Physiology Alumni and Current Medical Students Celebrate Match Day

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

At the March 17 Match Day ceremony, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Class of 2023 learned where they will spend the next three to seven years of their careers as physicians in specialized residency training programs.

Cheers erupted as more than 100 students tore open envelopes and embraced each other and their loved ones in celebration. Several alumni from the medical college’s physiology undergraduate degree program were among those celebrating.

“This exciting and significant milestone is one of the many in our students’ journey to become physicians,” said Michael Abecassis, MD, MBA, dean of the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson. “The previous leg of your journey is nearly over, and being rewarded. You should be proud of what you have accomplished so far — and confident in your ability to succeed in this next chapter.”

Meet the College of Medicine – Tucson Class of 2023

There were 108 students who matched into residency programs. Below are a few of the students who also earned undergraduate degrees from the medical college’s physiology program.

Isabel Maria Gossler: ‘The physiology department prepared me really well’

Native Tucsonan Isabel Maria Gossler matched into a pediatrics residency training program with the University of Illinois College of Medicine – Chicago. Gossler had her hopes set on both the city and the specialty.”

“I really like taking care of kids and working with pediatric medicine, and then in Chicago, I was looking for a bigger city,” Gossler shares. “I’m born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. I’ve been here my whole life. I think going away and getting some outside perspective is going to be really good.”

Gossler said there is one unique aspect of pediatrics that she hopes to work on during her residency.

“Learning to care for the patient and their families at the same time is often one of the things that we do in pediatrics,” Gossler explains. “It’s a little bit different, so I’m hoping to get really good at that.”

Gossler earned her undergraduate degree here at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, and says that the physiology department helped provide a head start to her medical school training.

“The Physiology Department prepared me really well,” Gossler says. “The curriculum covers a lot of the stuff we learned in the first year in medical school. It’s very similar to the basic courses that we take in physio.”

Gossler said physiology is a useful degree because it opens up many career paths and the classes cover a lot of material.

“Just work really hard and spend the first year getting settled in,” Gossler says. “But don’t push yourself too hard and try to have fun!”

Christie Rosputni: ‘Beyond elated’

Christie Rosputni matched into a radiology residency training program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and its clinical partner, Banner – University Medical Center.

“I’m beyond elated — I’m so happy that I matched into my top choice,” Rosputni says. “I just love the community here. I also have kids who are in high school, so we wanted to keep them here.”

But more than loving Tucson and all it has to offer as a community, Rosputni really connected with her colleagues.

“I did a lot of rotations at the radiology program here and I just loved the people. It felt like the right fit,” Rosputni says.

Rosputni said that the mentorship provided by the physiology department, especially that of Associate Professor Lucinda Rankin, PhD, was an important part of her preparation for medical school.

“Dr. Rankin was absolutely instrumental in me finding my path, both in physiology and since then,” she says.

In addition to the mentorship, Rosputni fondly remembers time spent with the Physiology Honors Academy, a student advisory committee made up of honors students who are all in different stages of the honors program.

“I really loved being a part of that,” Rosputni says. “We had so many excellent events, and I found a really good community in the PHA student advisers.”

Ike Royal Chinyere, PhD: ‘A deep respect for the heart’

Ike Royal Chinyere, PhD, received his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, and will stay here for a residency in internal medicine through the college’s clinical partnership with Banner – University Medical Center. He celebrated the news with his wife and young son.

“This past fall and winter, we had the privilege of touring the United States and working at some quite prestigious hospitals,” Dr. Chinyere says. “We learned more about medicine, research and our preferences with every stop. Ultimately, we believe that Tucson is where we’re supposed to be for our son. I am beyond excited and ready to start caring for patients in a new capacity.

Dr. Chinyere applied for residency programs that will further develop him as a physician-scientist, and will ultimately pursue a career in cardiac electrophysiology, focusing on the electrical properties of the heart. In the future, he hopes he’ll be able to treat patients with arrhythmias while also working in the lab to develop better devices to treat patients with heart disease.

He has been fascinated by the heart since he was a teenager.

“Starting in high school, I developed a deep respect for the heart and its intricacies,” Dr. Chinyere says. “The heart is the pump at the center of us all, and accomplishes an amazing job every single day, hour and minute of our lives.”

Dr. Chinyere is looking forward to branching out as he begins the next phase of his training, but his time as a student has a special place in his heart.

“I enjoyed my time here and met a lot of amazing people, and there are a lot of good memories,” he says. “It’s amazing to be at this stage and I’m very excited for the future.”

Photo credits:

The Class of 2023 (Sean O’Sullivan, College of Medicine – Tucson)

Isabel Maria Gossler (Mitchell Masilun, UArizona BioCommunications)

Christie Rosputni (Mitchell Masilun, UArizona BioCommunications)

Ike Royal Chinyere, PhD (Noelle Haro-Gomez, UArizona Health Sciences)