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Residency Match Day Returns to In-Person Celebration

Friends and family gather to honor and celebrate College of Medicine – Tucson and College of Medicine – Phoenix medical students.

Residency Match Day Returns to In-Person Celebration

Match Day 2022 provided a day of joy for residency matches and a chance to celebrate in person at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and College of Medicine – Phoenix on March 18. For the first time since 2019, both colleges held in-person match days and the excitement was undeniable.

Aaron Masjedi is sandwich-hugged by his mother, Shiva Mahboob, and younger brother Eli Masjedi, after finding out he was matched with the University of Southern California during the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson 2022 Match Day event on the lawn west of Old Main.

The day is the culmination of four years of study, research and rotations, and occurs on the third Friday in March nationwide. After ranking their residency program preferences, students are then matched by the National Residency Matching Program.

“When I think of all of you, I think of one word: ‘awesome.’ You are awesome because of your journey of education and success during a time of significant adversity,” said Guy L. Reed, MD, MS, dean of the UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. “When the pandemic threatened to turn your clinical training upside down, you persevered. You succeeded.”

“On this day two years ago, we faced uncertainty and concern about an evolving pandemic we knew absolutely nothing about,” said Michael Abecassis, MD, MBA, dean of the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson. “Today, we face optimism fueled by dropping rates of infection and rising rates of immunity. Let us celebrate your resilience through this past year, which makes today even more special, and wish you success on the road ahead.”

Stephanie Christensen announces she matched in family medicine at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego during the UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix Match Day 2022 event. “To me, you are the ‘can do’ class. You rise to challenges and continue working tirelessly toward your goals, regardless of the obstacles standing in your way,” said Katie Brite Hillis, MD, interim senior associate dean of Undergraduate Medical Education and associate dean of clinical and competency-based education at the College of Medicine – Phoenix.

Cheers erupted as 114 students in Tucson tore open envelopes and embraced each other and their loved ones in celebration. In Phoenix, students, family and friends were treated to a dance routine performed by staff as well as a giant confetti drop.

“This is an emotional event where you get to know where you’re going to spend the next many years of your life and fulfill your dreams of being a physician,” said Kevin Moynahan, MD, UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson vice dean for education.

Highlights of the College of Medicine – Tucson Match Day included:

  • 38.6% of the 114 matched students will remain in Arizona.
  • Students matched with 63 hospitals in 28 states.
  • 51.8% matched in primary care; 48.2% in non-primary care specialties like emergency medicine, general surgery and psychiatry.

Highlights of the College of Medicine – Phoenix Match Day included:

  • Eighteen medical students are staying in Arizona for all years of residency.
  • Two additional students will complete their preliminary year in Arizona, and then go elsewhere for their specialty.
  • Of these 20 Arizona students:
    • Eleven matched at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.
    • One matched at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.
    • Four matched at Creighton University-affiliated hospitals.
    • Four matched at Abrazo, HonorHealth and Tucson Hospitals Medical Education.
    • Twenty-two states were represented as the students head to their residencies.

Students from both colleges were matched to prestigious institutions like Emory University, Keesler Air Force Base, Mayo Clinic, Cedars-Sinai and UCLA Medical Center, as well as to both College of Medicine – Tucson and College of Medicine – Phoenix affiliations with Banner Health.

Early life in a war zone motivates Jahed

College of Medicine – Tucson student Madina Jahed matched to a psychiatry residency at Stanford University. Jahed spent her early years in Afghanistan, moving to San Jose, California, with her family when she was 7 years old. She says her early memories of the Taliban regime played a part in her attraction to psychiatry.

“Growing up amongst war, I knew mental health really affected our physical health, so I wanted to dedicate my career to that,” she said. “I wanted to address the mental and emotional needs of patients, because I saw it as something that was lacking in my own culture.”

Piano playing leads to patient connections

College of Medicine – Phoenix student Brandon Ngo was born and raised in Arizona. His parents, first-generation immigrants from Vietnam, always encouraged him to follow his dreams. That support led him to attend Duke University for his undergraduate degree.

College of Medicine – Phoenix medical students Brandon Ngo and Pristine Mei celebrate their couples match to Oregon Health & Science University.He credits his parents, sisters, his significant other, Pristine, as well as his mentors for always being there — through the good times and the bad. They inspired him to become the person he is today.

Ngo matched with Oregon Health & Science University where he will complete his residency in anesthesiology.

“I originally intended to become a biomedical or electrical engineer,” Ngo said. “However, while volunteering to play piano for patients at Duke University Hospital, I found immense gratification in being able to connect with patients. Becoming a physician felt like the ideal profession for me. It would grant me the privilege to help others face-to-face and allow me to continue pursuing my interest in the sciences. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to become a physician.”

“I was lucky to have discovered anesthesiology on an elective rotation late in my third year of medical school. From getting the opportunity to use my hands doing procedures, to applying the chemistry and pharmacology, I loved being able to care for and protect patients during a critical time in their lives.”

Click here to read additional content from the College of Medicine – Tucson Match Day.

Click here to view the livestreamed event, recap video or photos of the College of Medicine – Phoenix Match Day.