Emory medical students learn where they will begin their careers as doctors

Students in white coats race forward to pick up white envelopes off a table
Item 1 of 3
Students in white coats hug after getting their matches
Students in white coats pose before getting their matches
Students in white coats laugh and smile after getting their matches

A parade of umbrellas headed from the School of Medicine to the Emory Student Center on March 15 as medical students in the Class of 2024 gathered with friends and family to find out where they had matched for their residencies.

Held annually the third Friday in March, Match Day is when the National Resident Matching Program releases results to medical students across the country at the same time. Emory medical students were among thousands in the U.S. to find out — at noon on the dot — where they matched to start their work as resident physicians, caring for patients under the supervision of attending physicians.

Dr. Carlos del Rio, interim dean of the School of Medicine, took the opportunity to introduce Dr. Sandra Wong, a surgical oncologist and researcher who will take the helm as dean on March 22.

“I had a chance to look at the match list this morning, and it is truly impressive,” del Rio said. “We are proud to have this incredible group of future doctors representing Emory across the country. You started medical school in the summer of 2020 during a global pandemic … but together we came through.”

Residency, he told the group, will be a challenging time, “but it has an end date. Relationships with your colleagues, your mentors and your patients will last a lifetime. Take time to build those relationships.”

A student in a white coat holds up a class Coke bottle

Ashley Harriott, president of the Class of 2024, leads the Coca-Cola toast with William Eley and Carlos del Rio.

Ashley Harriott, president of the Class of 2024, leads the Coca-Cola toast with William Eley and Carlos del Rio.

Ashley Harriott, MD Class of 2024 president, led her fellow medical students as they participated in a treasured Emory tradition: the ceremonial Coca-Cola toast.

“May our futures be as bright as the lights of the OR,” she said. “And be filled with laughter, learning and just the right amount of caffeine.” Cheers echoed through the room.

“Here we are today, standing at the threshold of a new chapter,” Harriott continued, “one filled with new friendships, new challenges and new opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.”

As noon approached, students lined up alphabetically across from tables filled with envelopes, each envelope labeled with the name of a student and holding their match inside.

Dr. J. William Eley, the School of Medicine’s executive associate dean of medical education and student affairs, congratulated the 131 students who matched. 

“This culminates a lot of hard work, diligence and perseverance,” he said. “It is truly a day to rejoice. In just a couple of minutes … you’re going to rush the tables. Please don’t trample anybody.”

After the final countdown (“5, 4, 3, 2, 1, You are matched!”), the students, in white coats, raced forward to discover their matches — eager to begin their careers.

Where they matched

Of the 131 Emory medical students beginning a residency in July, 32 will spend all or part of their residency training in the state of Georgia. Of those, 24 will begin their training at Emory; 21 will remain at Emory for their entire residency.

Students who matched earlier included six in ophthalmology, three in urology and three in the military.

The most popular residencies included internal medicine (29); OBGYN (11); pediatrics (9); anesthesiology (8); neurology (8); combined internal medicine/pediatrics (7); surgery (7); emergency medicine (6); and family medicine (6).

The most popular regions for the residency programs included the Southeast (Georgia and surrounding states); the Northeast (including Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island); California; and the state of Washington. 

In addition to Emory, students will receive residency training at other prominent institutions across the U.S., including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California system, University of Washington and Harvard University.

Envelopes lined up on a blue table

Waiting for 12 p.m. — the moment matches will be revealed.

Waiting for 12 p.m. — the moment matches will be revealed.

A woman holding a large clock with hands almost at noon
med students in white coats reach for envelopes on a blue table

Video Highlights

Item 1 of 4
A large group of med students hold Coke bottles for the Coke toast.
Students drink from Coke bottles with red and white striped straws
Nine students pose with a banner that reads "Emory University School of Medicine MD/PhD Program"
A student holding flowers poses with her family members

Meet the Matches

Below, a few members of Emory’s School of Medicine Class of 2024 share their inspirations, aspirations and why they chose Emory for their medical education.

Ashley Harriott

Class president with a passion for community 

Matched: Mass General Brigham

Ashley Harriott is originally from Johns Creek, Georgia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with a minor in global health and policy at Harvard.  

As a small child, Harriott dreamed of being a doctor like her father, an OBGYN in Kingston, Jamaica. However, by the time she started college, Harriott wasn’t sure if the path of medicine was right for her. While working at a nonprofit in college, she realized the positive impact she could create with an MD.    

Harriott instantly felt a deep kinship for Emory: “I chose Emory for medical school because of its commitment to excellence in all meanings of the word. The clinical exposure, opportunities for community involvement and camaraderie at Emory are all unmatched.  

“The chance to work at Grady Memorial Hospital, which has an extra special place in Atlanta's heart, was also a major factor in my decision,” she adds. 

She especially felt at home in the School of Medicine. “The warmth and kindness I encountered from both students and faculty at Emory made it clear that this was where I belonged,” Harriott says. 

Harriott, who hopes to pursue a career in critical care, will continue her training in anesthesiology at Mass General Brigham.

One of Harriott’s defining moments during medical school was completing an anesthesiology rotation at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. “This was a dream of mine that was fully supported by Emory,” she says. “I am grateful for the opportunity I had to learn more about a different health care system and grow my passion for global health.” 

Harriott has demonstrated leadership and skillful advocacy as vice president of the School of Medicine’s MD Class of 2024 for three years and then as president during her final year of medical school.  

“Having the trust of my classmates and the platform to advocate for them has meant the world to me over the past four years,” she says.  

She also has been an active member of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) leadership, an organization that aims to increase the number of physicians serving minority and indigent communities and develop future minority health professionals.  

As a member of SNMA, Harriott also spent time mentoring students. “It's been incredibly rewarding to offer advice to students who were in the same shoes I was just a year ago.” 

Because of her personal and academic accomplishments, Harriott was awarded an ElevateMeD scholarship. The scholarship serves to increase physician workforce diversity by developing the next generation of physician leaders from African American/Black, Latinx and Native American backgrounds.  

In this video from ElevateMeD, watch Ashley Harriott explain what inspired her to become a doctor.

“Being a part of the ElevateMeD scholarship program means the absolute world to me,” she shared during a video thanking the committee.

“I feel like I was welcomed into a community with wide open arms, to be supported, to be around people who look like me, and just being around likeminded people who are trying to make an impact in medicine, increase diversity and support students who are going along this path trying to make something of themselves. I feel really honored to be a scholar.” 

As Harriott looks to the next chapter of her journey, she fondly remembers the day her Emory School of Medicine acceptance letter came.  

“I still get emotional thinking about the day I found out I was accepted to Emory and the reaction my mother had when she realized I would be coming home.” 

A portrait of Ashley Harriott
A portrait of Ryon Arrington and Rosalind Byrd

Ryon Arrington & Rosalind Byrd

Studying together leads to matching together

Matched: Emory

Rosalind Byrd, who is earning both an MD and a master’s degree in public health, grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.

She attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, for her undergraduate education, where she majored in anthropology, and then received a master of arts degree in medical sciences from Loyola University Chicago. She spent a year working as a clinic informatics specialist for a geriatric primary care clinic before deciding to attend medical school.

Byrd is the first person in her family to pursue an advanced degree. “There has been a great deal of learning as I go along throughout this process,” she says. “But with the support of my family, I am elated to reach the next step in accomplishing my lifelong dream.” 

Byrd has a passion for public health. Her research explores how intersectionality affects one’s lived experiences and, consequently, one’s health.  

“During my time at Emory, I have grown as an advocate, clinician and researcher,” she says. “Speaking up to bring attention to issues impacting myself and other students has given me the confidence to champion my patients’ needs, too. As a person who thrives being in the community of others, I have been fortunate to have my support system expand beyond the School of Medicine and into the broader Atlanta community.” 

For the last three years, Byrd has been dating Ryon Arrington, MBA, also a 2024 MD candidate at Emory. The two are matching as a couple. The couples match allows two residency applicants to link their rank order lists, usually to obtain positions in the same geographic location.

Ryon Arrington and Rosalind Byrd holding Match Day signs

The couple learned on Match Day that they will remain at Emory, matching in internal medicine for Byrd and cardiothoracic surgery for Arrington. 
Arrington is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Washington University in St. Louis where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. He is a first-generation college student and attributes much of his success to his family: “Growing up in the city of St. Louis, my family focused on education as a means of changing my circumstances.”  

While Arrington was finishing his undergraduate degree, his stepfather became ill, which led Arrington to take some time off between college and medical school. During that time, he worked in a dermatology office as a micrographically oriented histographic surgical (MOHS) technician and at Apple with the Genius Bar. 

One of Arrington’s mentors earned his PhD from Emory and recommended Arrington apply. He was instantly taken with Emory's exciting atmosphere. “On my interview day, we toured through Grady Memorial Hospital, and what I saw — the patients and the communication amongst people — reminded me of my early days in the city of St. Louis, and I knew I wanted to attend Emory,” he says.

At Washington University, Arrington and Byrd “knew of each other but ran in different social circles,” Byrd says. However, that changed after receiving their acceptance letters from Emory.  

“We both ended up at Emory and were good friends before dating,” she says. The two began to hang out and study.  

“We studied for anatomy, cardiology, Step 1 and a lot of other things together, and at the time neither one of us expressed interest in the other,” says Arrington. During third year clerkships, they began dating.  

Some of the couple’s most memorable moments came from exploring the city with their Emory friends.  

“We spent time going to new wineries and breweries but also just exploring the city of Atlanta for everything it has to offer — food, parks, the aquarium, the Beltline, etc.,” Arrington says.  

Atlanta’s diverse attractions made it easy to relax and bolster their professional development. “I was also able to pursue my professional goals like research and presenting at national conferences for cardiothoracic surgery and mentoring students interested in college and medicine from underserved communities,” says Arrington. 

While in medical school, Arrington also received a master of business administration degree from Emory’s Goizueta Business School in 2023. This experience deepened his appreciation of the business side of health care, which will be useful as he begins his residency training and pursues leadership roles.

He also received the Medical Student Diversity Scholarship from the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, a travel scholarship from the Southern Thoracic Surgery Association and the Biosense Webster Scholarship Award from the Association of Black Cardiologists. 

“Something that I noticed about Emory is that there is excellence in just about every facet,” Arrington says. 

“The relationships I have gained during the past four years have sustained me during some of the toughest experiences in my life,” Byrd says. “It has been such a privilege to learn and grow here. No matter where we end up for residency, I will be eternally grateful for the friends and mentors here that have become family.” 

Jared Beyersdorf 

Serving at the intersection of clinical medicine and laboratory research 

Matched: Mass General Brigham

Jared Beyersdorf, PhD, is originally from Bellevue, Nebraska. He received his bachelor’s degree in biological systems engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  

Beyersdorf was inspired to pursue medicine after seeing his mother’s experience as a pediatric physical therapist. He saw the difference new technologies made in patients’ lives and was excited about the possibilities future science might bring.  

As an undergraduate, he served as president of the Nebraska chapter of Engineers Without Borders, working with a community in Madagascar on long-term engineering projects to improve local water infrastructure. He also was deeply involved with undergraduate research at his institution and participated in summer fellowships at Rice University and the Wake Forest Regenerative Medicine Institute. 

During these research excursions, Beyersdorf learned about the joint MD/PhD career path.  

“I always thought I had to pick medicine or science,” he says. “I was intrigued by the possibility of pursuing training in both and began shadowing physician-scientists in different specialties to see what it looked like to work as a physician-scientist and balance both worlds.”  

Emory’s partnership with Georgia Tech stood out to him because it offered the opportunity to train at the intersection of engineering and medicine.  

“I was looking for an MD/PhD program that had a strong engineering department coupled with exceptional clinical training. Emory stood out in both respects. I decided to come to Emory for these reasons and because the students were genuinely happy and welcoming.”   

Match Day revealed that Beyersdorf will continue his training in pathology at Mass General Brigham in Massachusetts.

“My goal is to become an academic physician-scientist serving patients as a pathologist and running a research lab focusing on developing and understanding the next generation of mRNA-based therapeutics.” 
Beyersdorf’s PhD research focused on the study of mRNA therapeutics and lipid nanoparticles for a variety of clinical purposes, including nerve agent prophylaxis. Phil Santangelo, professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory and Georgia Tech, was Beyersdorf’s PhD advisor for his dissertation, “Development of an mRNA-based Prophylactic for Protection Against Nerve Agent Toxicity.”  

To date, Beyersdorf’s PhD research has resulted in seven publications — including two as first author — along with oral presentations at five conferences at the regional and national levels. 
During his time at Emory, Beyersdorf also helped mentor community members. He was involved with Emory’s Health Career Academy, the American Physician Scientist Association and the Emory Pipeline Collaborative. These programs connect high school and undergraduate students with mentors to provide guidance on pursuing careers in medicine.  

His enthusiasm for advocacy led him to serve as a co-investigator on a grant to expand the Atlanta Interprofessional Student Hotspotting (AISH) Group. This group helps address health disparities for patients at Grady Diabetes Treatment Center. He continues to serve as an individual team leader within AISH.  
As Beyersdorf considers his myriad accomplishments, he is struck by how important milestones in his life at Emory led him to find his true passion for pathology.  

“Throughout medical school, I saw firsthand how much uncertainty there is in the journey for so many patients and families and how hard that can be. I was drawn to pathology as a field where my meticulous nature would be rewarded and I could work to reduce uncertainty in medicine.” 

A portrait of Jared Beyersdorf
A portrait of Mariam Torres Soto

Mariam Torres Soto

An early match story

Matched: University of New Mexico in Albuquerque

Mariam Torres Soto was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico, before moving to Middletown, Connecticut, to attend Wesleyan University. She pursued a degree in chemistry, molecular biology and biochemistry at Wesleyan, graduating in 2016 with a certificate in molecular biophysics and later receiving her master’s degree in biochemical and molecular biology.  

Soto worked in clinical research in the infectious disease department for Mass General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, before starting medical school at Emory School of Medicine.  

Soto explains that she chose Emory because of the “opportunities to serve and learn from diverse, marginalized and historically underserved patient populations and [Emory’s] commitment to provide their community with high-quality medical care.”  

She started medical school during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She quickly wanted to create community with her peers, so began hosting virtual cooking classes highlighting Puerto Rican recipes. The classes were sponsored by the School of Medicine’s Office of Multicultural Affairs

The momentum generated by Soto’s cooking classes helped amplify the importance of the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) among her peers at Emory. Soto helped cultivate the longevity of LMSA by organizing cooking classes, salsa classes and social gatherings. As a result of Soto’s work, LMSA has become a supportive, sustainable community with a framework that will ensure it thrives for many years to come. 

While she was at Emory, the Office of Equity and Inclusion asked Soto to join the Learners Stakeholder Group. This group helps to advise leaders on the School of Medicine’s culture, creating a climate where all can thrive and achieve their full potential. 

Although Soto has had many impressive experiences during her time at Emory, she is most proud of reviving Portal de Salud, a student-run clinic that provides free health screenings and health education geared toward the Spanish-speaking population in the greater Atlanta area.  

“I am so proud of the community we have created here and what we've been able to accomplish,” she says. 

Soto plans to specialize in ophthalmology. Those residents participate in a nationwide early match announced in February — which meant Soto received the life-changing news on her wedding day.

She is excited to be matched in the inaugural residency class of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.  

“I was drawn to their mission of expanding access to quality vision care in a community that has one of the highest needs for vision health providers in the nation,” she says. “I am honored to have been selected to work with faculty that are willing to put their trust in me and my fellow co-residents to help steer and grow this program while helping us become competent and well-rounded ophthalmologists.”  

About this story: Writing by Mary Loftus, Ethan Fogus, Jen King and Elizabeth Pittman Thompson. Photos by Jack Kearse. Video by Damon Meharg.

The MD Class of 2024
The MD Class of 2024 in silly poses


Want to learn more?

Please visit the Emory School of MedicineEmory.edu and the Emory News Center.