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Class of 2024 sets GOLD standard for Match Day

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Four years ago, the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Class of 2024 began their medical school journey during a global pandemic that delayed their white coat ceremony for a year.  Today, with no delays and a lovely sunny day, the senior medical students, friends, family and faculty gathered at Ulele, a popular restaurant on the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa, for Match Day 2024 to learn where they will spend their residency years. 

Match Day at MCOM is a one-of-a-kind experience. Every event takes on a different theme chosen by members of the graduating class.  This year’s theme is “Going for Gold,” a perfect theme for the class and for the college.  

This year marks the 50th anniversary of MCOM and their dedication to academic excellence, patient care, and world-changing research. Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM, executive vice president of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, acknowledged the presence of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, who continues to be a proud supporter of MCOM.

dr lockwood and kathy castor

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor with Rocky D. Bull and Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM, USF Health executive vice president and dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

"Congresswoman Castor has been the biggest supporter of graduate medical education in congress.  That's not just me saying that.  That's the AMA and the AAMC saying it," he said about Rep. Castor. 

Following his remarks, Kira Zwygart, MD, associate dean of the MCOM Office of Student Affairs, called students individually to center stage and handed them the envelope they’ve waited four years to receive.  Every student was met with a thunderous roar of cheers as they revealed where they will spend their residency years.  Infectious smiles and tears of joy were the most common reactions from the students as they learned their four years of hard work paid off and they’ve earned a residency position.  

For four years, students worked tirelessly to be first place in everything they do.  However, during Match Day, it pays to be last.  Traditionally, as students are called to reveal their matches, they donate at least one dollar to a pot.  With the end of the event looming and the amount of money in the pot growing, anticipation grows within the students who haven’t been called. The last student called to the stage gets the pot of money.  This year’s lucky winner was George Padilla, who earned a psychiatry residency at Harvard South Shore.

The match process is handled through the National Resident Matching Program.  Students apply and interview for residencies with institutions across the country, then rank their preferences.  Match Day, held simultaneously at all medical schools across the country, is when students learn which residency programs chose them and where they will train for the next three to seven years.

MCOM senior medical students accounted for 180 of the 38,941 residency positions filled nationally. More information about national match numbers can be found here at

MCOM Match Day by the numbers: 

- 180 students matched

- 31 matched to USF Health

- 6 matched to Lehigh Valley Health Network

- 2 matched through the military

- 33% will train in Florida

- 39% entering primary care

For more full details of this year's Match visit here...

The medical school journey for the class of 2024 will come to an end at their graduation ceremony May 9 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

More photos from Match Day 2024













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About Health News

USF Health News highlights the great work of the faculty, staff and students across the four health colleges – Morsani College of Medicine, College of Public Health, College of Nursing and Taneja College of Pharmacy – and the multispecialty physicians group. USF Health, an integral part of the University of South Florida, integrates research, education and health care to reach our shared value - making life better.