Ten medical students from OUWB’s Class of 2022 won’t have to wait until the third week in March to find out where they will work as doctors for the first time.

OUWB Class of 2022 celebrates early matches
Early Match 2022

Ten medical students from OUWB’s Class of 2022 won’t have to wait until the third week in March to find out where they will work as doctors for the first time.

The reason?

Soon-to-be graduates in urology and ophthalmology, as well as those who matched in the military, already have been notified of where they will be headed for residency as part of the early match process.

Early matches apply only to these specialties because they are not affiliated with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), which annually holds its Match Day the third Friday in March (on March 18 this year).

“I congratulate our 10 students on their early matches. It took tremendous dedication to reach this day,” said OUWB Stephan Sharf Dean Duane Mezwa, M.D.

“No matter the timing of a residency reveal it will always be one of the most memorable days of your career and a proud day for OUWB.”


Early Match Graphic V2The urology match is independently run by the American Urological Association.

OUWB maintained its 100 percent match rate with three students matching in the field from the Class of 2022.

They are Brett Friedman, Kwesi Asantey, and Niki Rezakahn Khajeh.

Friedman matched at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Asantey at Medical College of Wisconsin, and Khajeh at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.

“It’s a surreal feeling,” said Asantey. “It was super nerve-wracking, but then I opened the email, checked the website and it was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I don’t think I’ve fully comprehended that I’m going to be a resident next year.”

All three said it was especially tense because of the highly competitive field.

According to the American Urological Association, for 2022, 143 non-military accredited urology residency programs in the U.S. listed 365 positions with 365 vacancies being matched. There were 556 applicants who submitted preference lists, which means 191 — or 34 percent of the applicants — were unmatched.

Khajeh said AUA released that data prior to revealing who matched and that was “very anxiety inducing.”

“I’m so relieved,” she said. “It just feels good that we’re done with that.”

Friedman said the weeks leading up to the urology match had him thinking about what life might be like in different parts of the U.S.

“You’re planning for what could happen and what life would be like in these vastly different regions…here’s what it might be like in Pennsylvania, or the Midwest, or here’s what it could be like in Texas. Your whole life is about to change and you have no idea what that will look like.”

With that in the past, Friedman said it’s full steam ahead.

“I look forward to being a person that a patient can rely on solely…(and to) being that person I can independently be as a physician,” he said.


The San Francisco Residency and Fellowship Match Services (SFMatch) runs the ophthalmology match.

Statistics from the Association of University Professors and Ophthalmology and SFMatch show there are annually just under 500 ophthalmology residencies. Most are filled.

For the Class of 2022, OUWB had four students match in ophthalmology.


Nina Diklich matched at University of Miami/Bascom Eye Institute, and said it’s “finally starting to set in” that she soon will be an ophthalmologist.

“There are so many things I am looking forward to in residency,” she said. “I am looking forward to becoming a compassionate, well-rounded, excellent ophthalmologist. I am excited for the privilege of improving and preserving sight in patients entrusted to my care.”

Diklich also said she won’t mind leaving behind Michigan winters for Miami beaches.

Her classmate Michael Moussa matched in ophthalmology at St. Louis University School of Medicine.

“I feel amazing, like the biggest burden has been lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “After almost four years of pedal-to-the-metal studying, sacrificing family time and leisure activities in the process, it feels as though everything was worth it.”

Moussa said he is looking forward to specializing to “truly becoming a master of my craft.”

Kelly Fahey matched in ophthalmology at University of Texas – San Antonio.

“I'm thrilled to have matched at my top choice for ophthalmology residency,” said Fahey. “I am excited about this new phase in my career and am forever thankful for family, friends, and mentors who have helped me throughout medical school.”

Fahey said she’s particularly looking forward to aspiring “to be that ophthalmologist patients seek, not only for acquired knowledge and healing skills but also for the compassion, caring attitude and mission of service that I have continued to foster at OUWB.”


The Joint Serve Graduated Medical Education Selection Board administers the residency selection process for the Air Force, Army, and Navy.

Three students from the Class of 2022 participated in the military match.


Rachel Connell matched in pediatrics at Dayton Children’s Hospital/Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

“Reaching this milestone hasn’t been easy, but it’s rewarding to have a program recognize that the skills and knowledge I’ve gained over the last four years will be a useful addition to their team,” she said.

Connell said she is most looking forward to exclusively treating children.

“From newborns to teens, I have thoroughly enjoyed every encounter I’ve had with pediatric patients at OUWB,” she said. “I’m so happy I found the perfect fit in my specialty, and I can’t wait to focus my learning on this amazing patient population.”

Michael Sun matched in neurosurgery at University of Florida and said he’s looking forward to enjoying “the little time I have left with my classmates who I’ve really grown to love over the past four years.”

“I’m feeling pretty relieved and on top of the world,” he said. “I’m excited to apply all that I’ve learned in medical school and actually treat people…I’m excited to be the one guiding patient treatment and clinical decision making.”

‘Incredibly grateful’

Students who participated in the early match noted the role of OUWB and Beaumont in helping them get to this point.

The three urology residents pointed to OUWB’s affiliation with Beaumont Health and Kenneth Peters, M.D., Peter & Florine Ministrelli Distinguished Chair in Urology and chair of OUWB’s Department of Urology.

“Beaumont Health is a very well-known and established hospital, especially in urology,” said Friedman. “Dr. Peters is very humble, but his work is world famous…and (Peters and the other urology physicians) go to bat for us.”

More from OUWB

Match Day 2021: OUWB’s Class of 2021 headed to residencies across the U.S.

Graduating OUWB medical students in select specialties celebrate early matches

White Coat Ceremony Class of 2022

Asantey said he saw it firsthand when on his away rotation. He said other health care providers were constantly asking if he knew doctors from Beaumont’s urology department.

Not only that, he said, but people were impressed at his skills.

“People were shocked that I was proficient at suturing, and scopes when it came to cystoscopy and whatnot…they were like ‘Where did you learn to do that?’” he said.

Khajeh said she felt as if the doctors in Beaumont’s urology department were constantly providing her with teaching moments.

“I really loved how during every surgery they would drill you with questions about everything from anatomy to next steps to equipment use and it was all to just better us,” she said.

The soon-to-be ophthalmology residents shared similar feelings.

Connell said “OUWB has challenged me to think critically and act compassionately.”

“I’ve learned so much about what it takes to be a quality physician through observing the actions of the faculty and my peers,” she said. “The comprehensive training provided by OUWB has prepared me to confidently transition into the more autonomous role of a resident physician.”

Moussa said, “OUWB was a wealth of resources and always had the door open for questions and guidance.”

“They found ways to connect me to the right people who ultimately paved the way for my successful match,” he said.

Fahey expressed, “I am incredibly grateful for the mentorship I have been given throughout my time at OUWB. In a competitive specialty like ophthalmology, I am lucky to have had the guidance of many accomplished physicians to help me along the way.”

“Throughout my time at Beaumont, I have had to think critically, apply my knowledge, and learn the art of connecting and advocating for patients,” she added. “I will strive to implement what I've learned in medical school, both in residency and beyond.”

Diklich said she is “so incredibly grateful to OUWB and Beaumont.”

“Since day one of medical school, (OUWB and Beaumont) have been invested in both my education and who I am as a person,” said Diklich. “There have been countless teachers and physicians who have dedicated hours to help mentor and guide me. OUWB has trained me to be a physician who demonstrates unrelenting compassion, utilizes evidence-based medicine to attain the best outcomes, and remains focused on the humanity behind medicine.”

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at adietderich@oakland.edu

To request an interview, visit the OUWB Communications & Marketing webpage.

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