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Match Day, Birthday: providence, parenthood mingle as 163 Creighton med students learn residencies

It was a day of new beginnings, Friday, March 15, at the Creighton University School of Medicine’s annual Match Day festivities.

Of course, there was the usual fanfare surrounding the soon-to-be-graduated fourth-year students who, on this day, find out where life, residencies and medical specialties will be leading them and their families.

Amid it all came Aaron Fried. The fourth-year student from the Los Angeles area, known as the nattiest dresser in his class, was in sweatpants, a dark blue T-shirt and bearing the slap-happy mien of new fatherhood. At 6:43 a.m., his wife, Katie, had given birth to their first child, a daughter, Addison. And three-and-a-half hours later, here he was to read his future.

“She’s three weeks early,” Fried said through an irrepressible smile, adding that mom and child are both fine and watching at the hospital via the livestream. “I guess baby just wanted to know where she was going and couldn’t wait on the mystery anymore.”

By dint of having the freshest baby among many audible infants during the Class of 2019 Match, Fried was allowed to open his envelope first. The match was just what he was looking for: internal medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He embraced his family—parents and in-laws in town for Match Day with the bonus of meeting a new grandchild, and they all whisked off to Katie and Addison.

And so the powerful play goes on, just as it did in other ways for the 163 School of Medicine students matching March 15. That’s 96 percent of the class matching into their No. 1 specialty of choice.

“Remember, you’re right where you’re supposed to be,” said Michael G. Kavan, PhD, the School of Medicine’s associate dean for student affairs, who opens each Match Day in similarly avuncular, perspective-framing fashion.

Creighton matched students with residencies in 19 specialties, in 36 states and in such prestigious programs as those at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Northwestern, Rush, Duke, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Emory and Johns Hopkins.

Before the revelations were at hand, Fried huddled with a classmate who also has a claim to one of the world’s newer denizens, Class President Nate Rosol, whose wife, Olivia, and 3-½-month-old son, Noah, were with him for the announcement.

Noah also made a bit of an early arrival while the Rosols were traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday. Coming about a month early, the baby boy was born in his father’s native Minnesota, rather than in Omaha, as planned. Noah spent two months in the NICU while Nate returned to his last-semester studies.

“It was a little bit of a curveball for us but everything has turned out well,” said Rosol, who was one of four Creighton students in the military match, with orders to the Naval Medical Center at Portsmouth, Virginia. “We’re here. We’re ready to match and see what happens next.”

Next up for fourth-year student Hayden Smith, his wife, Willow, a cancer biology doctoral student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, their 19-month-old son, Kieran, and a baby due in August is a move back home to Portland, Oregon, where Hayden will enter residency in internal medicine at Providence Portland Medical Center.

“Family is extremely important to us,” Hayden said. “Coming home at the end of every day and being with family, it brings home what it’s really about for us. Getting to go home to Oregon now and make a new start, new baby coming, it’s exciting.”

New life and new beginnings. They abounded Friday.

“It’s Match Day and a birthday!” exclaimed another fellow student, embracing the new father, Fried.

“I think it’s going to be a blessing,” Fried said, his eyes casting out over the full ballroom at the Harper Center. “For us, to get to know our daughter a little before the craziness of residency sets in, that’s going to be great. What a day. What an amazing day. For all of us.”


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