By Wendy Sarubbi | March 17, 2023 6:41 pm

Gabriel and Oriana Krivenko are newlyweds, but until exactly noon on Friday, the two UCF medical students had no idea if they would spend the next three years of their married life together.

Then they opened their Match Day 2023 envelopes and learned they will both do residency training at Northwestern University, their first choice, he in pediatrics, she in OB-GYN. The couple, both first-generation students, grasped family members in joyful group hugs and wept.

“I am over the moon,” Gabriel said.

Gabriel and Oriana Krivenko celebrate as they learn they will do their residencies together at Northwestern. The newlyweds are both first-generation students.

They were among 123 UCF students and almost 43,000 nationwide who matched into residency training on National Match Day. Medical school graduates cannot practice medicine independently without completing a residency, which can be three to seven years depending on the specialty. During their fourth year, students interview with residency programs across the nation. They rank their choices; programs do the same. A computer then matches both wish lists. The results for most specialties are kept secret until noon EST on the third Friday of March.

UCF College of Medicine graduates will do their residencies at top hospitals across the city, state and nation. Thirty-seven will do some or all of their training in Florida, including programs at Advent Health, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando Health, University of Florida and University of South Florida. Eight students matched into UCF-HCA Healthcare residencies across the state. Nationwide, UCF students matched into programs that include Cleveland Clinic, Emory, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Yale. Their specialties include emergency, family and internal medicine, OB-GYN, pediatrics, psychiatry, radiology and surgery.   

Hundreds of medical students, family members, friends and children joined UCF’s traditional Match Day celebration on the Tavistock Green. Black and gold lanterns hung from the lights. Inside the medical education building, the stars in the rotunda ceiling twinkled, the only day of the year they do so. “At noon when you open your envelopes you will open the doors to your future,” Dr. Deborah German, vice president for health affairs and dean, told the students. “And at noon, when you open your envelopes, we will have crossed the 1,000 mark. UCF will have matched over 1,000 new doctors. So you are my 1K Class of newly-minted Physician Knights.”

Before opening their envelopes, the Krivenkos talked about another Dr. German speech. The couple noted that in her White Coat address on the first day of medical school four years ago, she told new students they might be sitting next to someone who would become a future spouse or best friend. That happened to Gabriel and Oriana. He chose pediatrics because he loves the resiliency of children. She chose OB-GYN because she wants to make women “feel heard, appreciated and cared for.”

Medical student Lake Lindo matched into psychiatry at University of Florida, his first choice. He becomes his family’s second psychiatrist – his mother, Dr. Max Minto, is a child psychiatrist who inspired her firstborn to care for others. “I was pregnant with Lake when I was doing my fellowship,” she said after standing with her son he opened his match envelope. “He got all those lessons from the womb.”

Lindo said his third-year psychiatry clerkship at HCA Florida Osceola Hospital solidified his specialty decision because it taught him how to connect with patients who are suffering, understand their traumas, and “help them create a plan for a better quality of life.”

Dakota Salazar wore a mask, braved the flu and opened his envelope at an outlying table so he could attend Match Day with his classmates despite his illness. He too has a family story that influenced his choice of specialty. Dakota was a preemie baby, born at just 29 weeks. “I’m lucky to be here today,” he said. “Doing rotations in the neonatal intensive care unit reignited the passion in me of what I want to do.” Salazar matched into pediatrics at Stanford University.

Caring for children has always been one of the most popular specialty choices for UCF medical students. This year, 16 students matched into pediatrics. UCF Medical student Breanna Brown dressed herself, family and friends in unicorn hats, mirroring the pediatrics costume worn by social media ophthalmologist Dr. Will Flanary, who has a huge following on TikTok as “Dr. Glaucomflecken.” She was ecstatic to learn she will do her pediatrics training at Oregon Health & Sciences University, her first choice.

Medical student Breanna Brown, far right, dressed her family and friends in unicorn hats to celebrate her match into pediatrics.

Austin Wynn will do his residency in orthopedic surgery at Atlanta Medical Center. “I’ve always wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon,” Wynn said. “I just love the types of problems we deal with, I love the patients we get to treat and I love the procedures and solutions that we have for them.”

The next step for the Class of 2023 – Commencement on May 19.

Click to view all photos of UCF Match Day 2023. 

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