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Match Day brings joy, excitement as medical students learn their residency placements

Some of Christian Siebenaler’s earliest memories were of his father, a Toledo-area physician, going off to help people.

“It sounds cliché, but since I was 5 years old seeing him go to work every day in his white coat, I knew I wanted to be a doctor,” Siebenaler said.

Kevin Litzenberg showed his match to Ohio State University Medical Center to his fiancee, Shireen Desai, as his brother, Joshua, watched Friday during the Match Day ceremony. Litzenberg will specialize in internal medicine.

He got his own white coat four years ago when he entered The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences. Now, as he prepares to graduate with his medical degree, he knows he’ll begin practicing right where he wanted.

Siebenaler, who is specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, was one of 20 UToledo students who paired with the University’s residency program at this year’s Match Day event.

The annual celebration is a seminal event for next-generation physicians. At exactly noon, an eager swarm of fourth-year medical students received envelopes that revealed where they will spend the next three to seven years in residency as they train in their chosen specialties.

“The faculty and staff really look forward to Match Day,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “It is an opportunity to see how much the students have grown intellectually and professionally over their four years of intensive training, and where that training will lead them next. Some will stay at UT for their residencies, which is an absolute delight. Others will train in Ohio or elsewhere across the country. For all of our students, we always hope the very best.”

A total of 165 UToledo medical students matched this year. Notably, there was a 33 percent increase in the number of students who matched with UToledo over last year.

Mariah Truscinski was one of them.

Truscinski, who grew up just a couple of miles from Health Science Campus and completed her undergraduate degree at UToledo, matched in emergency medicine. Already involved in community volunteer work, she was thrilled to open her envelope and see she matched with UToledo.

Archit Sahai, left, and Samuel Ivan showed off their letters during the March 15 Match Day ceremony. Sahai matched in pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hopsital, and Ivan matched in urology at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C.

“It was a pretty amazing feeling. It was a little overwhelming, and there were a lot of thoughts about what the future holds, also just pure excitement. I couldn’t be happier,” she said. “I just feel like I’m really connected to this area and wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”

In all, UToledo’s fourth-year medical students matched in 23 specialties at institutions in 28 states. Forty-four percent of UToledo’s students matched in primary care specialties.

Archit Sahai, who was born in central India, moved with his parents to Cincinnati when he was 3, and became a U.S. citizen in September, matched with the University of Cincinnati in pediatrics.

“There’s a lot of emotions,” he said of Match Day. “You’re anxious, you’re excited, scared a little bit. I probably can’t put words to describe it. As soon as I saw the letters, that’s just pure joy.”

Sahai, whose father is a neurologist at UC, had high praise for both Toledo and the College of Medicine, saying he’d like to return here eventually.

“I’ve never met a more collaborative group of people, whether it’s my classmates or the faculty,” he said. “Everyone genuinely wants everyone to do well here. It’s been an incredible four years. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Among the other institutions where UToledo students will do their residency work were the Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General, the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Clinic. Ohio was the most popular state, followed by Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Indiana and New York.

Watch the Match Day video.