On Friday, March 18, a palpable energy was in the air as 160 graduating Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) students — along with their peers, friends, and family members — entered the Jordan Medical Education Center for Match Day.
Match Day is normally filled with nervous excitement, and this day was no exception, as it marked the first time PSOM students were able to celebrate Match Day in person since the start of the pandemic, after a virtual ceremony in 2020 and a hybrid event in 2021.
“Our students have accomplished so much during their time here at Penn — persevering, volunteering, and learning through two years of a pandemic. And today, as they look forward to their promising futures, we congratulate them on their success and join them in joyous reflection on their great achievements,” said Suzanne Rose, MD, MSEd, senior vice dean for Medical Education.
Match Day, which occurs nationwide on the third Friday of March each year, is one of the biggest moments for graduating medical students. As the clock strikes noon, students discover where their future medical careers will take them as residents.
The rigorous process of finding a match begins in the summer, consisting of advising and mentoring, and applications. This is followed by rounds of interviewing with residency programs across the country, this past year all done virtually. From there, students participate in a ranking process where they rank their preferred programs and the programs rank the students. At the Match Day ceremony, each student excitedly awaits the countdown to noon, anticipating the relief of opening their envelope and discovering their match after months of waiting and years of hard work.
“My heart is so full for each and every one of our students, and it’s especially meaningful as we celebrate these students in person after all this time,” said DaCarla Albright, MD, associate dean for Student Affairs and Wellness.
While Penn’s graduating students will travel across the nation for residency, 30 percent will be staying at Penn Medicine — 49 students matched at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), Pennsylvania Hospital, Lancaster General Health, the Scheie Eye Institute, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
One of those future physicians, Lily Owei, found out she matched at HUP for general surgery — her first choice — surrounded by her mother and sister.
“I started my undergraduate career at Penn, have gone through medical school here, and now I’ll become a surgeon at Penn,” Owei said. “What I’m most looking forward to is getting the training to be an amazing surgeon. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time.”
Maguire Herriman, a medical student at PSOM and MBA candidate with the Wharton School, made his match in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. “I’m most excited about finally being able to do this job that we’ve been training all our lives to do,” Herriman shared, after celebrating his match moment with his parents.
Looking ahead into his medical career, Herriman aspires to step into a hospital administration role, which fueled his desire to pursue the MD/MBA program at Penn to hone innovation and leadership skills. “I want to tackle the organizational problems in health care, at a systems level,” Herriman said.
“It’s been a real honor and privilege to work with this class,” said Prithvi Sankar, MD, senior advisor to the class of 2021. “It’s a culmination of years of work and I’m so proud of these students. We’re excited to see what’s next for them.”
Watch PSOM’s class of 2022 celebrate Match Day — the unveiling of where students will continue their medical careers — below.