Washington University MD/PhD student Radhika Jagannathan approached the front of the auditorium hand in hand with her boyfriend to learn where she had matched for her residency training.
Too nervous to open the envelope containing news of where she would spend the next stage of her medical career, Jagannathan introduced her boyfriend, Tom Wilson, handed him the envelope and said he would read the news for her.
Her reaction was joyful. She had gotten one of her top choices on Match Day – a neurology residency at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
The couple hugged, and as the two stepped away from the microphone, Wilson gave her another big surprise. He dropped to one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?”
Jagannathan gasped and covered her mouth as the audience erupted in cheers and gave the couple a standing ovation. She nodded and embraced her new fiancé. (Watch the video)
After the ceremony Friday, March 21, at the Eric P. Newman Education Center, Jagannathan said Wilson’s proposal was “a long time coming.” The two have been a couple for 12 years, having met as undergraduates at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They have dated long distance as she has matriculated through Washington University’s MD/PhD program and he has worked in California.
Jagannathan’s double dose of good news added to the excitement of Match Day, when 115 other medical students discovered where they will go for training after they receive their medical degrees in May.
Of the School of Medicine students who participated in the match process, 28 will train at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and two at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Those placements, when announced, elicited some of the loudest cheers.
The largest group of students — 31 — will train in internal medicine, followed by nine each in pediatrics and general surgery, eight in emergency medicine and seven each in anesthesiology and pathology.
The students matched in hospitals all over the country, but one student, Heidi Fjeldstad, will go to her home country of Norway to train in obstetrics and gynecology.
Miriam Nojan, who attended the University of California, Irvine, as an undergrad, sounded as if she might cry when she read that she’d be returning to her alma mater’s medical center for internal medicine. It’s a familiar place, near family and close friends.
Some students in this year’s graduating class decided not to participate in the match process to pursue research interests, such as MSTP student Jonathan Power, who will join the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md., as a postdoctoral fellow.
View photos from Match Day 2014 in our online gallery.