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Ready, Set, Match!
Friday, March 16, is the day! Fourth-year medical students at Johns Hopkins join students from all over the country in a time-honored tradition called Match Day. The annual event has been a highlight for physicians in training since 1952.
Students hold envelopes that will reveal their fate — will they match with their program of choice?
The mood in the Anne and Mike Armstrong Medical Education Building is decidedly festive, with faculty, students, family and friends anxiously awaiting the countdown. Three, two, one — and the envelopes are ripped open!
Meet seven of the medical students from this year’s class of expectant physicians in training and see where they matched.
Hometown: I have two: Montclair, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Specialty: I successfully defended my Ph.D. in neuroscience and plan to pursue a career in interventional radiology.
Why medicine? I have always been interested in science. In fifth grade, I studied electricity and built electrical circuits. That year, my 4-year-old sister had her first seizure. My powerlessness in helping her spurred me to learn about seizures and the brain.
More about Christine: I’d like to be remembered as a mentor, teacher and leader who helped others find their professional path and reach their goals, particularly underrepresented minorities and women. I participated in outreach and recruitment of underrepresented minority students for the M.D.-Ph.D. program — attending national undergraduate research meetings as an exhibitor and participating on panels to talk to undergraduates about the physician-scientist pathway. I also cofounded an interinstitutional student association dedicated to supporting women M.D.-Ph.D. students of color during their training and promoting diversity among physician scientists.
I‘ve also been studying Middle Eastern dance, or belly dance, for almost 11 years. I love this dance and the music because it’s expressive, elegant and fun! I’m fascinated with the diversity of music and dance styles, rich histories and continual evolution of the art form.
Christine matched to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and the UC San Diego Medical Center.
Hometown: Palermo, Italy
Why medicine? I first learned about patient advocacy and community service when I worked as an interpreter in a Palermo free clinic for undocumented immigrants while in high school. This is where I first encountered the complexity, depth of medical knowledge, communication skills and cultural sensitivity that went into caring for patients — and this is also where I learned I loved clinic work and when I decided I would become a doctor.
Best experience? The best experience has been learning to become a doctor in my molecule. The preclinical years were so special because I had an amazing molecule and molecule leader to learn from and work with every week. We learned about medicine and about each other.
Future plans: I am getting married in June to an aspiring neurosurgeon, who is originally from Kansas (with whom I am couples matching). I intend to become an academic psychiatrist and work on my photography and painting, among other things.
Sarah matched to Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Hometown: I was born in Aix-en-Provence, France, and moved to the California Bay Area, where I grew up.
Specialty: Obstetrics and Gynecology
Why medicine? A life-changing experience working as an HIV/AIDS counselor in a refugee camp in Ghana showed me that the health care needs of the poorest of the poor were so large.
Why Johns Hopkins? My decision to attend the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was obvious: Where else could I find leaders in clinical medicine, scientific discovery and public health practice all under one roof? In medical school, I continued to explore questions focused on underserved women through research with Jhpiego and mentors in the Gyn/Ob department and school of public health. On the wards, I was equally touched by the privilege of taking care of women from Baltimore who had been persistently excluded from care, and this solidified my decision to become an Ob/Gyn.
Timothee matched to Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Stephen M. Lesche
Hometown: Orlando, Florida.
Why medicine? My path to medicine was much different than most. I was a professional musician in my earlier life and toured throughout the U.S. with the Army in my 20s. Pursuing a different career was not something I had even considered until I was close to 30. Although there were a number of different career paths in my sights (engineering, economics, computer science), I eventually decided on medicine for two reasons: science and service.
More about Stephen: I’ve had a number of challenges along this path: being the first in my family to finish college, changing to a completely different career at the age of 30, and raising two wonderful children during medical school. This is certainly not the easiest pathway I could have imagined, but overcoming all these challenges through discipline and focus has made the rewards much sweeter. My girls are currently 6 and 3, and they are the loves of my life. I also have a sister who is 12 years younger than I am. She is more of my daughter than my sister, as I raised her when I was a teenager and, in the years since, have tried to be a role model and support for her.
Stephen matched to the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus at George Washington University.
Debanjan (DJ) Pain, Match Day Speaker
Hometown: Livingston, New Jersey
Specialty: Internal Medicine
Why Hopkins? I chose Johns Hopkins because I had a wonderful experience during my Second Look Weekend. I sensed that Hopkins developed a strong community through the colleges system. Furthermore, the patient population in Baltimore offered exposure to inner city challenges and health care disparities work.
More about DJ: I pursued public health and global health experiences during college that reinforced that poverty and lack of access to care contributed to poor health outcomes. Throughout medical school, I studied drivers of tuberculosis in Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I also worked in the favela’s primary care clinics and went on home visits to provide preventive care to the population. My mission moving forward is to utilize the educational resources I have been afforded to provide care to those most in need.
DJ matched to the B I Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard University.
Hometown: Mayfield, Ohio
Specialty: Orthopaedic surgery
Why Johns Hopkins? I saw it as an opportunity to challenge, grow and better myself and learn from some of the biggest names in medicine today. The diversity of experiences at Hopkins — from the cutting edge research and clinical trials to confronting the disparities that exist in our own community — was what attracted me to Hopkins and made learning here such a great experience.
Future plans: l have about a decade of obligated military service after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy and attending the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine on the military HPSP scholarship. I’ll be doing a residency in orthopaedic surgery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (we military matched in December). After that I’ll remain in the Navy for at least nine years as an orthopaedic surgeon.
More about Jordan: My big hobby is running. My claim to fame is winning the 2017 Baltimore marathon. I also had the opportunity to run the Chicago and New York City marathons last year too — I came in 25th in the NYC marathon. I try to run two to four marathons a year for fun.
Jordan matched to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Hometown: Arcadia, California
Why Hopkins? I was looking for a medical school with a wealth of opportunities in research as well as a diverse patient population, and Hopkins and Baltimore provided me with invaluable learning experiences. More than anything, the Johns Hopkins community is important to me. I'm very lucky to have amazing mentors who cared about both my professional and personal development. I’ve also made some of my best friends for life while attending Hopkins. For example, during my research year, whenever I finished a full week’s worth of work, I’d always look forward to spending time with my friends, whether it was checking out happy hours at local Baltimore restaurants, hiking at Patapsco Valley State Park or just catching up over coffee.
More about Adela: I’m the first in my family and among my relatives who immigrated to America to attend medical school. Growing up, I did not know of any surgeons or neurosurgeons, much less women working in neurosurgery. My goal is to make a mark on the field of neurosurgery through compassionate care and innovative research.
Another thing on my bucket list is to publish a novel. My favorite activity as a little girl, bar none, was going to my local public library. Even now, I love all aspects of being creative, and most recently I blogged for Hopkins’ student blog Biomedical Odyssey.
Adela matched to Stanford University.