VP&S Hosts First Virtual Match Day

Due to coronavirus precautions, Match Day was held virtually for the first time this year. Instead of the traditional gathering in Bard Hall with hundreds of students, friends, and family members to unveil the match results, students tuned in to the video conferencing platform Zoom from home for an event co-hosted by Lisa Mellman, MD, and Jonathan Amiel, MD, interim co-vice deans for education at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S).  

“We are all adapting to the rapidly evolving changes related to coronavirus, and we are extremely proud of our students and how they are managing the many changes for them,” said Mellman, who is also senior associate dean for students affairs at VP&S. “Although everyone is disappointed that we aren’t able to celebrate in person together for match, we are really pleased at the creativity of the class in developing a virtual SuperNight celebration last night and that they are with us for a virtual Match Celebration today in which students receive their match envelopes.” 

At noon, students received their match letters via email. After the official event, nearly 60 students tuned in for an “after-party” on Zoom and wished each other congratulations. 

All U.S. medical students learned the results at the same time on March 20 via the National Resident Matching Program, also known as The Match. Though a large Match Day event was nixed this year on the medical campus, the tradition of VP&S students matching to stellar residencies held strong. At VP&S, 136 students participated in the Match. The most popular residencies were internal medicine (35 students), psychiatry (18), obstetrics & gynecology (10), pediatrics (10), orthopedic surgery, (7), ophthalmology (6), and urology (6). 

For many, the good news about residencies is a welcome reprieve from daily concerns about COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus. Students like Abinaya Thenappan, who matched to an ophthalmology residency at USC Roski Eye Institute, are celebrating the results. 

“The field of ophthalmology blends the detail and precision of scientific research with the impact of surgical care and the intricacy of ocular pathology,” said Thenappan. “I am super excited to meet my future co-residents!”

Following Match Day, VP&S announced that Columbia medical students in the Class of 2020 would graduate a month early and be offered temporary employment at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital to help with COVID-19.