an academic setting where he can treat patients, teach the next generation of physicians, and push the field forward through innovative research.

Mackenzie Whitcomb, Emergency Medicine

Mackenzie Whitcomb (OHSU)
Mackenzie Whitcomb (OHSU)

Whitcomb, 29, grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and is happy to match with Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine.

Prior to medical school, Whitcomb worked as a data analyst, but she realized “being confined to a desk was not the job for me.” She discovered, though, that she liked discerning patterns, solving undifferentiated problems, and the analytic quest.

It all clicked when she met her partner, an emergency medicine, or EM, physician, and she realized medical school and emergency medicine were her path, too.

“It’s combining data with narrative to see people as complex and whole,” she said. “It’s learning to make decisions quickly and steer teams through times of great uncertainty. It’s helping people in fear and in pain. It’s the front line.”

Whitcomb added, “My partner and I are both drawn to a little bit of chaos, and we both want to create a health care system that is equitable and accessible to all.”

In June, Whitcomb and her partner will get married and relocate together in time to start her residency.

“Match Day feels like an EM moment,” Whitcomb said. “It’s an abundance of fear and hope, unknown and known, all wrapped into the 30 seconds it takes to open an envelope. This day embodies all the work I’ve done to reach this point, and I’m eager to celebrate with my peers, family and friends.”

After residency, Whitcomb hopes to practice in an urban setting in Colorado.

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