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Lewis Katz School of Medicine Celebrates First Dual-Campus Match Day

News March 28, 2024

Dr. Amy Goldberg stands with Andrea Palm, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services

For the first time, the Lewis Katz School of Medicine celebrated Match Day on both its North Philadelphia Campus and at the St. Luke’s Regional Campus in Bethlehem, Pa.

Around 11:55 AM on Friday, March 15, five minutes before fourth-year medical students across the country would tear open envelopes containing the name and location of the residency program with which they matched, Amy J. Goldberg, MD, FACS, the Marjorie Joy Katz Dean of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, full of energy, stepped onto a podium at the center of a crowded Maurice J. Stone, MD, Commons and welcomed students and their families at both campuses via a live, direct feed. Two large TVs showed the St. Luke’s campus audience.

Near the podium, mingled among the Commons audience, Andrea Palm, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, looked on. HHS dispatched representatives to 11 medical schools nationwide to commemorate the occasion, reinforcing HHS's dedication to recruiting, supporting, and facilitating new avenues for healthcare workers to enhance their skills and expertise.

“In this moment and beyond, here’s what I want you to remember: First, we are immensely proud of you, truly, incredibly #TempleProud,” Dr. Goldberg said. “Secondly, wherever you match is exactly where you are meant to be because every school, hospital, and medical center, and every state and every city, every attending and every patient has things to teach us on our journeys. Finally, remember this: You are Temple-trained, Temple-tough, and Temple-tenacious, with a big Temple heart. And trust me, there’s no one quite like you out there.”

As the large digital clock behind her approached 12 PM, Dr. Goldberg led a countdown with 10 seconds to go. Students at both locations waited in anticipation. As envelopes were opened – some carefully, others quickly and messily – before bursts of excited screams rippled around the three-story room and through the live stream in Bethlehem.

The reactions covered the spectrum of emotions: unbridled excitement, tearful joy, genuine surprise, quiet satisfaction.


Chi-Chi Osuagwu, who matched with Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital internal medicine residency program, says she felt “surrounded by love,” with a large congregation of family and friends, including her parents, there to support her.

“I watched the last three classes go through Match Day, and I came away thinking it was a daunting way to learn your fate, right in front of everybody,” Osuagwu says. “But when my turn came, I really wanted my family there. Having them with me kept me grounded until I opened my envelope.”

The celebrations unfolded in two waves, first among the students’ inner circles. Gradually, the students began seeking out their classmates. They posed together in twos, threes, fours, and fives, holding up signs that said where they matched.

Match Day is the penultimate milestone for a medical student, leaving only commencement. It’s also one of their most fraught experiences. In an instant, a months-long process comes to a head, and students can learn they’ll need to move across the country within a matter of months.

For the Class of 2024, the occasion was especially emotional because it was part of a future that felt murky when these students entered medical school four years ago at the height of the Covid pandemic. Their white coat ceremony – a time-honored event that signifies the beginning of a student’s journey to becoming a full-fledged physician – was held nearly 19 months after it was originally scheduled.

A pragmatic celebration

In all, 220 students matched in 24 specialties, with 16 embarking on a transitional year. The most popular specialties were internal medicine (61), pediatrics (20), general surgery (19), and family medicine (17).

The 2024 Residency Match was the largest in the National Resident Matching Program’s (NRMP) 72-year history. A record number 44,853 applicants certified a rank order list, and there were 41,503 certified positions, up from 40,375 in 2022, which was the most ever offered in the Match at the time.

For applicants, the Residency Match process begins in the fall during the final year of medical school, when students apply to the residency programs of their choice. Throughout the fall and early winter, applicants interview with the programs. As has been the case since 2021, because of the pandemic, the interviews were conducted entirely online. Then, from mid-January to late February, the applicants and program directors rank each other in order of preference and submit the preference lists to the NRMP, which processes them using a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs.

Benny Varghese interviewed with 20 residency programs, 12 in anesthesiology and eight in internal medicine. Geography was his primary factor in determining which programs he applied to. With his parents and a large extended family in Maryland and his fiancé attending nursing school in Ohio, he focused largely on those two states.

Varghese says he was surprised he was granted interviews with some of the programs he applied to and attributes it to the weight of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine’s reputation.

At noon on Match Day, Varghese stepped outside to Facetime his fiancé so that they could open his envelope together. “I wanted it to be an intimate moment with her,” he says. After a short while, he returned to the commons, where he revealed the result to his parents.

He matched with the University of Maryland anesthesiology residency program, his first choice. After surviving a near-death experience as a child that stemmed from an anesthesia complication, Varghese says that pursuing a career as a specialist in the field has been “in the back of my mind” ever since.

He celebrated over lunch with his parents before pragmatism took over and he spent four hours in the afternoon online apartment hunting. Over the next few months, his life will change dramatically: He’ll graduate medical school, get married, and begin a long-anticipated residency in his home state.

After uncertainty, confidence

Planning a Match Day brunch with a few of her classmates provided a welcome distraction for Osuagwu over the days beforehand, but her nights were restless. For all the possibilities she worked through in her head, her best-case scenario revealed itself come Match Day.

Osuagwu applied to the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, she says, because she took great interest in its commitment to diversifying medicine and advocating for the historically underserved patient populations Temple Health serves. Her clinical clerkship progression reaffirmed for her that specializing in internal medicine would put her in the best position to continue practicing patient-centered care in a community-minded fashion.

“Internal medicine hospitalists are advocates and community organizers who have this really strong predisposition for continuous learning and holistic, complex care,” Osuagwu says.

With the uncertainty of where she’ll spend the next three years removed, Osuagwu says she will begin this next chapter of her medical training with confidence, thanks to the quality of her clinical education at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

“I learned on the interview trail that not every school has a sub-internship program as committed as Temple’s,” she says. “Here, medical students are truly part of the health system. There are no interns on the sub-intern internal medicine teams because the medical students are provided with this beautiful balance of autonomy and supervision that really guides our patient care and gives us a more practical interpretation of what residency will be like.”