The noise of the crowd grew to a deafening roar in Ross Hall Room 101 of the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) at the announcement that 100 percent of the Class of 2017 will begin residency training this summer.
Fourth-year M.D. student Tamanda Chanza stood among her family and friends, white envelope gripped tightly in her hands. It’s a scene not far removed from the one she witnessed in her first year at GW.
“I’ve been waiting for this day since my first year when I saw the fourth-years matching,” she said. “It’s been such a long road, so this is the compilation of all our hard work. We have been talking about, dreaming about, texting about this day.”
When the hands of the clock finally aligned at 12, when all fourth-year medical students across the country find out where they will start their residency training, the excitement was palpable. The ripping of envelopes echoed throughout the room, followed by cheers, laughter, tears — and the flash of dozens of cameras.
Chanza’s face broke into a huge smile as she took in the words on the white piece of paper in her hands. She got into her number one choice and would be an anesthesiology resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center, after a preliminary year of training at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore.
The University of Maryland program is the perfect fit, she said. “I like that they have such strong clinical training, and they have a lot of complex cases and great resources. Their residents … are very prepared for their careers once they leave, and I wanted that level of comfort and competence.”
As Chanza stood with that letter in one hand, her father handed her another envelope — this one with a hand-written note tucked inside. “My dad is a dentist. When he graduated from dental school I was 2 years old, and he said ‘I’ve set the standard high’ ... this is me at least getting equal,” she said laughing.
For Yodit Beru, the next step on her a path to becoming a primary care physician will take her west to the University of Washington Medical Center. “They’ve got an excellent primary care program, so I’m really happy,” she said, beaming.
Friends enveloped David MacPherson in hugs after he opened his own letter, finding out he would be heading to MacNeal Hospital in Chicago for his preliminary year of training before residency at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. “There are a lot of sacrifices we’ve made, sacrifices our families have made, and this is a celebration of all of our work. It’s a wonderful moment,” he said.
Alexander Sullivan marveled at how quickly his time at GW went, but expressed true joy at finding out he’ll be heading down to Duke University School of Medicine in North Carolina for his residency in internal medicine. “It’s a really warm environment, but you also get to take care of a great patient population, a population that’s underserved, and that’s something I’m very excited about,” he said.
Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D. ’81, RESD ’85, Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine, vice president for health affairs at GW, and dean of SMHS, addressed the throng of family, friends, and faculty, thanking them for their commitment and support to the students.
“And to our amazing students, we’re very proud of you … and we wish you all the best, and we will see you at graduation,” he said. “Good luck, do well, and we’re very proud of you.”
The Class of 2017 also matched at institutions such as Johns Hopkins Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Lancaster General Hospital, and New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Fifteen students will continue their training at GW, and two will train at Children’s National Health System.
To view a complete list of this year’s Match Day results, please visit https://smhs.gwu.edu/academics/md-program/current-students/awards-ceremonies/match-day