Updates on campus events, policies, construction and more.


Information for Our Community

Whether you are part of our community or are interested in joining us, we welcome you to Washington University School of Medicine.


Visit the News Hub

Medical students celebrate Match Day 2024

This year’s graduating class first to go completely through Gateway Curriculum

by Kristina SauerweinMarch 19, 2024

Video by Huy Mach and Kristina Sauerwein/Washington University

This year’s graduating medical students at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis began their professional journeys with the launch of the Gateway Curriculum, the first overhaul of the school’s program of studies in more than two decades.

So, after four years of adjusting to a sometimes dizzying, pandemic-induced mix of online, hybrid and in-person learning, and of adapting to the new curriculum’s nontraditional but welcomed emphasis on early clinical immersion, and its holistic view of patients and the profession, the Class of 2024 became the first to fully experience the Gateway Curriculum all the way to Match Day.

The pivotal milestone, celebrated Friday, March 15, at the Eric P. Newman Education Center (EPNEC) on the Medical Campus, marked when U.S. medical students learned where they will train as residents after graduation.

“This is an exceptional class that deftly embraced many challenges throughout its time here,” said Kathryn M. Diemer, MD, the School of Medicine’s assistant dean for career advising and a professor of medicine who has overseen Match Day for 24 years. “Nevertheless, their resilience, commitment and desire to change the world allowed them to thrive.”

21 in Surgery; 20 in Internal Medicine / Primary Care; 12 in Anesthesiology; 11 in PediatricsSara Moser
Top specialty choices by our graduates.

Indeed, this Washington University class’s match rate was 97%, with many students achieving their first-choice residency assignments. Many will begin their training July 1 at the nation’s top-ranked medical centers, in terms of chosen specialties as well as overall reputation.

This year’s celebration featured a digital countdown clock that tick, tick, ticked to 11 a.m. CT, the moment when the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) permitted soon-to-graduate students who will train at U.S. hospitals to learn of their residency matches via their medical school’s customized Match Day celebration or receipt of an email from the NRMP.

At the School of Medicine, students had the option of privately receiving such news and then later announcing their results in the EPNEC auditorium along with peers who had selected the traditional “blind reveal,” in which students unseal their match envelopes in front of classmates, faculty and loved ones.

As in years past, students walked onto the stage to songs each had selected, by artists as wide ranging as Calle 13, Imagine Dragons, Jackson Browne, ABBA, Katrina and the Waves, and Julius Fuick, composer of “Entrance of the Gladiators,” colloquially known as both the circus song and the clown song.

Students strutted and danced on stage; some solo, others with their spouses, babies, partners, parents, siblings, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces or nephews. Some reacted to their matches by jumping up and down, high-fiving, crying, hugging or addressing family and friends, whether in the audience or watching via livestream from across the globe.

Special shoutouts went to a 100-year-old grandmother sitting in the audience and a mom who let her son bypass chores in favor of studying.

“I could not be prouder of this first class of Gateway students,” said Eva Aagaard, MD, vice chancellor for medical education, senior associate dean for education, and the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professor of Medical Education. “Entering medical school in the pandemic, in a new curriculum, was brave. Their persistence, resilience and open engagement with us helped us to make their experience deeply valuable and the Gateway Curriculum better for the students that followed. They not only have performed well, they also have excelled as clinicians, scholars and leaders. I can’t wait to see what they achieve next.”

Many matching students cited the new curriculum as one of the medical school’s biggest draws, especially its emphasis on health equity threaded throughout their studies in the classroom, lab and clinical space. They also favored its focus on wellness, professional identity and career development.

“I arrived at WashU excited about the Gateway Curriculum,” said Lydia Zhong, who matched in ophthalmology at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, her first choice and one that will land her near her family. “I feel prepared for residency. Our class and future generations of doctors trained through the Gateway Curriculum will be well-positioned to provide the best possible care for their patients as physicians who are also considerate of the social determinants of health and ongoing issues of inequity.”

Among the university’s other multitalented medical students, some will stay in St. Louis for residencies at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. Others matched at hospitals throughout the United States, including Massachusetts General Hospital and other hospitals affiliated with Harvard University; University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center; Yale New Haven Hospital; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in Chicago; Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore; New York-Presbyterian Hospital, affiliated with both Columbia University and Cornell University; University of Chicago Medical Center; Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C; and several others.

Highlights involving this year’s class:

  • Of the 98 matched students, 22 will begin their training at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and one at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
  • Besides Missouri, the states where the greatest number of School of Medicine students will train include California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Washington, New York, and Massachusetts. Altogether, this year’s class will be represented at 46 hospitals across 24 states.
  • With 21 students, surgery is the most popular specialty for residency training. Of those, their top focuses were general surgery, with eight; orthopedic surgery, with four; ophthalmology, with three; plastic surgery and otolaryngology, with two each; and neurological surgery and urology, with one each.
  • The next most popular specialty is internal medicine, with 20 students. Of them, two matched into an internal medicine-primary care track.
  • Other popular specialties were anesthesiology, with 12 students, and pediatrics, with 11.
  • Overall, the National Resident Matching Program recorded 44,853 applicants registered and 41,503 positions offered. Since 1952, the NRMP has acted as a clearinghouse to fill positions at U.S. teaching hospitals, pairing the preferences of graduating medical students with those of residency program directors. Based on ranked lists provided by both groups, a match is generated by a computerized mathematical algorithm.

Photos by Matt Miller. Click to enlarge.

Kristina covers pediatrics, surgery, medical education and student life. In 2020, she received a gold Robert G. Fenley Writing Award for general staff writing from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and in 2019, she received the silver award. Kristina is an author and former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Los Angeles Times, where she was part of a team of journalists that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for breaking news. Additionally, she covered the 2014 Ferguson unrest for TIME magazine and, for eight years, wrote a popular parenting column for

Huy uses visual storytelling in his coverage of medical education, patient care, and research. He was part of a team of photographers at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography in 2015. He has a bachelor's degree in photojournalism from Western Kentucky University.