Ready for Residency

Match Day: How students landed their first- and second-choice residency slots

Five tips from DO students who matched in programs at the top of their rank lists.


It’s a Match! Last week, DO students who participated in the NRMP Match learned where they would be completing residency training, while AOA Matchees received their placements last month.

On Friday, The DO attended a Match Day party in Chicago for students from Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and spoke with students who participated in both matches.

The DO asked students who matched into their top-choice programs what they believed helped them match successfully. Here’s what they said:

1. Write a letter of intent

Michael Reilly, OMS IV, matched into his first-choice program: emergency medicine at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey.

“I would audition at different programs small, big, city versus community, they get to know you, and you get to see what their program is like,” Reilly said. “I emailed the program director just one time, saying thank you, this is my number one.”

2. Seek out a natural connection

Swarn Arya, OMS IV, matched into her second-choice program: internal medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

“All three of the interviews I had, they just felt very personal,” Arya said. “The conversation flowed easily, our interests really overlapped. They probably felt what I felt, which is that I’m on a great first date, this is going great and I want to see you again.”

3. Focus on programs you’re really interested in

Jennifer Olson, OMS IV, matched into her first-choice program: neurology at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.

“The program director and I want to do the same things with neurology,” Olson said. “Interview where you are actually interested in going. The University of Cincinnati is where I just felt the most comfortable, so I ranked it really highly because I could see myself being comfortable learning there.”

4. Look for a good fit 

Christopher Komisarz, OMS IV, matched into his first-choice program: family medicine at Community Health Care in Tacoma, Washington. 

“I fit in well with the residents; I fit in well with the attendings,” Komisarz said. “I think what was most important to me was that I also fit in well with the community. I think I was able to be myself out there and that was the absolute most important part.”

5. Be honest with yourself and the program director

Allison Berryhill, OMS IV, matched into her first-choice program: pediatrics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. 

“I felt like I could be really candid at my interview, especially with the program director, I felt like I could be open and honest with her,” Berryhill said. “And I feel like that’s where we really connected, we were able to have a very honest conversation and it felt really natural, that ultimately sealed the deal for us. If you can be open and honest with yourself, I think you’ll be successful.”

More Match and residency stories:

Making the post-match move: 5 tips to ensure a smooth relocation

5 ways to avoid failing to match

8 pro tips for incoming residents

You’ve matched—congrats! Here’s how to prepare for your residency or internship

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