The School of Dental Medicine celebrated fourth year students as they received their residency placements for next year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebratory event known Match Day looked different from previous years. Despite this year’s challenges, spirits were high as each student proudly showcased their match result in front of their fellow classmates.
“It is wonderful to be able to celebrate the achievements and the accomplishments of the class of 2021,” said Dr. Steven Lepowsky, dean of the School of Dental Medicine. “We look forward to hearing about all the wonderful things that you’re going to accomplish during your residency.”
Dr. Sarita Arteaga, associate dean for students, was pleased with this year’s results. “We have wonderful results for the class of 2021,” said Arteaga. “We have 40% that are staying here in Connecticut with 8 students staying right here at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine.”
Arteaga also acknowledged the challenges that came with doing the entire residency placement process virtually.
“The School of Dental Medicine is proud of its students and for your diligence in getting through virtual applications, virtual interviews, and being able to be matched into your program of choice,” Arteaga said to the students.
Syed Saud of Bridgeport, Connecticut agreed that the virtual interview process posed a few challenges.
“It was very interesting having to do the interviews without seeing the schools. I couldn’t walk in, feel my way around, and talk to staff and residents,” Syed said.
Syed will be headed to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York for a General Practice Residency (GPR).
“I feel elated. This is the last thing you need to do as a fourth year dental student so I’m very happy—I’m on cloud nine that I matched into my first place, first-ranked program.”
Julia Lafen of Rhode Island is heading to Yale-New Haven Hospital for a pediatric dentistry residency.
“It feels surreal, so exciting. It hasn’t hit yet,” said Lafen. “It is so exciting and bittersweet because I know this chapter is closing soon but I think we are all really excited and prepared for what’s coming next.”
Steven Cosgrove of Texas is looking forward to staying local and focusing on community health during his GPR at Hartford Hospital.
“It was a long process but very excited that I get to stay in Connecticut,” said Cosgrove. “I’ve done some work in Hartford so I’m looking forward to going into community health practice.”
Njeri Dodson of Bridgeport, Connecticut will also be headed to a GPR at Hartford Hospital.
“I couldn’t have had a better dental school experience,” Dodson said. “I am so excited to be moving on to the next step.”