Match Day 2023: Student Spotlights
Students from the inaugural class of the Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine at Texas Christian University share their match stories.
FORT WORTH – For medical students across the nation, the weeks leading up to Match Day can be an anxious and stressful time.
As members of the inaugural class of the Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine at Texas Christian University, the soon-to-be graduating MD students had an additional weight on their shoulders, becoming the standard bearers for generations to come.
On Match Day, 100 percent of the graduating class of the Burnett School of Medicine at TCU, known as Dorman Scholars, matched into medical residency programs throughout the United States. All students matched into recognized programs, including Mayo Clinic, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Penn State and Tufts, to name a few.
The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) announces residency match results to all medical students in the United States at the same time on the third Friday in March. This year marked the largest Match in history with a record number of applicants who certified a rank order list, according to NRMP.
Interactive Residency Match Map
The following Burnett School of Medicine students not only matched, they also matched at their No. 1 ranked residency program. Here are their stories:
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Program: Internal Medicine at Stanford Health Care
Initially, Briana Collins wasn’t sure she should apply to Stanford for an away rotation.
“I was my biggest enemy,” Collins said of the time she doubted herself. “What really hindered me in the beginning was that I didn’t want to apply for the Stanford away (rotation) because I didn’t think that I would qualify.”
She credits Burnett School of Medicine faculty members such as Rohan Jeyarajah, M.D., Chair of Surgery, and James Furgerson, M.D., for encouraging her to apply.
Not only did Briana get accepted and do well at the Stanford away rotation, but the experience also led to her getting her No. 1 residency program match in internal medicine at Stanford Health Care.
Her mother, Faye Collins, said Briana has always been a fighter. “She was born a preemie,” Faye said on Match Day. “She’s smart, perseveres, has patience and she’s a hard worker.”
Briana says the early exposure to patients during her Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) helped her stand out above other applicants.
“From Day 1, I was in the clinic. I was at Stop Six Clinic at JPS with Dr. Reena Matthews,” she said. “Every week, I was seeing patients, taking interviews and presenting to her, and really getting into the habit of putting things together and coming up with an assessment and plan.”
Her parents, James and Faye Collins, have inspired Briana throughout her medical journey. Her brother, James Collins II, threw the custom-made football that revealed Briana’s residency match.
When her Stanford match was revealed, her father jumped up and down with a poster-sized photo of Briana with the words: “I matched at Stanford.” Her brother took off his outer layer to unveil a Stanford sweatshirt.
Her family seemed certain that Briana would get her No. 1 choice even though Briana’s exuberance and surprised reaction suggested that she may have had her doubts.
At Stanford, Briana will be joining graduating medical students from Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins and University of Chicago, to name just a few.
Her advice to other medical students: “If you have a big dream, go for that. As long as you believe in yourself, you can do it. Take that leap of faith. Do something that scares you because you can do it.”
Hometown: El Paso, Texas
Program: Internal Medicine at University of California San Diego Medical Center
For Edmundo Esparza, Match Day was the culmination of a long and challenging medical journey.
Before medical school began, his father passed away leaving his mother, Maria, to care for him and his seven older siblings alone. Edmundo worked multiple jobs to try to save up money for medical school and make the move from El Paso to Fort Worth.
Maria Esparza said Edmundo “has been very calm in his studies. He’s dedicated in making this his career and keeps moving forward.”
On Match Day, Edmundo’s mother and older brother, Henry Tocora, were at Amon G. Carter Stadium to witness him get his No. 1 residency choice in internal medicine at University of California San Diego Medical Center.
“I am excited to start my residency training because I’ve found my passion in life, which is internal medicine,” Edmundo said. “I love working with patients and underserved populations and I want to have that power as a full attending in the future to finally be able to do that. The only way to do that is through residency.”
The moment the family found out Edmundo’s match “was very emotional to me,” Maria said. “It’s very beautiful because he’s going to a place he wanted to go.”
Throughout medical school, Edmundo has led several community initiatives including registering residents for COVID-19 vaccinations in the mostly Hispanic communities of North Side and Diamond Hill. He was also a student leader at the TCU-Baylor Drive-Through Vaccination Clinic, where nearly 19,000 vaccines were administered to Tarrant County residents during a span of just 12 weeks.
Edmundo pioneered the Back-to-School Supplies Drive for underserved Fort Worth communities in which more than 4,500 school supplies were distributed. As a leader in the Latino Medical Student Association, he helped design a course in Spanish that was added to the curriculum as an official elective.
“It’s been a long journey to get to here,” Edmundo said on Match Day. “There’s moments when you think you want to give up, but it’s all worth it in the end.”
Hometown: San Clemente, California
Program: Interventional Radiology at University of California Los Angeles Medical Center
Jonas Kruse was one of three students selected in the nation to be matched in the interventional radiology residency program at University of California Los Angeles Medical Center.
On Match Day, Jonas with his wife, Anabel, by his side had a two-word reaction to achieving his No. 1 choice: “Let’s go!”
Early on, Jonas stood out as a leader at the Burnett School of Medicine. He was selected by the senior leadership to be one of six students who participated in TCU Magazine’s four-year-long narrative project. He was also chosen by his peers to give the class remarks at the White Coat Celebration in 2019, and he’s been a Burnett Brand Ambassador throughout all four years of medical school.
Jonas said the medical school’s curriculum, specifically the patient communication training and four years of LIC, along with his away rotations helped him achieve his No. 1 match.
“I was on an away rotation and I was asked to hold the pager, which is something that is typically done by a resident,” Jonas said. “The next day, the attending physician came up and said, ‘I don’t think we’ve ever had a student just take the pager and handle it.’ They were impressed with that.”
Jonas said he also appreciated the medical school’s emphasis on patient communication: “Those initial awkward moments get ironed out a lot earlier than our third year when most medical students are in a clinical setting…there’s also a lot of challenging, sensitive conversations that we’ve had practice having.”
Jonas said his away rotations were the most exciting time of his medical school experience: “This is where all the preparation and the studying and the hours comes together.”
He participated in away programs at UCLA and at the Mount Sinai Hospital at Icahn School of Medicine. During his last month of away rotation in interventional radiology at UCLA, Jonas said he felt comfortable talking to attendings and working with the residents.
“By the time I walked in there, I had four months of interventional radiology and I’d been mentored by preceptors for three straight years when it came to medicine,” he said. “Then, I also put in my work with everybody. First in, last out. All that together really helped me thrive.”
Hometown: Keller, Texas
Program: Emergency Medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell
In 2019, Amanda Mallory stood beside her son Brandon as he put on his white coat for the first time. She tearily explained that Brandon wanted to be a doctor ever since he was in elementary school.
On Match Day, Brandon was the one in tears when he found out that he would be heading to New York City and his No. 1 choice of residency program.
Fittingly, Brandon’s mom was the one to deliver the news in the form of a football – he matched in emergency medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell.
“My mom has been with me obviously my entire life – a lot of times it was just me and her. We’ve been through a lot together,” Brandon said fighting back tears. “There’s no person I would rather have here. She’s my No. 1 inspiration for everything.”
Brandon said that the Empathetic Scholar® curriculum attracted him to the medical school.
“Patients have told me multiple times: ‘You are the first doctor that really listened to me,’ ” he said. Being empathetic and compassionate “is so important and this school has taught me that.”
Brandon knew from the start of medical school that he wanted to specialize in emergency medicine thanks to his experience as a scribe for Terence McCarthy, M.D., the John M. Geesbreght M.D., M.S., FACEP, Chair of Emergency Medicine at Burnett School of Medicine.
Brandon wrote a letter of gratitude to Dr. McCarthy in which he said: “You have always exemplified what it means to be a kind and patient physician. You take the time to hear patients out and work with them through their toughest times. You really showed me what it meant be an empathetic physician before I became an Empathetic Scholar®.”
“Brandon is really living up to his potential at this medical school,” Dr. McCarthy said after reading Brandon’s letter. “He’s one of those students who really dives in wholeheartedly.”
Brandon is looking forward to starting the next chapter of his medical journey, meeting new residents and building new relationships.
“I just want to be able to help so many people,” he said. “I want to continue to learn and be the best doctor I can be.”