Miller School Students Celebrate Their Futures at Match Day 2017

Screams of joy extended far beyond the Schoninger Research Quadrangle on March 17 as members of the Miller School of Medicine Class of 2017 joined medical students all over the country for Match Day, when they learn where they will spend the next several years of their training.

“Since the very beginning of the matching program, those gray dawns of time when I participated, this has represented if not the most important, one of the two or three most important events in the professional life of a physician,” said Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., interim dean of the Miller School, who pulled the sealed envelopes containing each student’s residency destination from a big basket.

The first student called to the stage was Tyler Clark, who was joined by his wife Brittany and three daughters – Mia, 4, Ella, 2, and Remi, 1. They were thrilled to learn that Tyler will do his physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at the University of Texas San Antonio.

“Throughout my life I’ve been preparing for the things you deal with in residency, whether it’s rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury or a stroke,” he said. “I fell in love with this field, and I’m very excited. Dr. Irwin has been a great mentor.”

Robert W. Irwin, M.D., interim Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, shared the enthusiasm. “Tyler will deal with maximizing patients’ function after a life-changing incident, such as a stroke, or conditions such as arthritis as they grow older,” he said. “We build a relationship with people – he’ll know his patients for decades.” Those future patients are lucky, Irwin added. “Tyler is an amazing guy.”

The big tent overflowed with other faculty members and administrators, and scores of family members who were elated to share the students’ news about the next chapter in their lives. “This is a landmark day in a medical student’s career,” said Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., senior associate dean for undergraduate medical education. “This is a terrific class, and another banner year for the Miller School as our students get competitive residencies at outstanding institutions.”

Rejoicing after learning that he is bound for the University of Pittsburgh, his first choice, for a combined residency in family medicine and psychiatry, Daniel Salahuddin called Match Day humbling.

“For me it’s a call to action,” he said. Part of the Pittsburgh program is in McKeesport, “an underprivileged community where I will have so many community engagement opportunities beyond the four walls of the office to understand what’s leading to my patients’ health problems.” The combination of psychiatry and family medicine means he can address psychiatric co-morbidities as well. “I can almost be a one-stop shop. I’ll be able to take all of that and really be a complete doctor.”

Among those joining Daniel on stage was his fiancé, Emily Zambito, a hospice social worker he met when they were undergraduates at St. Leo University north of Tampa. In addition to her excitement about the move to Pittsburgh, she shared another imminent milestone: “We’re getting married in May!”

Many of the loudest screams came from students who learned that they will be staying in Miami for a residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Twenty-five percent of the members of this year’s class will do Jackson or UM residencies; 27 percent are staying in Florida.

The specialty with the biggest increase was internal medicine, at 24 percent — up from 17 percent last year. Primary care fields, including OB/GYN, drew 47 percent of the class, attributable in large part to the M.D./M.P.H. program.

This was also a year of more combined specialties and unique tracks, including medicine/dermatology, medicine/emergency medicine, pediatrics/global health, pediatrics/psychiatry/child psychiatry, psychiatry/family medicine, and newer residencies in interventional radiology and vascular surgery.

To view more photos of Match Day, click here

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