Three medical students hold their envelopes on Match Day.
Medical students learn where they'll spend the next three to five years of residency training.

Fourth-year medical students now begin the process of planning where they will live and other logistics associated with a move to a new place. Most of the nearly 150 Class of 2019 students recently learned where they’ll complete the next three to seven years of residency training.

Each year, medical students throughout the United States receive their written match notices precisely at noon on the third Friday of March – Match Day. UofL medical students experienced a 97-percent match rate, with 42 percent going into primary care.

The National Resident Matching Program provides a uniform process for matching medical school applicants with residency programs based on the preferences of both. A matching algorithm uses those preferences to match individuals into positions.

Ethan Tomlinson already knew what was in his envelope because of a separate military match program, but he was excited to join his classmates in the Match Day celebration on Friday.

“The true beauty of my medical school experience is the friendships; those relationships and memories are what made the tough times better and the journey worthwhile,” he said.

Ethan Tomlinson and Ian Bastian
Ethan Tomlinson and Ian Bastian

Tomlinson, who also earned two undergraduate degrees at UofL, will continue his medical training in Internal Medicine as a captain in the U.S. Air Force at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

A native of Louisville, Tomlinson has a family history of military service, including his grandfather who served in the Marines and an uncle who was a fighter pilot in the Air Force.

Although Tomlinson had no military experience prior to medical school, he was accepted into the Health Professions Scholarship Program, where students agree to serve as a military physician in exchange for a full tuition scholarship and monthly stipend. He then joined the Air Force, and went on to complete Commissioned Officer Training and a course in Aerospace Medicine.

Ian Bastian of Madisonville, Kentucky, also completed medical school through the Health Professions Scholarship Program.

“I have enjoyed my medical school rotations at military treatment facilities,” said Bastian, a second lieutenant in the Army. “Treating soldiers and their families is a rewarding experience, and I look forward to continuing it during residency.”

Bastian will go to Madigan Army Medical Center located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord just south of Tacoma, Washington, for neurology residency training.

“My first encounter with a patient in the neurology clinic at the end of my first year was perhaps the most memorable aspect of medical school,” Bastian said. “Prior to that patient evaluation, I had not considered neurology as a career choice – it was that experience that led me into the neurology specialty.”

Both Tomlinson and Bastian say they are excited about the next step in their educational journeys.

“I don’t know where my future might take me, but I hope to return to Louisville one day because I love my city. It will always be my first home,” Tomlinson said.

Check out some scenes from Match Day: