Bovine-themed Match Day 2024 showcases medical student success

March 18, 2024

With a strong sense of Badger pride, medical students celebrated Match Day at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health on Friday, March 15. Match Day is the day medical students nationwide learn where they were matched for clinical residency training programs for most specialties.

The student-selected event theme of “Mooving Forward” served as a homage to the Dairy State. The day’s festivities kicked off with a skit by Dr. Cathy Lee-Miller, assistant professor of pediatrics, and Dr. Sam Lubner, associate professor of medicine, both of whom work closely with medical students throughout their education. The “Guide to Wisconsin” skit spoofed cultural and linguistic customs of the Upper Midwest. “You should always greet your patients with a ‘hello’ and ‘how ‘bout them Packers’ to show them you care,” Lubner quipped, to laughter from the crowd.

Dr. Robert N. Golden, dean of UW School of Medicine and Public Health, shared wisdom interwoven with Wisconsin-inspired puns as students awaited the news about where the next step in their clinical postgraduate training would take them.

“Rest assured this class is the cream of the crop; individually you have matched into top quality programs, and collectively you are embarking on careers that span the entire continuum of primary care, specialty practice, and subspecialty fields,” Golden said.

“We are proud of all you have achieved during your years here. Your energy and idealism have made us a better place. And we know the best is yet to come. So as you prepare to mooo-ve onto the next phase of your professional development, rest assured that I am confident that – like a Wisconsin cow in the springtime – each of you will be out-standing in your field.”

This year, 172 students matched into residency programs in 29 states. Of medical students graduating in 2024 who pursued residency training, 100% matched into a program. One third of matching students will perform a residency in family medicine, internal medicine or pediatrics; many will stay in primary care while others will use their background as a foundation for further sub-specialization and fellowship training in areas such as cardiovascular medicine, nephrology or infectious disease.

For many in the class, the Badger state will continue to be home to their training for the next few years. Nearly 40% of matching students will complete their residencies in Wisconsin, adding to the state’s health care workforce at a critical time. This is the highest percentage of students matching in the state in the last decade. Some students shared that they plan to return to Wisconsin to practice after their residencies elsewhere. But many will carry memories of their time in the state to residency locations at prominent organizations spanning New England to the Southwest to the Pacific Northwest.

Faith Anderson holds an "I Matched" sign showing "Family Medicine at UW-DFMCH@Baraboo"
Faith Anderson matched into the Baraboo Rural Training Track at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. The Baraboo track trains residents in rural health by welcoming them to a small community and giving them the opportunity to provide care that mimics private practice in a rural environment.

The Match Day celebration would not be possible without the planning efforts of the students themselves. Class co-presidents Alyssa McClelland and Eric Hess led the efforts this year together with a group of their peers.

“Helping plan this incredible Match Day was a gift to our class but also a gift to ourselves, and we chose this theme as a celebration of our state and a lot of nostalgia as we enter a new stage,” said McClelland, who matched into emergency medicine at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics. “We started medical school just as the COVID-19 pandemic began and so our White Coat ceremony was virtual. We are so happy to be together in person to share in this important and emotional day.”

When asked what advice they have for younger medical students, both stressed the importance of making connections with peers.

“Having that supportive group is critical to overcoming the stresses medical school can bring and those people can help you convince yourself that you can do it,” said Hess, who matched into psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. “And while it can be hard to lose that group after graduation, it’s amazing to see your friends succeed. We wish everyone the best.”

Personal, educational experiences shaped Hannah Cress’ path to obstetrics and gynecology

Medical school was not among Hannah Cress’ long-term plans when she grew up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. During a waitressing job in high school she began to realize she enjoyed working with people and was skilled at building positive relationships. As an undergraduate at UW-Eau Claire, Cress studied biology and became a certified nursing assistant. Over time, she began to consider how medicine could build on a combination of science, teamwork and patient care.

“I ultimately decided that going to medical school would allow me to still be a kind of scientist but also have those connections with patients at the same time,” Cress said. “It really spoke to all aspects of my skills and personality.”

Cress matched into a rural track in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City. She joked that growing up with three brothers molded her into a strong woman who can make herself heard, leading her to advocate for other women and their health. She said she would love to practice in a rural area in the future.

The doors aren’t just opened for you but are held wide open by others willing to take you with them.

– Hannah Cress, MD '24

Cress recounted an experience during medical school that was key in her decision to pursue obstetrics and gynecology. During one of her clinical rotations, a woman came in to deliver twins from an in vitro fertilization pregnancy.

“Those births can sometimes be so special, and that on top of twins,” Cress said. “Not all patients allow medical students in the delivery room but she did. I had met the parents at the beginning of my shift and she delivered before I went home. It’s not often you get to see the whole experience [as a student] and twins can be double the pain and double the emotion. I remember being next to the bed and talking the mom through it and felt such a connection with them. It was a life-changing event for those parents and something I look back on now and think, ‘I did that once and now I get to do that every single day.’”

Hannah Cress places a pin on a map to show where she will do her residency
A native of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, decided to pursue medicine to build relationships with and advocate for patients, particularly women. She matched into a rural track in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City. At the Match Day celebration, students place a pin on a map where they will perform their residency.

Cress also pursued her interest in research during medical school, and contributed to a longitudinal research and clinical program aimed at decreasing stroke and risk factors among members of the Oneida Nation. During a month-long rotation at the Nation, Hannah worked at their health clinic, connected with the community and was able to explore her own Native familial connection.

Cress said everyone she has met, from her peers to faculty and staff, have been supportive and willing to connect her with mentors and resources. As someone whose decision to attend medicine and practice obstetrics and gynecology evolved over time, she said the school greatly aided her path.

“This has been a wonderful place to attend medical school,” she said. “If you have no idea where your path in medicine is going to lead — if you may want to try urban or rural medicine, or pursue research — the doors aren’t just opened for you but are held wide open by others willing to take you with them. Looking back, that’s all I could have asked for.”

Following Navy service, Daniel Schroeder pursues new chapter in diagnostic radiology

Daniel Schroeder joined the Navy directly following high school and completed seven years of active duty and five years in the Navy Reserves. As a helicopter rescue swimmer and crewmember of riverine forces, which focus on combat capability in inland waterways, he was stationed in Virginia, Illinois, Florida and California and saw deployments to Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain. Upon training in and providing advanced first aid in combat setting, Schroeder first experienced his draw toward the field of medicine.

After completing active duty, Schroeder moved with his wife, who is a professional nurse (the pair were high school sweethearts), and son back to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He entered his undergraduate studies undecided but knew that he wanted to continue serving his community as a clinician. This lead to his decision to apply to the MD program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Schroeder matched into diagnostic radiology at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee.

Dan Schroeder
Dan Schroeder, a Navy veteran, matched into diagnostic radiology at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee. He was joined at the podium by his family.

“I found radiology very late in my third year, which I don’t think is an uncommon story,” said Schroeder, who is now a father of two. “I really enjoyed the experience and got to connect and spend a lot of time with a faculty member in the Department of Radiology who is also a Navy veteran so that was great. I feel it’s a specialty that touches and encompasses so many areas of medicine and that really attracted me since I found so much [of the field] interesting.”

When reflecting on his time at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Schroeder said he feels fortunate to have studied in the MD program, and praised the supportive community of his peers and mentors, specifically his longitudinal teacher coach (LTCs). These coaches provide students long-term direction and mentorship throughout their education. As a disabled veteran, Schroeder also credited resources from a program at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that provides support and educational assistance to disabled veterans who are pursuing educational opportunities.

“From day one I felt super supported and feel really fortunate to have ended up here,” he said. “The school has great resources. I think it’s important to take advantage of those resources and keep an open mind about your specialty and explore as much as you can.”

2024 Match Day at a Glance

Of 172 graduating students pursuing residencies…




Matched to residencies in Wisconsin


Matched to family medicine, internal medicine or pediatrics residencies

Photos by Todd Brown/Media Solutions