100% of Eligible Students Match at UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine 2024 Match Day

March 22, 2024

Every year, graduating medical students across the country learn which residency program they will be attending on Match Day, an event recognized nationally on the third Friday in March. As students open their envelopes to reveal where they will go to practice their assigned specialty, they get a clear picture of the first steps they will take as official practitioners in the medical field.

On March 15, the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM) hosted its annual Match Day celebration, welcoming family and loved ones to support their soon-to-be doctors as they learned where they matched for residency. The school hosted its first Match Day in 2021 with 96% of students matching, followed by 2022 and 2023 with 99% of students matching both years.

This year, 100% of the 139 eligible UIWSOM students matched into 16 different healthcare specialties.

“100% placement in 2024 was a goal UIWSOM has been striving to achieve since the very beginning, and we are thrilled to have successfully met that goal,” shared Dr. Earlanda Williams, UIWSOM senior associate dean of academic affairs and associate professor.

Williams finds each Match Day to be extremely heart-warming and awe-inspiring. She shared, “Watching the students open their envelopes and the emotion that spreads across them as they realize their dreams are becoming a reality gives me chills each time I experience it. It's also a wonderful feeling to watch them share in the celebration with their families, who have likely sacrificed for them to reach this point. The energy in the room cannot be described and must be experienced first-hand.”

Williams understands the level of perseverance required to pursue a healthcare career, as students must overcome challenges and navigate the field’s ever-changing landscape. Skills such as strong communication, critical thinking, compassion and respect for others are essential in being able to do so successfully. In her eyes, her students embody these qualities.

“What's great about UIWSOM is our curriculum was designed to cultivate these skills and qualities, so our students get a lot of practice and multiple opportunities to grow and refine these skills during the course of their education,” explained Williams.

“This is an exciting day for me as dean and for our faculty to see that all their hard work has paid off,” said Dr. John Pham, dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine, as the Match Day festivities took place. “It’s like I’m a big, proud papa.”

For Pham, Match Day holds special significance, as it is a moment for the entire UIWSOM community to reflect on the blessing it is to pass their expertise and gifts along to the next generation of doctors who will treat patients with compassionate care.

“To get to nurture them from their first year of medical school all the way to today ... paying it forward is very important to me as a physician ... we give them a little bit of our knowledge and transfer it to them who go on to give it to their patients.”

An undeniable sensation of jubilation erupted throughout the UIW McCombs Center Rosenberg Sky Room as students opened their envelopes and learned where they will go to make a difference in patients’ lives. The excitement was palpable and demonstrated that the next generation of healthcare professionals are eager to make a positive impact within their communities.

Tyler Larkin was among the 139 learners from UIWSOM who celebrated Match Day this year. He matched at Loma Linda University in the specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation. On Match Day, his family wore matching T-shirts that read “Dr. Larkin PM and R” in support of Larkin’s achievement.

“Match day was amazing,” expressed Larkin. “It was a long time coming and being able to celebrate with your family, classmates and faculty was great because they’re the ones that got us here. I loved seeing my classmates celebrate with their families and go up and announce where they’d be headed next year!”

Williams offered some advice for the UIWSOM Class of 2024 to hold on to as they continue to advance within their careers:

“Always remember your purpose. You will serve some of the most vulnerable populations throughout your career, so never forget that you pursued a career in medicine to generously and selflessly help those in need when they may be unable to help themselves.”