A Match Day to remember as in-person celebrations return

Angelica Fuentes reacts after finding out where she matched for residency during the first in-person Match Day since 2019 at the UIC Forum Friday, March 18, 2022. (Joshua Clark/University of Illinois Chicago)

During the first in-person ceremony since 2019, 320 medical students at the University of Illinois Chicago learned on Match Day March 18 where they will complete their training and begin their careers. The totals included 188 College of Medicine students from Chicago, 65 students from Peoria, 55 students from Rockford and 12 students from Urbana.

For College of Medicine medical students, the top matched specialty of 2022 was internal medicine, followed closely by pediatrics, emergency medicine, psychiatry, dermatology and family medicine. The top locations include Illinois, California, Indiana, Wisconsin and Massachusetts. The class will scatter to 29 different states. Thirty-nine students matched at the University of Illinois Hospital.

Match Day is a coordinated national event in which students around the country were notified of their placements in residency programs, where they will receive three to seven years of specialty training following medical school graduation.

The College of Medicine, one of the nation’s largest and most diverse medical schools, hosted in-person events at each of its four campuses — Chicago, Peoria, Rockford and Urbana. The last two Match Day events at the College of Medicine were conducted virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Well, we’re here, and that I think is something to celebrate after so much time apart,” College of Medicine Executive Dean Dr. Mark Rosenblatt said. “You have devoted long hours to studying medical science, learning the art of speaking to and examining patients, preparing for many examinations, and learning about various specialties before choosing your own. We have certainly learned through the pandemic that the world needs you. Today you will see the reward of your dedication and labor.”

Students at Rockford matched into residency programs in 19 specialties in 21 different states.

“Match Day is one of the most exciting events for a medical student during their four years of training,” said Dr. Alex Stagnaro-Green, Rockford regional dean. “We are delighted that we can once again invite family and friends to this live event.”

Students at Peoria matched to 18 different specialties in 19 different states.

“Today is an important day in the life of medical students,” said Dr. Meenakshy Aiyer, Peoria regional dean. “Match Day marks the transition to the next stage of their career. We celebrate this occasion and commend them for all of the hard work and dedication that has brought them to this day, while also offering our most heartfelt best wishes as they earn they continue their training and learning through their residency.”

This was the final Match Day ceremony at the College of Medicine Urbana campus, which will be closing operations at the end of this academic year.

“It is so exciting to celebrate in person with our students today,” said Dr. Janet Jokela, Urbana acting regional dean. “We are incredibly proud of each of them. This is arguably the second most important day of their careers; the first was when they received acceptance to medical school. Hearty and well-deserved congratulations to everyone.”

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Story by Tom Wyatt
Photos by Joshua Clark

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