The UK College of Medicine celebrated its largest group of matching students and its highest percentage of students matching into Kentucky residency programs.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is proud to recognize its fourth-year students who learned their pivotal next step in training – residency – during Friday’s Match Day celebrations.

The Class of 2023 was the college’s largest group to match with celebrations across Kentucky in Lexington, Morehead, Bowling Green, and for the first time, Northern Kentucky. The UK College of Medicine-Northern Kentucky Campus welcomed its fourth class last summer and will graduate its inaugural class this spring.

On Match Day at Noon ET, students across the country simultaneously open letters from the National Resident Matching Program. Each letter contains the location and specialty of the residency program where the student will spend their first years as official doctors.

Sonia Bhati, a fourth-year Northern Kentucky Campus student who is from Cincinnati, said she had been “dreaming of Match Day for many years.” The event exceeded her expectations when she learned she will remain close to Northern Kentucky at her top choice, the University of Cincinnati’s neurology residency program.

“I initially wanted to become a neurologist because of the resiliency that I’ve seen in patients I’ve helped care for as a medical student,” Bhati said “I’m really excited for the difference I can make for people.”

UK College of Medicine students celebrated Match Day with their classmates and families at Kroger Field in Lexington, Houchens Industries L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green, the Center for Health Education and Research in Morehead, and at Newport Aquarium in Northern Kentucky.

The expansion of the UK College of Medicine’s Match Day celebrations and its reach in the Commonwealth is a reflection of the college’s strong and successful partnerships with community organizations. The UK College of Medicine collaborated with well-regarded health care systems (St. Claire HealthCare, Med Center Health, and St. Elizabeth Healthcare) and academic institutions (Morehead State University, Western Kentucky University, and Northern Kentucky University) to develop its regional campuses in Bowling Green and Northern Kentucky, along with the Rural Physician Leadership Program in Morehead.

“The success we enjoyed this year on Match Day wouldn’t be possible without teamwork,” said Charles Griffith, MD, MSPH, acting dean of the UK College of Medicine. “It was thanks to our faculty and staff who supported this class through four years of training. It was because of our community partners who are integral to our regional campuses and programs. And of course, it was because of our students who took this journey with us, and the families who supported them along the way.”

Within the Class of 2023, 78 students – 42% of the UK College of Medicine’s largest group of matching students – will pursue a residency program in Kentucky, the highest percentage in school history and more than twice as many students per year prior to regional campus expansion. Meanwhile, 32% of the Class of 2023 matched at UK. Top specialties among the matches included internal medicine, surgical specialties, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and anesthesiology.

In addition, eight students matched at Med Center Health in Bowling Green (internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and surgery), one student matched into family medicine in Morehead, and five students matched into family medicine at St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

“Our partnerships have helped us actualize our vision of training physicians in Kentucky for Kentucky. Our community partners are directly supporting the state’s future workforce by matching our students into their programs,” said Stephanie White, MD, MS, senior associate dean for medical student education. “These results show the power of a collective vision, and we are so appreciative of their continued sponsorship.”

Kenny Spear, a fourth-year student at the Northern Kentucky Campus, was excited to be one of the five who matched at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, which was his top choice for residency.

“I feel very well prepared to go into residency based off of the experiences I had during my clinical years at St. Elizabeth as a medical student,” Spear said. “I’m excited to keep working with St. Elizabeth’s supportive physicians in residency.”

The UK College of Medicine’s match results are an accomplishment that staff and faculty across the College of Medicine should be proud of. We thank you for your continued engagement in our educational programs and look forward to continued success as we welcome future students and grow into the new Health Education Building in Lexington.