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Dome - A match made in heaven

April 2012

A match made in heaven

Date: April 11, 2012

For two Hopkins medical school students, the suspense of Match Day took on added meaning.

Hopkins students Karan and Amanda Kumar had their wish come true in learning where they’ll do their residency training.
Hopkins students Karan and Amanda Kumar had their wish come true in learning where they’ll do their residency training.

Match Day holds the key to the future careers of fourth-year medical students. With so much at stake, it’s natural that they’re nervous and, at the same time, excited to learn where they have been accepted for their residency. Getting a sought-after match seemed to have even greater importance for Hopkins students Karan and Amanda Kumar: They’re going into different specialties and they’re married.

The couple met in their first year of medical school. Karan, whose parents are from India, was born in Kenya. At age 8, his family moved to Toronto. Amanda, who is of Chinese heritage, grew up in Ohio. Her parents emigrated to the United States after escaping from Cambodia in 1979 as war refugees of the Khmer Rouge. 

When they arrived at Hopkins, it seemed that Karan and Amanda were meant to be together. They lived on the same floor of Reed Hall and developed a strong friendship. “As children of immigrants, Karan and I quickly realized that we were raised with similar cultural values and beliefs, including respect for family, self-sufficiency and a commitment to community,” says Amanda. “I think this close bond served as a catalyst for our relationship, which continued to grow throughout our time at Johns Hopkins.”

At the beginning of their fourth year of medical school, they got married.

For married couples, there’s a special process that links their applications so that they can be in the same city if not at the same hospital. In a favorable turn of fortune, Karan’s and Amanda’s  hope to be paired in the same city came true. Karan, whose chosen career path is pediatrics, matched at Stanford-affiliated Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. Amanda will have an anesthesiology residency at Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

Of the 110 Hopkins students participating in the match, 36 will train at hospitals that are part of  Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Some of the top specialties of interest to Hopkins students this year are pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine, ophthalmology and general surgery.

“Match Day is such a big moment in our career and our future lives together,” says Amanda.

Karan calls it a bittersweet moment. “We have made lifelong friends here and while we are nostalgic about closing this chapter of our lives, we’re
really looking forward to the new adventures ahead,” he adds.

—Ellen Beth Levitt

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