On the third Friday of every March — also known as Match Day — fourth-year medical students across the United States simultaneously experience a series of emotions that are nearly universal. First, there is nervous anticipation. At 9 a.m., excitement builds as dozens of envelopes are ripped open all at once. Immediately after, shouts of joy erupt as they discover where they will be completing their residency.

March 15 brought the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s fourth-years to the Harry and Celesta Pappas Quad on the Health Sciences Campus for 2019’s Match Day results. Sona Shah and Nina Gertsvolf, class presidents for this year’s graduates, shared the podium to thank the faculty, staff and administration for their support throughout their time at the Keck School.

Gertsvolf also took time to thank the patients that they had seen over the years, saying, “You have taught us how to be compassionate physicians, and how to make meaningful connections with those that we will serve in the future.”

Shah then chimed in, “Thank you to all of our friends and family members. Without your unwavering love, support and encouragement over the past four years, we would not be here today opening these envelopes.”

Karen Restifo, MD, JD, associate dean for student affairs, shared that 64 percent of the Keck School students were matched in California and 22 percent will join staff at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. Internal medicine is again the top choice of specialty, with 31 students matching in that field.

Restifo closed by saying, “As a school, we are very proud and feel you’ve done incredibly well, and you should just take a moment. It was a lot of hard work on your part. The family and significant others, everyone who supported these students, you should give yourself a pat on the back, because it takes everybody.” She then welcomed USC’s equine mascot Traveler, who delivered the match envelopes.

Lloyd Camper was exuberant about his match, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. “Miami was my number one choice because of the way I interviewed there, I really fell in love with the program, and the culture that they are upholding between the residents and the faculty, and you can’t go wrong with a location such as Miami.”

Taisha Husbands is originally from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She has been on track to become a physician from an early age, participating in a STEM program from middle school through college. She matched in family medicine at Kaiser Los Angeles, one of her top choices, and said she’s thrilled to be staying in Los Angeles with her fiancé Louis Robles, who was in attendance to support her.

The National Resident Matching Program uses a complex algorithm to align the preferences of students with the criteria of teaching hospitals across the country.

— Amanda Busick

Match Day by the Numbers:

27,782 students nationwide participated in this year’s match

184 Keck School students participated

(15 Keck School students matched early in urology and ophthalmology)

64% of students matched in California

22% Matched at LAC+USC

68 students matched outside of California, in 21 states

New York was the second most popular state after California

31 students matched in internal medicine

25 students matched in emergency medicine

20 students matched in family medicine

Family and friends gather on the Health Sciences Campus as the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s graduating medical students learn where they will be spending the next few years of their careers during the annual Match Day festivities, held March 15. (Photos/Ricardo Carrasco III)




Lizzette Figueroa, center, celebrates her match with family and friends during Match Day festivities.




The Keck School of Medicine of USC’s graduating medical students learn where they will be spending the next few years of their careers during the annual Match Day festivities.




The Keck School of Medicine of USC’s graduating medical students learn where they will be spending the next few years of their careers during the annual Match Day festivities.




The Keck School of Medicine of USC’s graduating medical students learn where they will be spending the next few years of their careers during the annual Match Day festivities.




The Keck School of Medicine of USC’s graduating medical students learn where they will be spending the next few years of their careers during the annual Match Day festivities.




The Keck School of Medicine of USC’s graduating medical students learn where they will be spending the next few years of their careers during the annual Match Day festivities.




The Keck School of Medicine of USC’s graduating medical students learn where they will be spending the next few years of their careers during the annual Match Day festivities.




The Keck School of Medicine of USC’s graduating medical students learn where they will be spending the next few years of their careers during the annual Match Day festivities.




The Keck School of Medicine of USC’s graduating medical students learn where they will be spending the next few years of their careers during the annual Match Day festivities.




Graduating medical students wait in line to receive their envelopes during Match Day celebrations.




Graduating medical students wait in line to receive their envelopes during Match Day celebrations.




Match Day envelopes are delivered to Karen Restifo via USC mascot Traveler.




Traveler




Karen Restifo speaks to the gathered crowd before Match Day celebrations begin.




Family and friends gather on the Health Sciences Campus as the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s graduating medical students learn where they will be spending the next few years of their careers during the annual Match Day festivities, held March 15.