At Match Day, the Next Chapter Begins for Medical Students
In one of the most thrilling moments on the Sidney Kimmel Medical College calendar, members of the Class of 2023 tore open their envelopes in unison to see where they would complete their residencies.
“Growing up in Ghana, I dreamed of becoming a physician one day,” says med student Jessica Amoako after the March 17 Match Day ceremony at Connelly Auditorium. “I watched my parents pack up their lives and start fresh in a country for me and my sisters to access better educational opportunities. Matching at Yale for emergency medicine means all the sacrifices my parents made haven’t been in vain. It’s my big thank you to them.”
The first in her family to pursue graduate medical education, Amoako is one of the 262 Jefferson students who participated in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). An additional 12 students weren’t part of the NRMP because of a commitment to one of the armed services, the ophthalmology match or the urology match.
University President Dr. Mark L. Tykocinski praised all the students for navigating the pandemic with poise and becoming the face of medicine in the mid-21st century. “Your career prospects are bright,” he says.
Jefferson’s NRMP match rate was 2% higher than all U.S. allopathic graduating seniors, says Dr. Charles Pohl, the University’s senior vice provost for student affairs and vice dean for student affairs and career counseling at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Jefferson also had one of the highest match rates nationally with early military, ophthalmology and urology matches.
“As expected, you have shown incredible resolve and spirit and exceeded all expectations,” Dr. Pohl says. “You didn’t skip a beat and continue to have a huge impact on our patients, our community and all of us.”
Jefferson students—many wearing “The Gang Matches to Residency” T-shirts at the ceremony as a nod to “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”—were among 42,952 applicants who vied for 37,425 spots in 5,487 residency programs nationwide, he notes.
The specialties of internal medicine, anesthesia and family medicine received the highest number of matches for Jefferson students, Dr. Pohl says, and overall, 24% of the Class of 2023 matched at a Jefferson Health hospital or one of its affiliates.
Reilly Scott chose to pursue otolaryngology after a rotation with Jefferson’s department of otolaryngology during her third year of medical school.
“I was amazed by the complexity and range of surgeries performed, the level of attention to detail and care for each patient, and the mentors and people I worked with,” Scott says. “Opening the letter to see I would continue to learn and train with the department that made me fall in love with the ENT field was surreal. I have loved my last four years at Jefferson, and I’m thrilled to continue my training here for another five.”
Med student Earl Bampo says he felt blessed to match at affiliate Christiana Care in Delaware for emergency medicine, his No. 1 choice.
“The road certainly wasn’t easy, and it took a lot of hard work to get here, but I’m excited for what the future holds,” he says. “I look forward to providing efficient and compassionate care to my patients during their worst days and being a voice of advocacy for them.”
Classmate Marisa Wu, who matched at Boston University Medical Center for internal medicine, shares Bampo’s excitement about the time ahead.
“Internal medicine encapsulates what I’ve always admired about the medical profession with its combination of critical thinking and high-quality patient care,” Wu says. “I look forward to exploring a new city and am grateful that I could call Philly home for the past four years.”
Matching at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for internal medicine with a primary care track, Ari Fish says he discovered his passion for internal medicine early on at Jefferson. A fourth-year primary care rotation with Jefferson Internal Medicine Associates made it a certainty.
“I realized my most meaningful medical school experiences involved forming deep, longitudinal patient relationships built on a trust embedded in patient education—giving patients the fundamental tools to take control of their health,” Fish says. “This, the core of primary care, is what excites me about a career in this field.”
When looking for a residency program, Fish says he wanted deep training in inpatient and outpatient medicine and sought a team that championed a variety of interests with a diversity of trainees.
“I’m thrilled to have found all of that in Mt. Sinai’s program, and I’m forever grateful to my Jefferson teachers, mentors and classmates for getting me here,” he says. “I truly can’t wait for this next chapter.”
See more scenes from Match Day below.