Long School of Medicine’s class of ‘24 celebrates Match Day


On a cloudy backdrop of an early spring day in San Antonio, fluctuating between comfortably cool and a-bit-too warm — a day of transition — more than 200 senior students from the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine announced to their families, fellow students and mentors about the next stage of their career in medicine.

Match Day, held this year on March 15 at the Chicken N Pickle restaurant, is the day medical students learn where they will go for their residency after graduation.

This year’s ceremony, while celebratory, held extra space for reflection and grief after the unexpected passing of UT Health San Antonio president, William Henrich, MD, MACP, who died the day before.

“Dr. Henrich was a leader, a mentor, a friend, an exceptional physician and teacher, and he was really the best of all of us. We know that Dr. Henrich is here today with us in spirit as he was so many times over the years in body and heart,” said Deb Conway, MD, vice dean for undergraduate medical education, before leading a moment of silence.

22% of students will remain in San Antonio, and 60% will stay in Texas.

The future of Texas physicians

The class of 2024 saw a 99% overall match rate to residency programs of their choice. San Antonio will keep 22% of those matched graduates, who matched to local programs, bolstering the health care workforce in Bexar County and the region.

Senior medical student Erica Santos announces that she’s staying at UT Health San Antonio for her internal medicine residency. “I look forward to serving the San Antonio community, which is near and dear to my heart,” Santos said.

Of the matched students, 60% matched to Texas programs, helping to meet the state’s critical need for quality physicians, and 40% matched to primary care specialties including internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine. After primary care, other top specialties included psychiatry and anesthesiology.

Words of wisdom

In his remarks to the crowd, Robert Hromas, MD, dean of the Long School of Medicine, urged students to never stop learning.

“This is not the end, but merely the beginning for you. Medical science saves lives, and in the 40 of 50 years of your career, you’re going to see advances that astound you. Never stop learning, because the minute you stop learning, you stop growing.”

He also advised to expect the unexpected and expect disappoint. “You are going to lose patients because that’s the nature of life,” he said. “Celebrate the births, celebrate the victories, make memories, because they help you get through the hard times. Don’t let disappointment stop you.”

To get through the hard times, Hromas emphasized the importance of the support of colleagues and loved ones and working as a team.

Medical student Ashley Mai (right), hugs a loved one after being matched to family medicine at the University of Colorado, along with her fiancé, who she met in her first year at UT Health San Antonio.

“Medicine is football, not golf. You are part of a team,” he said. “And the single most important member on that team is sitting here today with you. It’s your family. You must have your family, they’re the center, they hike the ball. Caring for your family is the same as caring for your patient.”

In his final point of imparted wisdom, Hromas spoke of the importance of mentorship.

“We all stand on the shoulders of someone who taught us. Each of you is here because some faculty said I believe in you. They taught you not only their knowledge, but their values and how they care for patients,” he said. “For me, that mentor was Bill Henrich. He believed I could be a dean when no one else did. I stand on his shoulders, just like all of you stand on someone’s shoulders. Never get so big or so smart or so wealthy that you forget that you are there as a gift from someone else.”

With that, the matching commenced, and the class of 2024 began the next step of their journey in medicine.

The Long School of Medicine congratulates its newly matched senior students!

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