Meeting their match

At 11 a.m. Friday, the UIC Forum erupted into cheers and happy tears.

Together, members of UIC’s College of Medicine Class of 2018 opened envelopes that held the reward for their hard work in medical school. On Match Day, the fourth-year medical students learned where they will train for their residency programs for the next three to seven years.

“It’s four years of blood, sweat and tears all culminating into a really meaningful day and excitement for the next chapter of life,” said Christiana Shoushtari, who will train in internal medicine at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

More than 30,000 students at medical schools nationwide were matched to residencies this year through the National Resident Matching Program.
At UIC, 162 students matched with residency programs, and the top specialty was internal medicine. About 33 percent of UIC students will stay in Illinois, and the top placements were UIC, University of Chicago and Baylor University.

“Today, you’ll see the reward of your dedication and labor,” College of Medicine interim dean Charles Ray told students before they opened their envelopes. “With you at the helm, the future of medicine is bright.”

“Residency will be tough, but worth every effort,” added Robert Barish, vice chancellor for health affairs.

Fifty-three students from the College of Medicine’s Rockford campus, 56 from Peoria and 24 at the Urbana-Champaign campus received their placements on Match Day.

Elizabeth Zavala cried and hugged UIC faculty members as she learned that she had received her first choice and would remain at UIC, training in family medicine.

“The faculty is tremendous, the diversity and patient population are important to me — UIC is just a leader in family medicine,” she said.

Katarzyna Rojek and Trevor Thompson opened their envelopes together and were thrilled to learn they will both complete internal medicine residencies at the University of North Carolina Medical Center. A couple since the first year of medical school, they had requested to match together.

“We applied on a whim, but we just fell in love with Chapel Hill,” Rojek said.

Arron Cole matched with his first choice: otolaryngology at NewYork-Presbyterian, a hospital affiliated with Cornell and Columbia universities. Cole said his training at UIC has prepared him well for his residency program.

“UIC really puts you in the field — we’re in the trenches in a lot of ways,” Cole said.

He’s ready to begin the next stage of his medical career.

“This is the first time it’s really starting to feel real,” he said. “And it’s super exciting.”

Photos: Jenny Fontaine

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