Where To, Doc? 4th-Year Med Students Navigate to Next Phase of Career on Match Day

March 14, 2019 by Jennifer Nachbur

Often touted as the single-most important day in a medical student’s medical school career, Match Day is the day when graduating medical students learn where they’ll spend the next three to seven years for specialty training. March 15, 2019, fourth-year students at the University of Vermont’s (UVM) Larner College of Medicine and soon-to-be-doctors across the U.S. and world learned the location of their U.S. residency program.

Often touted as the single-most important day in a medical student’s medical school career, Match Day is the day when graduating medical students learn where they’ll spend the next three to seven years for specialty training. On Friday, March 15, 2019, hundreds of supporters filled the Hoehl Gallery and balconies above it to share in the moments with the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont’s Class of 2019. With a theme of “The Match is Right” – modeled after the “Price is Right” game show – students sported bright neon fanny packs and yellow nametags and filed into the venue following bagpiper and radiation oncologist H. James Wallace, M.D., and mascot “Dr. Moo” to celebrate the milestone event. Attended by new College of Medicine Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., UVM President Tom Sullivan and Provost David Rosowsky, the celebration featured a “Match is Right” skit during which the Match envelopes arrived.

Watch the Match Day highlights video here.

A total of 103 UVM medical students matched to residencies at 71 different institutions in a wide range of specialties, with internal medicine, family medicine and emergency medicine among the most common matches, followed closely by pediatrics (17 students, 13 students, 12 students and 11 students, respectively). Among the institutions where students matched are Stanford, Duke, University of Maryland, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, UCLA, Brown, University of Utah, and University of Massachusetts. Eleven students matched to UVM Medical Center.

The first student to match was Brooklyn born-and-raised Class of 2019 President Hyunsoo No, who matched to radiation oncology at Stanford. Prior to medical school, he was a medical dosimetrist in radiation oncology, working at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and then the NYU Clinical Cancer Center in New York City. Over the past four years, his wife and two children have stayed in NYC while he has traveled back and forth from UVM. During his address to his class, he thanked his UVM radiation oncology faculty mentors – including bagpiper Wallace –with whom he’s collaborated on research grants, presented research at national conferences, published articles, and launched a clinical trial on inoperable early stage lung cancer. No is also a grateful recipient of scholarship support from medical alumnus Arnold Goran, M.D.’58.

Other matching students include:

  • Desiree DiBella ’19 moved to Tennessee from San Diego, Calif. at age four. With two parents in the Navy, she was exposed to both medicine – through her father’s work as a corps man and naval hospital radiology technician – as well as many people from a wide range of backgrounds. As a second-year med student, DiBella led a College event aligned with the national #WhiteCoatsforBlackLives movement, which addressed institutionalized violence as a public health issue. She sees a need to focus on the health disparities people of color experience and has a special interest in working with patients of color and kids with chronic illness. She matched to a “Triple Board” combined program in pediatrics, child psychiatry, and adult psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
  • Mammoth Lakes, Calif. native Geordie Lonza ’19 credits her love of science and stories from her late father’s time as a firefighter for Orange County as her biggest inspirations for pursuing medicine. A competitive alpine skier who raced NCAA Division I for Williams College, her longtime interest in orthopedic surgery led to research projects early in medical school and a final decision to pursue the specialty after completing her clinical rotations. Though she lost her dad to cancer in 2013, she’s committed to channeling his warmth, kindness, and affability into her interactions with patients and colleagues and also to serving as a mentor and role model for other women interested in orthopedics. She matched to a residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif.
  • Born in Entebbe, Uganda, John Paul Nsubuga ’19 began his medical journey at age 9, when he witnessed how physicians could display clinical knowledge, empathy and kindness towards his family in conjunction with the death of his sister, and became passionate about becoming a doctor. After moving to the U.S. at age 11, he lived in Malden, Mass. where he overcame many challenges, including the language barrier, ever maintaining his conviction to be a physician. An endoscopy clinic volunteer while a psychology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he graduated summa cum laude and enrolled in medical school. Nsubuga matched to an internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Later, he plans to subspecialize in gastroenterology.
  • Gregory Whitcher ’19 learned that he matched to Texas Tech University-El Paso for an emergency medicine residency. His specialty interest was sparked by a pre-med school experience he had in Osaka, Japan, when he was called upon to stop a suicidal woman from jumping off a bridge. His background in “DIY” repairs also drew him to this field, where improvisation is a valuable skill. UVM faculty mentors Daniel Barkhuff, M.D., and alumnus Nicholas Aunchman, M.D.’11 reinforced his choice by example. The San Luis Obispo, Calif., native worked as a high school math and science teacher before medical school and relied on those skills to tutor other med students preparing for board exams. Whitcher says his clinical experiences in Vermont inspired him to work with rural populations in the future.
  • Passionate about global health, Jenna Jorgensen ’19 spent four years volunteering at a Children’s Home in Tanzania after finishing her undergraduate degree and while there, met her husband and adopted their son before moving back to the U.S. for medical school. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., native never imagined she’d be juggling motherhood with medical school, but she’s grateful for the “grounding force” her family has provided to her during the challenges of her medical education. Last year, she was able to return to Tanzania for a women's global health elective. She matched to a family medicine residency at Kaiser Permanente-Santa Rosa in California.
The Match is made possible through the National Resident Matching Program’s computerized mathematical algorithm, which aligns the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency program directors, in order to produce the best possible outcome for filling training positions available at U.S. teaching hospitals. Five students learned of their matches early – two of which were military matches, two in urology and one in ophthalmology.  View the full Match list.