A Match Week Welcome

Sighs of relief were heard around the nation on Match Day last week as medical students learned where they will be training in their chosen specialty. The Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program welcomes 14 interns as their Match Class of 2020, a class that has the department buzzing because of their broad diversity.

“This is a fantastic class of applicants who have matched with us and we’re thrilled to welcome them to Duke,” says residency program director, Dr. Annemarie Thompson. “Once again, we’ve gotten people with diverse interests and diverse backgrounds who should work well together as a team.”

“It’s a very exciting time to see all of the amazing people we matched. The wide range of ages and experiences that they bring to the table are really impressive. I think it’s one of the strongest classes we’ve had and I’m really excited to meet everybody,” adds Dr. Christopher Wahal, rising co-chief resident.

Some of the exceptional qualities of the Match Class of 2020 include a lawyer, a former anesthesiologist from Europe, an Olympic weightlifting competitor and four members of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. This class is also fluent in many languages and one Match has 12 first author publications. “It’s exciting that a lot of these residents have had other careers and other life experiences. I think that will really enrich our learning environment and the culture here,” says co-chief resident, Dr. Eun Eoh.

According to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), this is the largest Main Residency Match on record in which more than 42,000 applicants vied for over 30,000 positions resulting in a 75 percent match rate for first-year positions!

2016 MRM infographic

As national Match numbers continue to grow each year, it takes a dedicated team to recruit the best and the brightest among the large number of applicants. This year’s interview season at Duke Anesthesiology included 86 faculty and more than 50 residents. “These numbers give you an idea of the investment this department makes in the future of our anesthesiology residents,” says Dr. Thompson. “The department is really invested in us and it shows with how well we do in our recruitment and in our Match list,” adds Dr. Eoh. Among the department’s 86 faculty members involved with the Match process, Dr. Abbie Melnick received this year’s Golden Screen Award for screening the most Matched applicants (4 of 14).

Now that the celebrations are over, the real work begins as the Match Class of 2020 prepares to officially begin their Duke Anesthesiology residency in June. Before they arrive, their leaders leave with them these words of wisdom. “I would tell them congratulations on your Match. It’s nice to celebrate and we’re happy to see you here but you’re about to receive a flood of paperwork to complete in preparation for your arrival to Duke,” says Dr. Thompson. Dr. Wahal adds, “Intern year is tough but you’ll get through it. You can do anything for a year. You come in as a wide-eyed medical student, not sure what to expect, but by the time the year is over, you have gained so many skills and so much confidence that it’s really a fun year.”

Chief Resident, Dr. Eun Eoh and Rising Chief Resident, Dr. Christopher Wahal

Chief Resident, Dr. Eun Eoh and Rising Chief Resident, Dr. Christopher Wahal

And, as we say goodbye to our co-chief residents, Dr. Eoh and Dr. Stephen Gregory, and wish them the best in their cardiothoracic anesthesia fellowships, we say hello to the two rising chief residents, Dr. Wahal and Dr. Jenna Falcinelli. “I’m really excited to help try and fill the shoes of the two chief residents who came before me,” says Dr. Wahal. “They did a great job and I’d like to continue to form a strong bond between the faculty and residents, and to continue to make Duke the amazing anesthesiology program that it is.”

To view the 2016 NRMP press release, visit http://www.nrmp.org/press-release-results-of-2016-nrmp-main-residency-match-largest-on-record-as-match-continues-to-grow/. Take a look back at the Match celebrations at #Match2016 and #MatchThrowback!