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LSU Health & Tulane held in-person Match Day ceremonies; medical students learned where they will do their residency

Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 7:16 PM CDT
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The medical schools of LSU Health New Orleans and Tulane University held i- person Match Day...
The medical schools of LSU Health New Orleans and Tulane University held i- person Match Day ceremonies for the first time in years due to the pandemic.(Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - More doctors and nurses are needed in the U.S. and LSU and Tulane graduating medical students found out where they will their residency and this year’s match day ceremonies were extra special because they were in person.

Wil Perkins performed a toast for his fellow medical students after delivering an address during the ceremony for LSU Health’s School of Medicine.

“Here’s to us class of 2022 my dear friends and here’s to betting on yourselves. Cheers,” said Perkins.

Perkins said it was a day filled with emotions.

“I matched into anesthesiology,” said Perkins.

Across town, graduating Tulane medical school students were also toasted. They too now know which medical institutions have accepted them into their residency programs.

Russell Ledet’s excitement was palpable.

“I’m headed to Indiana University’s triple board program where I’ll be a pediatrician-adult psychiatrist and child and adolescent psychiatrist,” said Ledet.

Ledet, 35, a native of Lake Charles was one of 15 black Tulane medical students who made national headlines when they stood on Whitney Plantation. He said there is a message in their photo.

“That black people in America have come a very long way and we’ve got a very long way to go but we’re here and we’re present. We’re going to be in the hospitals, we’re going to be in the clinics, we’re going to be in the community and we’re going to make a difference.”

“That black people in America have come a very long way and we’ve got a very long way to go but we’re here and 10:38:26 " we’re present. We’re going to be in the hospitals, we’re going to be in the clinics, we’re going to be in the community and we’re going to make a difference.”

It was the first in-person Match Day in two years for the two medical schools.

Dr. Richard DiCarlo is interim dean at LSU Health New Orleans’ School of Medicine.

“The first time we’ve had the match ceremony in person in two years and this is a high point of medical school for these students, they’ve been anticipating this for years,” said DiCarlo.

He said nearly 200 LSU students were matched.

“There are about 180 students in the match this year and, of those students, we are thrilled that about 50% are staying here in Louisiana and, of those, 90% are training in our program,” said DiCarlo.

Tulane had a similar number.

Dr. Elma LeDoux is Assoc. Dean for Student Affairs at Tulane’s School of Medicine.

“We had 185 students who matched to multiple programs all over the United States,” said LeDoux. “Most of our students come from outside Louisiana, however, we do have 31 students who are staying in-state for either all or a part of their training.”

For the students, perseverance was a must. The COVID-19 pandemic made an already challenging curriculum more so.

“COVID-19 really changed the way we were taught medicine when we, everything shifted to virtual, we had to kind of, it changed how we did our clinical rotations,” said Perkins.

Ledet said having his family and friends helped him get through medical school.

“As a United States Navy veteran, I’ve deployed and I know how hard that is, this might have been just as hard and it’s taken everything in me, it’s also taken my family to be by my side,” said Ledet.

And while it was already known the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for more healthcare professionals. Primary care physicians are especially needed.

“Our students are going into all specialties, a lot into primary care,” said DiCarlo. “All of their clinical training in the hospitals was during the pandemic and that’s a real testament to their resilience as well.”

LeDoux agrees.

“It’s been an incredible two years, of course, not just here but all over the country, but these students have persevered, and I think as much difficulty as they had during their training during the pandemic it has really steeled them for whatever they will face in the future.”

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