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Oh, the Places They’ll Go: Class of ’17 Students Celebrate Match Day

March 10, 2017 by Jennifer Nachbur

A huge celebration – and a couple of surprises and twists – were on the agenda for the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2017’s Match Day event on Friday, March 17, 2017.

Andy Liu '17 opens his envelope to reveal that he's been matched in Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina Hospitals (Photo: Andy Duback)

A huge celebration – and a couple of surprises and twists – were on the agenda for the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2017’s Match Day event on Friday, March 17, 2017. The festivities began just before noon in the Health Science Research Facility’s Hoehl Gallery, with “Pied Piper”/radiation oncologist H. James Wallace, M.D., leading the more than 100 senior medical students to the stage where they learned their future fates – the locations for their residency training for the next three or more years. A video livestream made sharing in the day’s excitement possible for students, family and friends in remote locations across the globe.

Speakers and special guests at the event included UVM Provost David Rosowsky, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education William Jeffries, Ph.D., Larner College of Medicine Dean Frederick Morin, M.D., Professor of Medicine Laurie Leclair, M.D., course director for Cardiovascular, Renal and Respiratory Systems, and Class of 2017 President Mohammad Mertaban. Christa Zehle, M.D., associate dean for students, delivered the Match envelopes to the stage, where Class of 2018 students randomly selected envelopes and announced respective student’s names for reading in public or private.

Learn more about some of the Class of 2017 students who matched:

  • In addition to learning where he matched for a pediatrics residency, Nicholas Bonenfant will also be presenting elements of his fourth-year research project at a national LGBTQ health conference in California this month. “I hope that the current and future modules that we create will help to better the physician-patient interactions and motivate and inspire others to fight for children who face unique and significant challenges related to their gender identity,” he said.
  • A co-inventor, former D1 athlete and the child of Afghani refugees, Mustafa Chopan has matched into plastic surgery – but not for the reasons you might think. Doing cosmetic surgery in Hollywood isn’t his thing; his passion lies in creatively figuring out how best to craft skin grafts for burn victims and help others faced with disfigurement.
  • Elizabeth Cochrane and Kiyon Naser-Tavakolian are one of more than a dozen medical students who heard news of their couples match – a process that allows two applicants to link their residency match rank order lists, in order to obtain positions at either the same institution or in the same geographic location.
  • Class of 2017 medical students Melanie Ma and Alexandra Brown developed a curriculum to prepare medical students for dealing with a “code” – a patient going into pulmonary arrest – in the hospital, something that Melanie experienced without preparation during her first clinical rotation in her Clerkship year of med school.

A total of 110 students from the Larner College of Medicine participated in the main Match. Three students learned of their residency locations early through the Military Match and four students participated in separate matching programs for their specialties – two in ophthalmology and two in urology. Students in the Class of 2017 will earn their medical degrees at Commencement on May 21, 2017, and will begin residency orientation in mid- to late June.

Find more information about the Larner College of Medicine’s 2017 Match Day and view the full event video here.