University of Vermont

Game, Set, MATCH! Class of '16 Medical Students Learn Residency Placements

Class of 2016 medical students, from left, Daryl Selen, Sarah Fieber, Jenna Bodmer and Sabrina Bedell, proudly display their NRMP match letters at UVM's Match Day event March 18. (Photo: Andy Duback)

From anxiety to elation, emotions ran high on Match Day, a nationwide event during which graduating medical students open the envelopes that tell them where they will first officially work as physicians.

This annual rite of passage marked students’ completion of four years of rigorous coursework, exams, clinical training, as well as months of residency applications and interviews. On March 18, 2016, more than 100 members in the University of Vermont College of Medicine’s Class of 2016 gathered in the Hoehl Gallery in the Health Science Research Facility to learn and celebrate their match results as family, friends and faculty listened or watched from around the world via a livestream video. All 108 students in the Class of 2016 secured matches to residencies - a significant achievementat a time when there is a national shortage of residency positions.

Watch the full-length Match Day ceremony (mp4), watch highlights from Match Day, view the Match Day photo gallery, and link to UVM's residency match list here

The UVM Match Day celebration opened with a “parade” of members of the Class of 2016, who were led by bagpiper and UVM College of Medicine faculty member and alumnus H. James Wallace, M.D.'88, to the Match Day event. UVM leaders in attendance included Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education William Jeffries, Ph.D., College of Medicine Dean Frederick C. Morin III, M.D., President Tom Sullivan and Provost David Rosowsky, Ph.D. Associate Dean for Student Affairs Christa Zehle, M.D., delivered the match envelopes, following which student leaders began the random drawing of each student's envelope. Students either opened their envelopes at the podium and announced their match results, or did so in private. 

Below are snapshots of a few UVM Class of 2016 medical students:

Vermont is My Home – As a young boy, Mutlay Sayan believed he would grow up to be a farmer in his remote village in Turkey, but then his father became ill with cancer, and the family moved to Istanbul for his treatment. Sayan worked with his mother in a textile factory, eventually starting school as a 6th grader, not knowing how to read or write. But he persevered, graduating as valedictorian. After one year at university, he decided to change his life – and location – in the pursuit of a medical career. He arrived in the U.S. in 2007 as a 19-year-old with two suitcases, no knowledge of English, and a burning desire to specialize in cancer. “In Istanbul, I was scared I would be sent back to the factory,” he admits, “so I worked hard, and now, I’m going to be a doctor!” Sayan says “people here believed in me and gave me opportunities – Vermont is my home!” He matched to a radiation oncology residency at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in N.J. and will complete a preliminary year in internal medicine at the UVM Medical Center.

I Knew I Was Interested in SurgeryKelsey Preston came to the UVM College of Medicine all the way from Juneau, Alaska, and she knew – before she arrived at medical school – that she wanted to pursue surgery. In a recent UVM Medicine blog post, Preston describes the fourth year of medical school as exhilarating and stressful. She applied for general surgery residencies in all types and sizes of medical centers, and admits that interviewing in this specialty was difficult, but also one of her favorite parts of medical school. Preston matched to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Calif.

In Pediatrics, I Smiled Every Day – A native of Lafayette, Calif., Laura Lazzarini says that her pediatric clinical training experiences “ignited a passion I hadn’t felt with other specialties” in her UVM Medicine blog post. Lazzarini achieved great things in other clinical clerkships, too, like Family Medicine, during which she conducted a project examining primary care physicians’ consideration of complementary and alternative medicine for patients suffering from opioid addiction and PTSD. She says the process of creating and submitting the ranking lists that go into the National Resident Matching Program’s algorithm was emotionally wrenching, but led her to decide on a completely unexpected and different direction. Now she’s excited and ready for the new adventure that her residency at University of Washington in Seattle will bring.

Members of the Class of 2016 will receive their medical degrees at Commencement on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel on the UVM campus.

Students, faculty, friends and family can post photos and join the conversation through social media at:

  • #uvmmedmatch = UVM College of Medicine hashtag
  • #Match2016 = National hashtag
  • Twitter & Instagram: @uvmmedicine
  • Facebook: facebook.com/uvmcollegeofmedicine

Read student and alumni stories and reflections on Match Day on the UVM Medicine blog: http://uvmmedicineblog.wordpress.com/