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Couple looks to continue medical training together after ETSU Match Day

Brandon Paykamian • Mar 15, 2019 at 9:00 PM

Every year, students graduating from the East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine look forward to Match Day, when they’ll find out where they will begin their residency training programs.

It’s a day that will shape their entire future — where they will continue their medical careers, where they will live and, for some, where they’ll raise a family.

Hoping for one’s ideal training program can be nerve-racking enough, but for couples like Sara McHenry and Kristina Mouksian, it isn’t just about getting their first choice. It’s about going there together.

“We would love to be at Loyola University in Chicago, but we also really liked Minneapolis, Little Rock and Memphis. Honestly, I would just be happy if we wind up together,” McHenry said ahead of opening her envelope. “It’s a lot of anxiety.”

After the couple nervously opened their envelopes revealing their placements, along with others from the Quillen Class of 2019, they found out they did not get matched with Loyola.

But they did end up being placed in the same residency program: the University of Memphis.

“That’s all that matters,” McHenry said.

Dr. William Block, dean of the college, said students discovered whether they had a residency position on Monday, saying about 95 percent of students were placed in residency programs.

Students found out exactly where they would be placed at Friday’s Match Day event.

“It’s always an exciting day to see where they are going to do their next step in their journey,” he said. “Today is the exciting part of determining where that match is.”

But Quillen faculty members had mixed emotions on Friday.

As students were getting set to take the next step of their medical careers, Block reflected on the loss of Dr. Manisha Nukavarapu, a second-year internal medicine resident and one of the 157 people killed in a plane crash in Ethiopia on Sunday.

“When we’re training our residents, we spend a lot of time together ... a lot of time to get to know those people,” he said. “We’re providing as much support as we can for fellow residents, for faculty, for all the staff that worked with her.”

Friday’s Match Day event was part of the National Resident Matching Program, which encourages graduating medical students across the country to open their envelopes at the same time.

The Quillen Class of 2019 will begin their residency programs on July 1 at institutions including ETSU, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Emory University, Harvard, Loyola, Mayo Clinics, University of Alabama, University of North Carolina, University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Yale.

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