Allentown resident Adriana Facchiano said being matched to a physician residency program at St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a dream come true.
The Lehigh Valley native and fourth-year student at Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine will be a resident training in emergency medicine at St. Luke’s for the next three years; a specialty that draws on her passion for a fast-paced and challenging clinical setting with a varied mix of patient populations and disease processes. She said she looks forward to multi-tasking and using her deft diagnostic and hands-on skills as she takes care of the community that she has lived in all of her life.
Facchiano is one of 15 Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine students who were matched to a St. Luke’s University Health Network residency Friday.
Facchiano and her Temple/St. Luke’s peers attended the Match Day ceremony at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, where they learned of their paths for advanced, post-medical school training after graduation.
Match Day is a rite of passage for medical school students moving on to residency programs. A complex algorithm matches the students’ top choice of residencies with the programs’ top choice of students. This “match” news is conveyed to each student through an envelope that they opened at noon. Post-graduate medical education can last from four to seven years, including a residency and fellowship.
The Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill is the Lehigh Valley’s first and only four-year medical school, where some of the region’s brightest young minds go to become doctors. By cultivating home-grown medical talent, St. Luke’s is helping the region to secure its health and well-being amid a worsening doctor shortage nationally.
“National Match Day is a pivotal and unforgettable milestone for every medical student across the country,” said Shaden Eldakar-Hein, MD, who is Senior Associate Dean of Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine and Associate Professor, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. “We are proud of the graduating class of 2023 and are certain they will make skilled and compassionate physicians, and any program is lucky to have them.”
Joseph Evans ranks attending Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine as “one of the best choices I’ve made in my life.”
The student from western Pennsylvania aspires to pursue a fellowship in trauma surgery and stay in the area to take care of its community.
“St. Luke’s is where I know I’ll fit in the best as a resident and beyond,” Evans said, adding that he and his girlfriend enjoy living in the Lehigh Valley for its outdoors opportunities, restaurants and cultural offerings.
“I’m hoping to stay here for the rest of my life,” he added.
Evans’ classmate, Alex Rizzo, recalled that when he entered St. Luke’s Bethlehem hospital lobby for his medical school interview, “it felt like coming home. Everyone was smiling and happy.”
After nearly four years at the Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine, the New Jersey native matched at Rutgers-Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center to an OBGYN residency, an interest that was sparked during clinical rotations this year at St. Luke’s. He said he was impressed by the patient care and educational opportunities here and by the Network’s progressive approach to health care delivery.
“I can’t say enough about St. Luke’s,” he added. “They prepared me well and I look forward to continuing my training here.”
Juliet Panichella vowed to be a “prophet of St. Luke’s” as she goes on to Brown University for a plastic surgery residency, a course of training the network plans to offer starting within the next two years. The native of Long Island called both St. Luke’s University Health Network, where she volunteered during college at Lehigh University, and Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine, “wonderful.”
Match Day this year fell on St. Patrick’s Day; a celebration of Irish culture, all things green and good luck. Facchiano and her Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine classmates felt extra fortunate as their “matches” for residency training were revealed in the Match Day ceremony.
“What I’ve wanted for the past four years is to continue learning and working at St. Luke’s,” said Facchiano, who plans to become the first medical doctor in her large family. Her grandmother was a nurse for 45 years, her brother is a veterinarian and her aunt is a dentist.
“I’m confident I’ll receive excellent training in residency here, just as I did in medical school,” she said.
For more information about Temple/St. Luke’s, visit Sluhn.org/som and for other graduate medical education programs at St. Luke’s University Health Network, visit Sluhn.org/gme.
Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.
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