Their Futures Revealed: Medical Class of ‘23 Celebrates Match Day

March 17, 2023 by Jennifer Nachbur

The University of Vermont’s graduating medical students were among a record-breaking nearly 43,000 future physicians participating in the National Resident Matching Program’s 2023 Main Residency Match® on Match Day on March 17.

Sean Muniz announces his match at Match Day 2023

National Resident Matching Program Reports Largest Match in 70-Year History

Energized and costumed in “under the sea” themed outfits, headbands, and trinkets, members of the medical Class of 2023 enjoyed an upbeat, emotional, and life-changing Match Day in the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine’s Hoehl Gallery on March 17. The 113 students participating were among a record-breaking nearly 43,000* future physicians taking part in the National Resident Matching Program’s (NRMP) 2023 Main Residency Match®.

Of the Class of 2023 medical students participating, 42 were matched into primary care residencies (internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics). Class members matched at 77 different institutions across 29 states, with eight students matching to residencies at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

The Larner College of Medicine’s festivities took place in a jam-packed Hoehl Gallery in the Health Science Research Facility for the first time since 2019. The event featured the traditional bagpiper-led parade of medical students, remarks by Larner Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., UVM President Suresh Garimella, and Class of 2023 Student Council representative Lud Eyasu, as well as the Office of Medical Education skit.

UVM’s Medical Class of 2023
Medical students in the Class of 2023 were in the middle of the second semester of their first year of medical school when the pandemic shutdown occurred and their learning moved online.

The pandemic “further exposed the cracks in the medical system and how patients can be affected,” says Williston, Vt., native Warren Grunvald, a UVM Class of 2023 medical student. “It is empowering to be part of the wave of post-Covid physicians who are ready to address these growing inequalities.” After witnessing his late mother’s fight with cancer, he says he was driven to serve the community. “I saw physicians and caregivers able to provide so much for my family in ways that I could not,” he admits.

Born in Tasmania, Australia, Larner senior medical student Sean Muniz moved frequently when growing up and is no stranger to making transitions. However, when the pandemic caused a shutdown, he admits the initial switch from in-person to remote learning “was jarring and came with lots of growing pains.” For the past 10 years, the Monkton, Vt., resident has worked as a paramedic – including while returning to college to complete a biology degree and attending medical school at UVM. As a member of the UVM Health Network’s Critical Care Transport team, he found irony in the fact that he would transport Covid patients as a paramedic on the weekends, but could not interact with them as a student.

UVM Class of 2023 medical student Elizabeth Barker, a native of Burlington, Vt., said attending medical school during the pandemic “showed me how important medicine is but also how flawed parts of the system are.” Inspired by the joy her physician mother and physician grandfather have experienced in their careers, she adds that, “They … worked extremely hard, but were always grateful for the role they got to play in people’s lives.”

Grunvald and Barker participated in a couples match, which, according to the NRMP, involves linking their rank order lists for residency locations, “usually for purposes of obtaining positions in the same geographic location.” Grunvald matched into an emergency medicine residency at Advocate Health Care in Oaklawn, Ill. He chose the field due to its unique role as a bridge between the medical establishment and the community and the opportunities it affords for making meaningful change. Barker matched into a family medicine residency at Northwestern McGaw in Chicago, Ill. She is grateful to have had a strong role model in this field – central Vermont family physician and Larner College of Medicine alum Melissa Houser, M.D. “I hope to be a community doctor that helps make my patients feel seen and heard … and always be a voice for the underdog,” she says.

Muniz matched into a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of Utah. He says he hopes “to be empathetic, skilled, knowledgeable, and the kind of doctor that patients and families trust with their care.”

Several Larner Class of 2023 medical students, including those in the military and certain specialties, learned of their residency match locations through early matches outside of the Main Residency Match. Members of UVM’s medical Class of 2023 will receive their medical degrees at Commencement on Sunday, May 21; most will begin their residencies in mid-June.

*Note: The NRMP reports that 42,952 applicants participated in the Main Residency Match.