Creighton School of Medicine notches another stellar Match Day
Cheers and celebrations marked Match Day in Omaha and Phoenix Friday as the Creighton University School of Medicine matched 92% of its graduating students to their desired specialties. In all, 99% of graduates were accepted into residency programs, a figure Michael Kavan, PhD, associate dean for student affairs, says he is confident will soon be 100%.
Match Day, always a major annual event on the School of Medicine’s calendar, is the day when graduates, having completed their four years of medical education, find out where they will spend their residencies and whether they have been assigned their specialties of choice.
Match Day was especially historic this year, being the first since the opening in Arizona of the Creighton School of Medicine’s second campus, the $100 million Creighton University Health Sciences Campus – Phoenix, an addition that makes Creighton the largest Catholic health professions educator in the United States.
Kavan noted that 163 students participated in matching programs this year. Of these, 155 participated in the National Resident Matching Program, two in the San Francisco Match, one in the American Urological Association Match, and seven in the Military Match, with some students participating in more than one program.
The students matched into 23 different specialties, the most popular being internal medicine (25 students), pediatrics (22 students) and emergency medicine (15 students). In addition, 10 students matched into family medicine and three into medicine-pediatrics.
These were followed by anesthesiology (14), diagnostic radiology (11), obstetrics and gynecology (11), general surgery (10), psychiatry (9), orthopedic surgery (6), neurological surgery (3), pathology (3), dermatology (2), interventional radiology (2), neurology (2), otolaryngology (2), physical medicine and rehabilitation (2), and plastic surgery (2). Students also matched into anesthesiology-pediatrics, ophthalmology, radiation oncology and transitional programs.
Students matched into residencies in 30 states and the District of Columbia, including: 19 students matching in California, 17 in Nebraska, 15 in Arizona, 12 in Missouri, 11 in Texas, seven in Colorado, and six each in Minnesota, Virginia and Wisconsin, among others.
Among the prestigious programs where students matched are Creighton University, with partners in both Omaha and Phoenix; Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education; Northwestern; Dartmouth; Children’s National; George Washington University; Emory; UC-San Diego; University of Washington; Rush University; Duke; and Johns Hopkins.
Robert Dunlay, MD, dean of the Creighton University School of Medicine, welcomed another successful Match Day.
Among the graduates celebrating in Omaha were identical twins, Alison and Elizabeth Mause, Colorado natives, both of whom say they will carry the Jesuit Catholic concept of “caring for the whole person” into their medical careers.
“In typical Jesuit fashion, my education was intertwined with Jesuit values, such as cura personalis — care for the whole person — and magis — the call to do more,” Alison says. “My undergraduate education at Creighton guided my decision to pursue a career in medicine because I wanted to learn to advocate for patients and to recognize their humanness.”
Elizabeth, who described her twin sister as “my greatest ally” and source of support, says Creighton transformed her view of medicine.
Thirteen hundred miles to the southwest, in Phoenix, Creighton’s long academic reach saw Femi Oladokun and Kelly Shaftel celebrating their Match Day assignments.
For Oladokun, a native of Nigeria, Match Day was the fulfillment of a journey that began in high school when he deliberately designed a path that would lead him to the United States and a medical education.
“I was told that international students had a hard time getting into medical school,” he says. “Few schools were willing to support the visa that I needed and even fewer could offer financial support.
“Unfazed, I pushed forward and got accepted at Creighton. Thanks to all the support from family, mentors and the Creighton University School of Medicine, I have made it to this point."
Also part of the Phoenix graduating class was Kelly Shaftel, a registered nurse at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, whose curiosity about the ‘whys’ of medicine motivated her to enroll in medical school with a view to becoming a neurosurgeon.
“Once I had the chance to study MRIs of the brain and spinal cord, I knew that neurosurgery was my calling,” she says. “When someone shows me neurological imaging studies, I light up with intellectual passion and curiosity. I cannot imagine a more fulfilling career.”
Friday brought good news for Elizabeth and Alison Mause, Oladokun and Shaftel, all of whom were among the 92% matching into their desired specialties.
“I matched to general surgery at Duke University,” Oladokun says. “I feel honored and overjoyed. It’s been a long road and I couldn’t be more grateful for everyone who has helped along the way. “
Alison Mause will travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where she matched into her desired specialty of psychiatry.
“I am beyond thrilled,” she says. “It’s a dream come true, it’s everything I have ever wanted.”
Elizabeth Mause also matched into psychiatry, at the University of Colorado.
And Shaftel will get to continue asking her “whys.”
“I am very excited and grateful that I was able to match into a neurosurgery residency and am looking forward to the next chapter on my path to becoming a neurosurgeon,” she says.