Class of 2022 Military Match Day


Congratulations to the Class of 2022 military medical students who matched yesterday!

Their commitment to serving our country by caring for those who serve is admirable, and their ability to balance military requirements in tandem with the academic rigors of medical school is impressive.

“It’s a significant time, moving into residency—I’ll never forget it. You’ll always have us pulling for you,” said Dean Amalfitano during yesterday’s virtual celebration. “Thanks for letting us share this day with you.”

We’re saluting the U.S. Army, U.S. Airforce, and U.S. Navy military medical students who passed this significant white coat milestone and can now plan for their residency post-med school.

Learn more about some of these future doctors:

Ayden Harris (OMS-IV)

U.S. Army, Second Lieutenant – will become Captain upon graduation

Harris was inspired to become an osteopathic physician by his mother, a #SpartanDO graduate, who he witnessed positively impact patients’ lives. In looking for a medical school, he looked for a tight-knit community, which he felt on the Macomb campus site. “I knew that I would have access to world-class resources, and I would honestly have all that I need to excel in the field of medicine,” says the Class of 2022 VP.

He joined ROTC as an undergraduate and has served since. He is appreciative of attending medical school without debt through the Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program (HSPS).

Harris matched into a transitional (internship) year residency at the NCC-Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and plans to apply for a categorical position next cycle.

In reflecting on his time at the College of Osteopathic Medicine, he enjoyed OMM workshops and his engagement with Detroit Street Care most, as well as his participation in the Student Osteopathic Surgical Association (SOSA) and the Sigma Sigma Phi (SSP) honors fraternity.

In looking ahead to his service as a physician in the military, he says, “Being able to serve those who are willing to jump out of planes and hump rucks for miles on end in the name of protecting our country would be amazing.”

Cameron Harvey (OMS-IV)

U.S. Army, Second Lieutenant – will become Captain upon graduation

“I’m focused on stepping into a role in the military to provide the best care that I can for soldiers, their families, and veterans,” says Harvey. “I’m excited to see how that differs from my clerkship with civilians.”

Harvey’s favorite experience during medical school was teaming up with fellow military medical students from the college to complete the Midwest MedWAR Challenge (Medical Wilderness Adventure Race). The rugged race tests wilderness medicine knowledge and skills such as treating hypothermia, snake bites, or fractures through scenario-based stations along a 13-mile course that requires racers to canoe, hike, and run.

He also enjoyed guest speakers from the Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (SAMOPS) club, as well as his participation in the Student Osteopathic Surgical Association (SOSA) and Emergency Medicine clubs.

What drew Harvey to the college was “the level of instruction from the program, the storied history of the school, the professors and lecturers, great opportunities with research, the Statewide Campus System, and the ability to shape your experience based on your initiative.”

Harvey is headed to Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii for a general surgery residency. After that, he and his wife are open to going wherever the Army sends them and plan to take advantage of having the opportunity to go places and do things they wouldn’t normally get to.

He looked for programs with a family-type atmosphere where the residents seem happy, which he gauged during in-person visits, and where the program had a strong track record for matching residents into fellowships.

“The military match is more about getting to know people than the numbers you put on paper,” he explains. “Showing your face [in person] is important.”

Jonathan Letko (OMS-IV)

U.S. Army, Second Lieutenant – will become Captain upon graduation

Letko’s motto is, “It’s all about balance.” That mindset helped him through the most challenging academic portions of medical school. “Med school isn’t everything. You have to enjoy your life. Take time to go out and eat and have fun. Be yourself and know your limits,” he advises. “Get out there and ask for help if it’s ever needed. If you’re experiencing something, someone else probably is, too. Reach out.”

Letko maintained balance by participating in intramural sports with fellow SpartanDO students—he proudly shares that his teams won so many IM championships in several sports that he has a championship shirt for every day of the week—and by meditating with Dr. John Taylor and other students before big exams, which he recalls fondly.

He also served as the president of Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (SAMOPS), and enjoyed working with advisor Dr. Jacob Rowan and other student club leaders to bring in interesting speakers to talk to the group.

Letko was drawn to the college because of its sports and the resources and opportunities that come from a Top 10 university. The future primary care doctor always knew he was going to go to medical school, but took a self-proclaimed eight-year hiatus to “learn and grow and explore,” which he very much did: he moved to Tokyo to teach English for several years and then parlayed his Japanese language skills into a career in the auto industry in Michigan with a Japanese-owned company.

“I enjoy helping people and learning about people. I looked into med schools that have a good reputation producing primary care physicians, and MSUCOM came in highly recommended. I enjoyed using osteopathic manipulative therapy in my clerkship to give patients relief,” he adds.

Letko matched into a family medicine residency program with Madigan Army Medical Center.

His advice for future military medical students going through the match process is to take advantage of online resources offered by the military, including the showcase of military matches available, the annual conference, and more.

Victor Wong (OMS-IV)

U.S. Army, Second Lieutenant – will become Captain upon graduation

“My long-term career goal is to go abroad and help refugees,” says Wong. “My dad was a Vietnam refugee. Hearing amazing, sad stories about escaping Vietnam, it would be amazing to go full circle and go to other countries at war and help the population there,” he explains.

Wong already has some experience supporting global health through a surgical elective in South Korea during his time in medical school. He appreciated the HPSP scholarship program, which is helping him to “see the world and find myself in the process.”

“I really wanted a place that had opportunities to pursue fellowships,” Wong says of his residency program search. “I wanted an academic institution. I wanted a tight-knit place where I would bond with the other residents.”

Wong will soon begin a transitional year residency at Tripler Army Medical Center with the hope of going into general surgery the following year. Though Wong knew he wanted to pursue surgery since before entering medical school, he is looking forward to exploring different specialties during his residency.

Wong’s white coat journey involved visiting four residency programs in-person for three- to four-weeks each, as well as several Zoom interviews with civilian hospitals. His advice to future medical students going through the match process is, “Find a mentor early on, especially in the field you’re interested in. Try to go to as many sites in person as you can. Don’t worry about spending extra money—at the end of the day it’s more worth it to figure out where you really belong.”

His standout experiences from medical school include his involvement with the Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (SAMOPS)—an experience he found “really rewarding” because he received guidance from military medical students above him and was able to pass his wisdom to the class after him. He also enjoyed medical outreach through Spartan Street Medicine, free clinics, and volunteering at a foster home. Another exciting experience for Wong was the six-week officer training course, which he describes as an adventure: “You’re figuring it out with the people next to you. It was hard, but it made us stronger and I met so many friends.”

He praises both the college and Ascension Genesys, his base hospital, as “absolutely fantastic” for being flexible and willing to accommodate the requirements of his military schedule.

Congratulations, thank you for your service, and Go Green!