Future physicians celebrate Match Day, look forward to medical careers

March 19, 2024

Fourth-year University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson students ripped open envelopes to learn where they’ll launch their careers as new physicians.

a medical student and her family celebrate behind a large 2024 sign

At the March 15 Match Day ceremony, members of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Class of 2024 learned where they will spend the next three to seven years of their careers as physicians in specialized residency training programs.

Cheers erupted at 9 a.m. as more than 100 students tore open envelopes to learn where they matched and embraced each other and loved ones in celebration.

medical student Gregory Branigan places a pin on a Match Day map to indicate where he matched for residency training

Gregory Branigan, PhD, will add MD to his credentials in May. He matched to a neurology residency program at Stanford University.

Around the country, more than 40,000 soon-to-be graduates from medical schools took part in the annual tradition, simultaneously learning where they were placed by the National Residency Matching Program.

“You will always remember today, your Match Day, as I remember mine,” said Michael Abecassis, MD, MBA, dean of the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson. “The realization that the current leg of your journey is nearly over, and being rewarded, combined with the contemplation of the next leg makes for mixed emotions. It is a time filled with great anticipation, uncertainty and excitement. I would like to offer you all my deepest congratulations. You should be proud of what you have accomplished so far – and confident in your ability to succeed in this next chapter.”

“You’re going to be embarking on a journey over the next several years that will truly define who you are as a physician,” said Kevin Moynahan, MD, College of Medicine – Tucson vice dean for education. As I’ve said to many of you, the two most impactful years of medical training, in my ample amount of experience, are your clerkship year and the first year of your residency. In that year, all of your knowledge and your experiences will come together to really emboss on you how you’re going to be as a future physician. I know you’re going to represent the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson well, no matter where you do that.”

Twenty-two of the soon-to-be graduates matched into residency programs with Banner – University Medical Center in either Tucson or Phoenix.

outdoor portrait of College of Medicine – Tucson student Monique Crawford

Monique Crawford worked as a nurse before deciding to pursue medical school. She matched to a residency program in internal medicine at the University of Utah.

“We extend our sincere congratulations to all the medical students who participated in Match Day. Many of these students began medical school right before the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the nation and we honor their adaptation, resiliency and dedication and welcome them in their new roles as the future of medicine," said Venkata “Bob” Evani, MD, CEO of Banner – University Medical Group and president of Banner Academics.

Class of 2024 students matched at 66 graduate medical education training centers in 29 states and the District of Columbia at institutions including Stanford Health Care, UCLA Medical Center, McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, Duke University Medical Center, The Mayo Clinic, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brown University and Banner – University Medical Center. The graduates will pursue specialties in areas including ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, pathology, orthopaedic surgery, diagnostic radiology, neurological surgery, dermatology, vascular surgery, child neurology, and plastic surgery.

Over a quarter of graduates will remain in Arizona and more than half of the class will go into primary care, helping address the primary care shortage across the state and nation. Residencies generally start in July, and residents are required to go to the institution to which they matched.

Match Day highlights include:

  • 27.9% of graduates will complete their residencies in Arizona:
    • 20 in Tucson
    • 11 in the greater Phoenix area
  • Twenty-two graduates matched with Banner – University Medical Center residency programs in Tucson and Phoenix.
  • 51.0% of graduates matched into residencies in primary care fields, defined as family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology:
    • 33.5% in internal medicine
    • 5.6% in family medicine
    • 4.6% in pediatrics
    • 6.5% in obstetrics and gynecology
  • 49.0% matched into non-primary care specialties, including:
    • 10.8% in emergency medicine
    • 8.7% in general surgery
    • 5.8% in psychiatry
    • 5.8% in neurology
    • 4.6% in anesthesiology

Meet the Class of 2024

There were 108 students who matched into residency programs. They include:

Gregory Branigan, PhD: ‘A lot of love and a lot of innovation’

Branigan  joined the College of Medicine – Tucson’s MD/PhD program in 2017. He earned a doctorate in medical pharmacology in 2021 and will receive his MD in May.

As a graduate student, he reviewed medical records of breast cancer patients and noticed that certain medications might lower Alzheimer’s risk, opening investigation into how these drugs could serve dual purposes. He hopes to continue this “open conversation” between the clinic and the lab.

“Research and medicine go hand in hand,” he said. “Alzheimer’s is a field where we need a lot of love in our clinical care and a lot of innovation in our research.”

He matched to a neurology residency program at Stanford University.

“I couldn’t be more excited — it’s a wonderful program and a great group of people,” he said. “They have an amazing pipeline to support those who want to do research and medicine.”

Monique Crawford, MSN, MS: ‘I’m very excited for the next chapter’

Crawford was a nurse for eight years before deciding to pivot to medicine. As a medical student, she often drew from her nursing experience, but knew there was still a lot to learn.

“Medical school was still very humbling,” she said. “I was very comfortable as a nurse, but as a doctor, you take on a different role.”

An Arizona native, Crawford matched to a residency program in internal medicine at the University of Utah.

“I’ve never been there, so I’m ready to explore something new, and it’s still close to family so I’ll be able to see them quite often,” she said of her impending move to Salt Lake City. “I really like the program, and I’m looking forward to meeting my new intern class and future senior residents. I’m very excited for the next chapter.”

Ziad Hindosh: ‘Waiting impatiently and patient at the same time’

Ziad Hindosh matched into internal medicine at UCLA, close to where his partner lives in Southern California. Hindosh is excited to take the next steps in his medical career and get settled into a new city.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for all of us to go wherever we’re going and make the most out of everything and anything,” he said. “It’s a new home and a place to learn and grow.”

Hindosh chose internal medicine because he enjoys the dynamic thinking that the specialty requires. As he develops his career, Hindosh hopes to be a physician patients can trust.

“I want to be a good clinician and someone who really knows how to take care of patients in their families,” he said.

Mikayla Whalen: ‘It’s going to be a big change’

Phoenix native Mikayla Whalen is set to receive her MD in May. As a medical student, she was drawn to emergency medicine.

“I like being able to interact with my peers every day, and serving a completely different patient population depending on where you work is really exciting,” she said. “It is humbling to meet people you never would have met before, and it’s an amazing experience to interact with them.”

On Friday morning, she took a few deep breaths before opening her letter and learning she matched to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

“I ended up being lucky enough to get my first choice,” she said. “Everyone I met was amazing, and I loved the program director. I felt like it would have a supportive, family-style feel.”

For now, she’s navigating the logistics of a cross-country move.

“I’ve never lived anywhere like Boston — it will be the biggest city I’ve ever lived in,” she said. “It's going to be a big change.”


David Bruzzese
520-626-9722, dbruzzese@arizona.edu 

Anna Christensen
520-626-9964, achristensen@arizona.edu

Sean O’Sullivan
520-626-4520, sosull@arizona.edu