Student Spotlight

Match Day offers up excitement and success for WMed’s Class of 2019
Class of 2019 Match Day
Fourth-year student Nathan Whelham celebrates with his family during Match Day on Friday, March 15, 2019, as he learns where he will be headed for residency training.

With the opening of each envelope, the lives of students in the medical school’s Class of 2019 were changed Friday and their next steps as young physicians – in a matter of seconds – came into focus. 

That was the scene when the clock struck noon at the Air Zoo in Portage where the more than 50 students who make up the second MD class of WMed participated in the time-honored event known as Match Day.

“We’ve done very well as a school and this class did very well, and our students are going to some very good programs across the country,” said Hal B. Jenson, MD, MBA, the medical school’s Founding Dean.

With Match Day, the Class of 2019 joined students from other medical schools across the country on Friday, March 15, to learn where they will spend the next three or more years in residency training. The festivities were a culmination for WMed’s fourth-year students as they each learned their future plans.

The anticipation and excitement – along with a bit of apprehension – began building Friday morning when students, along with their families and friends, invited faculty and members of the leadership team at WMed, gathered at the Air Zoo.

As the students waited to open their envelopes, they greeted one another with smiles and nervous chatter filled the venue. Cell phones were at the ready as students and their families and friends snapped photos and selfies to capture the moment and document the joy of the big day.

At noon, the wait was over. 

The students opened their envelopes, each discovering where they would be headed for residency.

“My classmates, I’m super proud of them,” said Nathan Whelham, president of the Class of 2019 who matched into Emergency Medicine at WMed. “We have a lot of people who worked hard and gave a wholehearted effort, so this is a really big moment for us. People had some dreams that were fulfilled today and it’s fun to see … There’s nothing quite like it.”

Key Highlights from this year’s Match

  • Every student in the Class of 2019 matched to a residency slot as part of a nationwide process that is increasingly competitive.
  • Four students from the Class of 2019 matched to residency slots at WMed and will complete their training in Kalamazoo in the specialties of Internal Medicine, General Surgery, and Emergency Medicine. They will join the 200-plus physicians-in-training in the medical school’s 13 residency and fellowship programs.
  • 17 students will remain in Michigan for residency, working in hospitals in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Livonia, Rochester, Royal Oak, and Saginaw.
  • 22 students will complete their training in a specialty that could lead to a career in primary care.
  • Two students are recipients of scholarships from the F. Edward Hébert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) and will complete their residency training at military medical centers.
  • WMed students will train in residency programs in 20 different states and the District of Columbia, across the US.

The students will complete their training in the following specialties and programs: 

Anesthesiology

  • Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio
  • Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, California
  • Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Wisconsin (2)
  • Stanford University, California
  • University of Virginia, Virginia

Diagnostic Radiology

  • Henry Ford Hospital, Michigan

Emergency Medicine

  • Ascension St. John Hospital, Michigan
  • Central Michigan University College of Medicine, Michigan
  • Loma Linda University, California
  • St. Mary Mercy Hospital, Michigan
  • West Virginia University School of Medicine, West Virginia
  • Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Michigan (2)

Family Medicine

  • Kaiser Permanente, California
  • Loma Linda University, California
  • MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Maryland
  • Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, Illinois

General Surgery

  • HCA Gulf Coast Education Consortium, Texas
  • Madigan Army Medical Center, Washington
  • Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Wisconsin
  • Memorial Healthcare System, Florida (2)
  • University of Colorado School of Medicine, Colorado
  • University of Illinois at Chicago Metro Group Hospitals, Illinois
  • Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Michigan

Internal Medicine

  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, California
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, New Hampshire
  • Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana
  • Scripps Clinic/Green Hospital, California
  • Spectrum Health/Michigan State University, Michigan
  • University of Utah Affiliated Hospitals, Utah (2)
  • Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Michigan

Internal Medicine-Medical Genetics

  • Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Ohio

Interventional Radiology

  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, New Hampshire

Medicine-Pediatrics

  • University of Minnesota Medical School, Minnesota

Neurology

  • Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Ohio

Obstetrics and Gynecology

  • Beaumont Health, Michigan
  • Presence Saint Francis Hospital, Illinois
  • University of Toledo, Ohio

Ophthalmology

  • George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Orthopaedic Surgery

  • McLaren Health Care Corporation, Michigan
  • University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Ohio

Pathology

  • Emory University School of Medicine, Georgia

Pediatrics

  • Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina
  • Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana
  • Loma Linda University, California
  • Spectrum Health/Michigan State University, Michigan (2)
  • UC Davis Medical Center, California
  • UC Irvine Medical Center, California
  • University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma
  • University of Rochester/Strong Memorial, New York
  • University of Virginia, Virginia

Psychiatry

  • Henry Ford Allegiance Health, Michigan

Radiation Oncology

  • University of Utah Affiliated Hospitals, Utah
Class of 2019 Match Day
Match Day festivities for the Class of 2019 were held on Friday, March 15, 2019, at the Air Zoo in Portage.

The 2019 Main Residency Match process began in the fall for fourth-year students at WMed and other medical students across the country when they applied to residency programs at which they wanted to train. As part of the process, program directors review applications and conduct candidate interviews in the fall and early winter. From mid-January to late February, applicants submit to the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) their rank order lists of preferred programs, and program directors rank applicants in order of preference for training. The NRMP uses a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs using the preferences expressed on their rank lists.

As they look ahead, students in the Class of 2019 will complete the final months of the fourth-year curriculum at WMed, which culminates in May with a commencement ceremony at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. The event, which is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2019, is open to the public.