‘Rush of excitement:’ OUWB Class of 2023 celebrates 100% success rate on Match Day
An image of a student during OUWB Match Day 2023
Stephanie Mrowczynski celebrates the moment she found out she matched at Tulane University School of Medicine.

OUWB’s Match Day celebration was held Friday — in-person for the first time since 2019 — as 100% of the Class of 2023 learned where they will be doctors for the first time in their lives.

Members of the OUWB graduating class were among nearly 43,000 of their peers across the U.S. in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), the annual event that reveals where most graduating medical students have been accepted for residency training.

The three classes before this year’s crop of soon-to-be OUWB graduates celebrated virtually as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Not this year, though.

Click here to see a highlight video from the day,
the complete match list, and more!

Many of the class’s 110 students who matched into residency programs gathered at Oakland University’s Oakland Center. That’s where they learned they had placed across the country, at places like Brown University, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, University of California-Irvine, University of California-Los Angeles, and University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan School of Medicine.

“I commend all of you for the hard work, dedication, and determination that brought you to today,” Duane Mezwa, M.D., Stephan Sharf Dean, OUWB, told the audience.

“Think about how far you have come — and be proud,” he said. “Pat yourself on the back for following your dreams. You’re entering the most exciting time of your lives.”

Several students described the moment leading up to and opening the envelopes that contained their match.

“It was so terrifyingly exciting,” said Skyler Porcaro, M4, who matched in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington.

“Opening the envelope and processing the words on the paper…and once it clicked there was just this rush of excitement.”

‘The study of life’

An image of students celebrating OUWB Match Day 23
Brittany Silverman (left) and Kaitlin Pataroque celebrate moments after opening their envelopes.

The match process begins in the fall during the final year of medical school, when fourth-year medical students apply to residency programs. Residency programs interview applicants throughout fall and early winter.

From mid-January to late February, applicants and program directors separately rank each other in order of preference and submit the preference lists to NRMP, which processes them using a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs.

OUWB students matched in 26 states. (Fourteen students have transitional years before their final destinations as residents. Only their final destinations were counted in statistics.)

Forty-nine students – or 45% of those who matched Friday – will stay in Michigan.

Mezwa said he was thrilled that so many of OUWB’s Class of 2023 is staying in Michigan.

“That was one of our main goals when we started the school – to train a special kind of physician, and hope that they would stay in Michigan,” he said.

“I’m pleased to see that nearly half the class is staying in the state.”

Nineteen students will be participating in residencies at Corewell Health Hospitals in Dearborn, Royal Oak, Taylor, and Grosse Pointe in 12 specialties.

Ben Schwartz, M.D., president, Corewell Health East, attended the event in what Mezwa called a “very momentous” occasion.

Schwartz called Match Day “such an amazing day of accomplishments.”

“When you open the envelope and learn where you’re going to train, that place wants you badly,” he said. “It’s almost like a marriage. They’re committing to you in a partnership, and the reason they’re willing to make that commitment to you is because of your expertise in training.”

Outside of Michigan, California came in second with 12, followed by eight in Ohio, four in New York, and three each in Florida and Illinois.

Overall, 46 students have residencies in primary care, including 17 in internal medicine, eight in family medicine, seven in OB-GYN, six in surgery, six in pediatrics, and two in internal medicine-pediatrics.

Nine students matched in each specialty of anesthesiology, emergency medicine, psychiatry.

Twelve of the students who matched are Oakland University alumni. 

‘More nervous than my wedding day’

An image of students celebrating OUWB Match Day 23
Charlene Hsia (left) and Jody Esguerra react to learning where they matched.

Berkley Browne, Ph.D., associate dean for Student Affairs, also spoke and expressed feeling excited for the students.

“I have watched you over the past four years go from nervous brand-new M1s to confident M4s ready to take on the official title of medical doctor this May,” she said.

After telling the students that she “can’t wait to celebrate with all of you,” she led a countdown to the moment when they opened their envelopes.

Katie Hole (Wheeler), who matched at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, described the moment as a mix of “excitement, disbelief, and elation.”

“I was more nervous than on my wedding day,” she said. “My hands were so clammy…but I was excited and really just a relief to almost be done.”

Hole said she was grateful for everyone in her life who helped her find success in medical school, including her husband and “all of the lifelong friends” she made at OUWB.

Kaitlin Patroque matched at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital and said she “wasn’t expecting to feel so much joy.” An added bonus, she said, was that the OUWB Class of 2023 could celebrate together, in-person, after so much of their time as medical students was during the pandemic.

“It’s really amazing to be able to all be back together here, opening our envelopes together,” she said. “It’s really special.”

Richard Ramirez matched in psychiatry at University of Michigan Hospitals-Ann Arbor.

“I was so nervous that I dropped the envelope as my family and friends were waiting for me…it was a lot of pressure,” he said with a big smile.

More from OUWB

Perfect! OUWB maintains 100% success rate in urology with 2023 early match

Nineteen from OUWB Class of 2023 inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

OUWB White Coat Ceremony welcomes ninth class of medical students

Ramirez said he “could not have done it without family, friends, and the school itself.”

Parents who attended the event also were excited.

Tom Pfennig, whose son Mitchell Pfennig matched in orthopaedic surgery at Loyola University Medical Center, said he felt “elated.”

“Mitchell has worked so hard, and he has such good support from the OUWB community…and especially his close friends here,” said Tom. “It’s really been just a wonderful experience.”

For Mary Nowlen, her match at University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix in obstetrics-gynecology was important because it was bringing her home.

“It’s where my family is,” said Nowlen. “So, I’m so excited to go home and treat the community that raised me.”

Erica Burkett's first reaction to seeing her match in obstetrics-gynecology at Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital, Royal Oak, was to burst into tears.

“I couple matched with my fiance,” she said. “He goes to Central (Michigan University College of Medicine), he’s at a different school, so we’re just very relieved to stay together and I don’t have to move.”

“It was a lot of uncertainty where we were going to end up and if we were going to be together,” she added. “So we’re super excited.”

For Nicole Lewis, her match into emergency medicine at University of Cincinnati Medical Center was “all her dreams coming true.” It served to keep her and her partner together.

“This is what I’ve been hoping for for a year and been working towards, so it feels amazing,” she said. “It just felt really surreal…my partner is there. He graduated from OUWB last year and he matched at Cincinnati in anesthesiology, so it’s sort of like a delayed couples matching for us.”

“It’s very exciting that now I get to move to Cincinnati and enter the next stage of our lives together,” she added.


Michael Balce and Kelsa “Krickett” Kazyak met each other at OUWB on second look day, and through a couple’s match at Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital, Royal Oak in anesthesiology and obstetrics-gynecology respectively, will be staying in the same place.

“We matched at Beaumont, which is our number one, so we are absolutely elated,” said Kazyak. “We had a feeling it was going to work out, we’ve gotten really good feedback. We have had wonderful mentors. But just opening that letter, even though I was not necessarily surprised, I was just in awe.”

Kazyak’s mother, Holly Kazyak, was in attendance and said she was proud of her daughter and the people she met through medical school.

“It’s been a really long journey, and I cannot tell you how proud I am of Krickett. She has just been the most amazing, dedicated student,” she said. “I’ve gotten to know her friend group that she met through OUWB and it has been the most amazing group of intelligent, fine, wonderful kids…they’re all going to be such great doctors.”

“During COVID, living apart, away from campus, and having to deal with all of that was really, really tough (for them),” added Holly Kazyak. “I think that since OUWB is so hands-on, I think that made it even harder for our kids. But I think they appreciated the hands-on more when they got back.”

Megan Bricely matched into family medicine and University of Michigan Hospitals - Ann Arbor, her first choice — and also her father’s.

“It’s a big relief, but also very exciting,” she said. “I’m going to be staying in Michigan. My whole family is here, so I’m happy to be around them…my dad’s made me a Michigan fan since I was a child.”

“I almost broke down crying,” said Tom Bricely, Megan’s father. "We didn't want to see her leave the state, but U of M, that was my number one.”

“I told her that U of M wasn’t an impossibility, because I know she’s worked hard through undergrad and then four years of med school, and she’s smart,” he added. “I just knew she could do it.”

“It’s been a phenomenal, wonderful journey,” said Debbie Bricely, Megan’s mother. “Very proud, and I’m happy that the university has done so well.”

The excitement continued for the Bricelys and future Bricelys alike — Bailey Huhta, Megan Bricely’s fiancée, was in attendance on Match Day. The excitement of the reveal was heightened by the anticipation of their June wedding.

“I’m very excited, very proud of her,” Huhta said. “She deserves it all.”

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., president, Oakland University, summed up the significance of the day when she addressed the class. 

As the students are about to start their residencies, she urged them to keep OUWB values in mind — to be compassionate; seek partnerships, collaboration and teamwork; be innovators; and to conduct themselves honestly.

“Medicine may be your chosen profession, but a physician’s true focus is the study of life and the role he and she plays in treating and healing people,” she said. “We are very proud of all of you and know you will carry on the OUWB values and traditions wherever you go.”

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at [email protected].

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.