What: Class of 2022 Match Day Ceremony
When: Friday, March 18, 8-11:30 a.m.
Where: West side of the Old Main Building on the University of Arizona campus
More than 110 medical students in the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson will learn where they will complete the next phase of their medical training at this year’s Match Day ceremony, Friday, March 18, on the west side of the Old Main Building on the University of Arizona campus.
Surrounded by loved ones and in coordination with fourth-year medical students attending similar events across the country, students in their final semester of medical school will simultaneously tear open envelopes at 9 a.m. The contents will reveal where they will begin their careers as physicians. Match Day represents a culmination of four years of intense study, volunteering, research, clerkships, sub-internships and clinical rotations for UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson students.
During their last year of medical school, students interview for residency slots at institutions where they hope to receive further training. Students later rank their residency location preferences, while institutions rank the students they would like to have as trainees. The match process then is completed by the National Residency Matching Program, and medical students are obligated to serve at the institution to which they have been matched. Residency training typically lasts from three to seven years depending on the specialty.
“Match Day is the most exciting day for graduating medical students and for COM-T administration and faculty, as we are simultaneously proud to send our graduates all over the country for further training and grateful to have retained many of our graduates in our own residency programs,” said Kevin Moynahan, MD, vice dean for education at the College of Medicine – Tucson. “The fact that we are back in person for the 2022 Match Day adds another dimension of excitement to the celebration, one that will be remembered for some time!”
This is the first in-person College of Medicine – Tucson Match Day ceremony since 2019. The 2020 and 2021 celebrations were held virtually because of the pandemic. This year’s event will take place outside, allowing participants to celebrate safely in person, and will be livestreamed for those wishing to attend virtually.
Registration and breakfast begin at 8 a.m., with programming starting at 8:30 a.m. At 9 a.m., students will individually gather with their supporters to open their Match Day envelopes, and at 9:30 a.m., they will announce their matches publicly. Closing remarks begin at 11 a.m.
Parking is available ($8 per car) at the Tyndall Garage, located on Tyndall Avenue south of University Boulevard. There is an accessible drop-off area for people with disabilities on University Boulevard at the flagpole west of Old Main.
Those wishing to attend the event virtually can view the livestream at satyrlivestream.com/stream/u-of-a-college-of-medicine-match-day/. For more information and to RSVP, visit the College of Medicine – Tucson Match Day website.
College of Medicine – Tucson medical students participating in Match Day include:
Brianna Dolana, MS, received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Arizona. Between degrees, she spent more than two years working on an ambulance, which solidified her decision to pursue a medical degree. She hopes to match to an emergency medicine residency.
Dolana and her four brothers were raised by a single mother living below the poverty line, which often led to challenges accessing health care. She recalls instances when compassionate doctors helped her family avoid high medical bills and says these acts of kindness inspired her to pursue medicine so she could give back to her community in a similar manner.
She benefitted from the Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway, an intensive medical school preparation program tailored for students who have not had the same educational and economic advantages as many of their peers. Dolana says the experience empowered her to get through medical school with the support and confidence she needed to succeed.
Her favorite memory at the College of Medicine – Tucson includes the birth of her daughter, which overlapped with the culmination of the Life Cycle preclinical curriculum in fall 2019.
“I learned all about the reproductive cycle and the lifecycle of a baby, and then a week or two before the final, I had my daughter,” Dolana said. “That was one of the happiest times.”
Anna Ressel and Radu Moga met as students at the College of Medicine – Tucson and are engaged to be married in April. They hope to be matched into residencies in family medicine, a field they say facilitates meaningful relationships between patients and physicians.
“Family medicine is a field where I can truly get to know people, learn from them and be a partner in their health care,” Moga said.
During their time in medical school, Ressel and Moga took part in clinical rotations that deepened their commitment to their chosen profession. Ressel calls her rural rotation in Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona, her happiest memory of medical school. Moga says one of his most rewarding experiences was a rotation with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Both Ressel and Moga are recipients of the Primary Care Physician scholarship, a program that covers tuition for medical students who commit to practice primary care in underserved communities in Arizona. They both look forward to fulfilling that commitment after they complete their residencies. Ressel and Moga also are looking forward to starting their marriage as new doctors.
“We have been each other’s support through the ups and downs of medical school,” Ressel said. “I hope that, as we start our residencies, we are able to continue to prioritize each other as much as possible.”
Phoenix native and first-generation college student Austen Lowell Thompson, PhD, earned two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree at UArizona before entering the College of Medicine – Tucson’s MD-PhD program in 2015. He earned his doctorate in 2020 after completing doctoral research on orthopedic pain. In the future, he would like to run a translational research lab to find alternatives to opioids.
For now, he is hoping to match into an orthopedic surgery residency. He appreciates the field’s team-oriented ethos, which reminds him of his years as a seven-time NCAA Division I All-American competitive swimmer at UArizona. As an undergraduate student, he won a national title in the 400-meter individual medley.
“My athletic background has shaped how I view challenges,” he said. “I feel a deep connection to the University of Arizona. I felt well supported and that was helpful to my success.”