Match Day 2022: Columbia Medical Students Celebrate Their Residencies

March 18, 2022
Columbia medical students on Match Day 2022

Members of the VP&S Class of 2022 celebrate their residencies on Match Day.

Anticipation and a festive spirit filled the air as Columbia medical students gathered at 50 Haven Ave. on March 18. The occasion was momentous: At precisely 12 o’clock, all students in the room, along with 30,000 other medical students in the country, learned where they will begin their residencies this summer.

A VP&S medical student pins his residency to a map of the United States.

A VP&S medical student pins his residency to a map of the United States.

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), also known as the Match, released residency results to all U.S. medical students at noon Eastern time. The process of securing a residency began months earlier for students, who participated in virtual interviews this past fall with representatives from their programs of interest. At the end of the interview season, students and residencies submitted their top choices to NRMP, which uses an algorithm to make the best possible match for both applicants and programs. At VP&S, 146 students participated in the Match. 

For the first time since the pandemic started, Match Day at Columbia was again held in person. Envelopes lined a long table in the Hudson Lounge, each one with a “match” letter telling where each student will begin the next phase of medical training. Family and friends joined students to mark the milestone. At noon, students rushed the table to grab their envelopes, and the first cries of joy were heard seconds later.

A VP&S medical student celebrates her anesthesiology residency at Columbia/NYP.

A VP&S medical student celebrates her anesthesiology residency at Columbia/NYP.

“We celebrate the Class of 2022 in so many ways today—for matching into their specialties of choice and for their partnership, humanism, and advocacy during the many challenges they faced during medical school,” says Lisa Mellman, MD, senior associate dean for student affairs at VP&S. “They had only completed one full clerkship of their Major Clinical Year when the pandemic began, pausing their clinical learning in a lock down, altering their subsequent clerkship year schedule, halting in-person residency interviews, and changing the way health care is delivered. In their volunteer work throughout the pandemic, they have contributed so much to support our front-line health care workers and to inform and support the local community. Their advocacy and activism to address health care disparities and racism has helped to catalyze efforts across VP&S to build a more equitable and inclusive school and community.”

At VP&S, the most popular residency matches were internal medicine (33 students), psychiatry (13), obstetrics & gynecology (12), pediatrics (12), orthopedic surgery (8), and surgery (8). “My experience during Major Clinical Year really played a large role in deciding on ophthalmology as a specialty,” says Ahmed Owda, an MD-MPH student who matched to an ophthalmology residency at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. “Through being in medical school during the pandemic, I have learned that our society needs more out of medicine and health care systems. It’s incumbent on us to deliver that better form of care and I hope to carry that forward in my career.”

Match Day 2022 Highlights Video