School of Medicine celebrates Match Day

69 UC Riverside medical students were matched for a residency program, with 39% staying in the Inland Empire

March 18, 2022
Author: Iqbal Pittalwala
March 18, 2022

Sixty-nine students in UCR School of Medicine's Class of 2022 matched for residency programs today at a Match Day ceremony held on campus.

At precisely 9 a.m., the students nervously opened envelopes that informed them of where they would spend the next three-to-seven years of their professional lives. Cries of joy then filled the room, with several students overcome with emotion and their families and friends cheering in celebration. 

Dr. Deborah Deas, vice chancellor of health sciences and the Mark and Pam Rubin Dean of the UCR School of Medicine, congratulated the students and welcomed them and their families to Match Day, the day graduating medical students across the country learn if they have matched for a residency program at a hospital or health system of their choosing. 

“This journey was not always easy,” Deas said, addressing the students. “There were bumps along the way. Sometimes there were disappointments. One of the greatest tests was the pandemic. It required not only a lot from us as faculty and staff, but also from you. You persevered, you were resilient, and you were determined. Going forward, I know you will take all you have learned in the pandemic into your residency training programs. It will make you better persons and better physicians.”

(UCR School of Medicine/Ross French)

Of the 69 UCR students who matched for residencies today, 39% will stay in the Inland Empire; 77% chose primary care and shortage areas; and 41% will remain in Southern California, outside the Inland Empire.

“We expect you to come back every now and then, graduate from whatever residency you have chosen, and perhaps return to be a part of the faculty at the School of Medicine and serve in the Inland Empire,” Deas said.

That message resonated with Matt Jason Llamos, 26, who matched at UCLA for residency in psychiatry, his second choice. 

“I feel so relieved, so blessed,” he said, his voice breaking with emotion. “I feel so grateful. It has been a dream come true ever since I was a little kid. I see myself coming back to this region to help the underserved. I am interested also in academic medicine and want to teach the next generation of medical students and residents.”

Likewise, Arpita Gupta, 26, is interested in working eventually in an underserved community. She matched for emergency medicine at Kaiser San Diego, her first choice.

“I am so grateful for my match and excited for what’s next,” she said. “I don’t even remember what my second and third choices were! I want to stay in Southern California and have my heart set on serving the underserved population.”

One by one, all the students announced to the room their matches and pinned their match locations on a large map of the country. The event, the sixth in UCR’s history, closed with a toast. A handful of students in the Class of 2022 participated remotely.

Traditionally, graduating medical students open their envelopes at the same time at all Match Day events in the country. The event marks the culmination of four demanding years of medical school.