FAU Celebrates 10 Years of ‘Match Day’ with Soon-to-be-Physicians

Match Day ceremony

Along with thousands of other fourth-year medical students around the nation, the class of 2024 opened their sealed envelopes promptly at noon to learn where they will fulfill their dreams for medical residency training.

By gisele galoustian | 3/15/2024

It was a “perfect 10” today for Florida Atlantic University ’s   Schmidt College of Medicine as they celebrated 10 years of “Match Day” with the class of 2024. During the special ceremony, FAU’s soon-to-be-physicians matched for residency placement in post-graduate training programs.

Along with thousands of other fourth-year medical students around the nation, the class of 2024 opened their sealed envelopes promptly at noon to learn where they will fulfill their dreams for medical residency training. Residency programs take three to seven years to complete depending on the medical specialty and are required for physicians to become license-eligible (board certified).

Match Day occurs nationally on the third Friday of March every year when the results of the National Resident Matching Program (NMRP) are announced. Results of the Main Residency Match are closely watched because they can predict future changes in the physician workforce.  

Florida’s population is projected to grow by nearly 300,000 residents for each of the next five years. A third of full-time doctors are over age 60, and as they retire, research suggests an estimated shortfall of 18,000 physicians in Florida by 2035. FAU’s medical school is working to mitigate this projected shortage and continues to make valuable contributions to the physician workforce.

“You are stepping into a legacy of medical excellence, bearing the torch of innovation and compassion that defines the Schmidt College of Medicine,” said Curtis L. Whitehair, M.D., interim dean, FAU Schmidt College of Medicine. “To our class of 2024, today marks a significant chapter in your story. You are about to embark on a journey filled with challenges and opportunities, each poised to shape your future and the lives of those you will serve. Your resilience, dedication and compassion have prepared you to make a significant impact in health care. You are the embodiment of our hopes and dreams, ready to make a lasting impact on the lives of countless patients.”

In line with the medical school’s mission, 48 percent of the class of 2024 will conduct their residency in Florida, and 41 percent will specialize in primary care including internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics. The class of 2024 also matched in some of the most competitive specialties including psychiatry, orthopedic surgery, dermatology, plastic surgery, urology and a triple board specialty in pediatrics/psychiatry/child psychiatry, among others.  

“The class of 2024 entered medical school during a time of great uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which required them to begin their medical training virtually. They quickly adapted and remained resilient, dedicated and committed throughout their journey at the Schmidt College of Medicine,” said Jennifer Caceres, M.D., senior associate dean for student affairs and admissions, FAU Schmidt College of Medicine.  

“I am so proud of their accomplishments and great successes, which are evident to everyone here today. Soon they will graduate and leave here very well trained and strongly prepared to deliver the high quality and compassionate health care that this country needs.”

The class of 2024 has several exemplary students who have been inducted into both the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, the national medical honor society, and the Gold Humanism Honor Society, a national honor society that recognizes senior medical students and others for excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service.

Among these students are Sarah Girshfeld, Kaylynn Blackstad and Oghosa Urhoghide. Girshfeld provided numerous community volunteer service hours at several organizations and served as the curriculum representative for the class of 2024, helping to enhance the curriculum. As a former National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 athlete she brings a team approach to her day-to-day activities. She will start her residency in emergency medicine at UC Davis Medical Center. Passionate about creating safe environments for others, especially children, Blackstad will start a triple board residency program in pediatrics/ psychiatry/child psychiatry at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Committed to teaching, Urhoghide served as a tutor throughout her undergraduate career and as a tutor and mentor while in medical school. Her community contributions include encouraging women in medicine, volunteering at free clinics and arranging fundraisers and community events. Urhoghide will start an anesthesiology residency program at Mass General Brigham – Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.

Among the various Florida institutions where the class of 2024 placed are FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine; Broward Health Medical Center; Memorial Healthcare System; University of Miami/Jackson Health System; University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine; University of Miami Miller School of Medicine/Holy Cross; University of Florida College of Medicine – Shands Hospital; HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital; HCA Healthcare East Florida Division GME; and University of Central Florida/HCA Healthcare GME.

The class of 2024 also placed in several other top institutions nationally, including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles; Rush University Medical Center in Chicago; Baylor College of Medicine in Houston; New York-Presbyterian; and University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

In addition, FAU’s own post-graduate residency programs matched 47 outstanding graduating medical students from various backgrounds throughout the nation matched into FAU’s residency programs in internal medicine (24), surgery (10), emergency medicine (six), psychiatry (four) and neurology (three). FAU’s fellowships also will welcome new trainees in cardiovascular disease, geriatric medicine, hospice and palliative medicine and vascular surgery.

The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the pillar role played by emergency medicine physicians in the health care system. Despite the incredible challenges and risks associated with this medical specialty during the pandemic, FAU’s emergency medicine residency program has successfully filled every position since its inception, despite unfilled positions nationally and in Florida.  

“Amidst a national backdrop where filling emergency medicine slots has become increasingly challenging, Florida Atlantic University stands out by filling every position in our emergency medicine residency program since it was first established in 2017,” said Lisa Clayton, D.O., chair, Emergency Medicine Department, program director, emergency medicine residency, and assistant dean for graduate medical education, FAU Schmidt College of Medicine.” This success speaks volumes about the quality of our training and the bright future of our graduates, the future leaders in the field of emergency medicine.”

The NRMP uses a computer algorithm, developed in 1952 by Nobel Prize-winning economist Alvin Roth, to place students in the program that they prefer. Each residency program at a hospital has a fixed number of first-year positions that they can fill each year based on their accreditation. Leading up to the big day, each student lists in order of preference the residency program that he or she seeks to work with, and each residency program then ranks its applicants in order of its own preferences.


Match Day

Match Day

Match Day