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Match Day 2017: The Luck of the Draw

Friday, March 17, is the lucky day! Fourth-year medical students at Johns Hopkins and medical schools across the nation will participate in a countdown to discover where they’ll be continuing their professional medical journey. Each student will hold an envelope revealing where they’ll begin residency training this summer. On the count of three, they will tear the envelopes open, and screams of excitement and sighs of relief will echo through the halls of the Anne and Mike Armstrong Medical Education Building.

The annual Match Day event has been a is a rite of passage for physicians-in-training since 1952.

Matches are selected using a computer algorithm that matches the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs in order to fill the available training positions around the United States.

Meet six of the medical students who matched, each with their own unique story that brought them to call Johns Hopkins home.


Sbaa Syeda

Sbaa Syeda - Match Day Student Keynote Speaker

I am a South Asian Muslim who is the daughter of two immigrants - my mother is from India and my father from Pakistan. I have three beautiful sisters, two are in Medicine and one in Business. I was raised about 30 minutes away from Hopkins, and coming here for medical school was always a dream of mine, given my family’s significant personal and financial adversities growing up. Now that I am here and make my way to graduation, I have an appreciation for those who have helped me along the way and want to give back to my community in a meaningful way. Even more, given the current political climate, I am very proud to be a Muslim medical student and will continue to strive to achieve my goals despite any concerns for the future. This has been quite a path, but very rewarding. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for me!

Specialty: Ob/Gyn

Passion: Given my upbringing, I am very passionate about working with underserved and vulnerable patient populations. In Ob/Gyn, patients from these backgrounds present every day. Whether it is due to personal/financial adversity, or because of a very complicated disease process, patients confide in their physicians for further help. I hope to address the social needs of patients and treat my patients as humans, and not just an illness.

Sbaa matched at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia Medica Center for obstetrics-gynecology.


nicole jiam

Nicole “Nikki” Jiam

I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, as the oldest of three. My parents are from Hong Kong, and I am a first-generation immigrant. My parents have always instilled core values of hard work, pursuit of excellence and curiosity.

Specialty: Otolaryngology

Future plans: I am interested in otolaryngology, with a particular excitement for otology/neurotology. For the past three years, I have been investigating cochlear implant-mediated music perception and processing. I have a passionate for music, and I also believe that understanding the mechanisms of music perception and processing is an excellent way of improving complex sound processing in cochlear implant users.

Passion: I love music and have been formally trained in violin, viola and piano for over 15 years. During my third year of medical school, my research mentor, Charles Limb (formerly a Johns Hopkins faculty member), accepted a position at the University of California, San Francisco, and invited me to continue working with him there. During my research year, I also joined the San Francisco Opera Bravo Club board of directors. Given my musical background, interest in the neurosciences and fondness for technology, I feel particularly lucky to be doing the work that I do in the laboratory and to be pursuing the field of otolaryngology.

More About Nicole: I am couples matching with my significant other, Dexter Louie. He is a medical student at the University of California, San Francisco, and applying for psychiatry. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has been tremendously supportive and helpful in guiding us through this process, even though we’re on opposite ends of the United States of America.

I founded Camp Kesem at Johns Hopkins as a senior undergraduate student at The Johns Hopkins University and have been serving on the advisory board throughout my five years of medical school. Camp Kesem at Johns Hopkins is a camp that supports children through and beyond their parents’ cancer with innovative, fun-filled programs that foster a lasting community. It is operated by 40 student volunteers and serves 65 campers between the ages of 6 and 18.

Nikki matched at UC San Francisco for otolaryngology.


nancy abu-bonsrah

Nancy Abu-Bonsrah

I was born in Ghana and spent the first 15 years of my life there. My family and I came to Maryland about 11 years ago. I did most of high school at Hammond High in Columbia, Maryland, and went to college at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. I came to Johns Hopkins right after undergrad. I will be the first physician in my family, including the extended family.

Specialty: Neurosurgery

Future plans: I am very much interested in providing medical care in underserved settings, specifically surgical care. I hope to be able to go back to Ghana over the course of my career to help in building sustainable surgical infrastructure. I will be matching into neurosurgery, a field that I am greatly enamored with, and hope to utilize those skills in advancing global surgical care.

Passion: I want to be remembered for serving my community, whether it is through providing quality surgical care or helping mentor the next generation of surgeons.
Unique Thing: Everything is special about the match. It will be a dream come true.

Nancy matched at Johns Hopkins Hospital for neurological surgery. 


carolina montano

Carolina Montaño

I am a graduating M.D./Ph.D. I grew up in Barranquilla, Colombia. I came to the U.S. under political asylum almost 17 years ago, and given the current anti-refugee sentiment, I figured I would put my story out as another example that refugees can contribute to the wonderful fabric of this country when given the opportunity to develop our talents. I am a proud U.S. citizen now and long to feel like I belong here once again. Read more about Carolina's journey from political alyslum on the Biomedical Odyssey blog.

Specialty: Pediatrics

Future plans: I hope to contribute to the field of pediatrics, advancing the understanding of the developmental origins of disease.

More about Carolina: I am also having a baby in a few weeks, so thinking about diverse places to raise a multiethnic family became an important factor. Second, I have a long-distance marriage — my husband matched in internal medicine in Florida three years ago — so we are excited about finally being together again and starting our family wherever I go.

Carolina matched at Children's Hospital-Boston for pediatrics.


stephanie zuo

Stephanie Zuo

I was born in East Lansing, Michigan, but moved around as a child. My father and mother were postdoctoral research fellows in a lab, and we traveled to different parts of the East Coast as the lab moved from institution to institution. From Michigan, we moved to Providence, Rhode Island, then to Birmingham, Alabama, and finally ended up in Long Island, New York. My father is the biggest role model in my life. He came to America with very little money, English proficiency or awareness of American culture. However, he constantly challenged himself and never gave up. During the hardest points in medical school, I turned to my father and was encouraged to hear his stories of overcoming failure through perseverance, always continuing to push forward no matter what difficulties he encountered.

Specialty: Ob/Gyn

Future plans: I look forward to learning how to operate, deliver complicated pregnancies, run an outpatient clinic and be involved with medical education in residency. In the future, I see myself continuing to work in academic medicine as a clinician-educator and dedicating myself to building the yet-unestablished field of geriatric gynecology. I hope to make the principles of geriatrics known in the field of gynecology and establish guidelines for care for the growing population of vulnerable, frail, older women in America. In this way, I want to be a pioneer who champions good gynecological care for the elderly.

More About Stephanie: I discovered yoga during my first year of medical school. I do it multiple times a week, whether it is in a studio or in my apartment. In addition, I love writing and reading poetry, which is why I minored in English as an undergraduate. I’ve found that writing and expressing myself through poetry have been active ways to reflect on what I’ve seen in the hospital. I’ve written for Biomedical Odyssey for the past year and a half, and have enjoyed sharing my writing and reflections through blogging.

Stephanie matched at Montefiore Medical Center/Einstein for obstetrics-gynecology. 


anthony serritella

Anthony Serritella

I grew up in the Chicago area and am a career changer, having originally majored in economics at the University of Chicago. My undergraduate research focused on the economic methods of tackling public policy issues, such as crime. I decided to switch into a career in medicine a few years after college because of my mother's battle with breast cancer and leukemia. She passed away from breast cancer several years after I graduated undergrad. This had a major effect on me and my entire family, and led me to ultimately pursue a career in medicine.

Specialty: Internal medicine, potentially specializing in either oncology or cardiology in the future.

Future plans: Advocate for my patients, helping them preserve the memories they treasure.

More About Anthony: Currently working at a short-term position with NBC News Health at Rockefeller Center in New York City to gain exposure to health care broadcasting before residency.

Anthony matched at the University of Chicago Medical Center for internal medicine. 


joshua lupton

Joshua Lupton

I grew up in Forest Grove, Oregon, and graduated from Forest Grove High School before attending the University of Oregon. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Oregon, I traveled overseas to England as a Marshall Scholar to study for one year at Cambridge and another year at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, receiving a Master of Biological Sciences and Master of Public Health, respectively. Upon my return to the United States, I matriculated as a medical student at Johns Hopkins. I am proud to be the first in my family to become a doctor. I currently live with my wife, Katherine Lupton, in Baltimore, where she is a Spanish teacher in a Baltimore City public high school.

Specialty: Emergency medicine

More About Joshua: In May 2016, near the end of my third year of medical school, I suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest during a half-marathon. I collapsed just before the end of the race, and I would have died if not for the quick action of paramedics who started CPR within a minute and eventually defibrillated my heart back to a normal rhythm. After being brought to a nearby Emergency Department and stabilized, I was flown by helicopter to the cardiac ICU at Johns Hopkins, where I experienced life as a critically ill patient firsthand at the same institution where I am a medical student. The doctors had initially told my wife I might not survive and may have permanent brain damage — survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is less than 10 percent — but I woke up 12 hours later. I was discharged after five days, and I have made a full recovery, working again throughout the hospital and even in the cardiac ICU, where I was originally a patient. Katherine and I have also been able to start running again, and we wake up early to run around Baltimore before work every day. To be able to survive this experience and still be a physician is something I am extremely grateful for.

Joshua matched at Oregon Health & Science University for emergency medicine.


Learn more about the history of Match Day.