Matched! MD student shares tips on securing your dream residency

Fourth-year medical student Joshue Leyva is still celebrating after recently learning he matched in his top choice for an internal medicine residency that will begin this July. Originally from Desert Hot Springs, CA, the soon-to-be graduate of St. George’s University School of Medicine said he is grateful for the opportunity he received during med school and cannot wait to start the next chapter of his medical career.

Get to know Mr. Leyva below.

SGU: Describe the feeling of Match Day learning that you had secured a residency position.

Joshue Leyva: The moment before I found out where I matched reminded me why I chose medicine as my career. My dream finally became a reality. It was a moment of relief, bliss, and gratitude.

SGU: Where were you when you found out the news?

JL: I was with my family in my home. My fiancée’s family was connected through Zoom from Texas. We celebrated afterwards by eating birria, a traditional Mexican lunch.

SGU: Why did you choose internal medicine as a specialty?

JL: Internal medicine combines my love for clinical problem-solving and engaging in physician-patient communication. In order to approach a clinical scenario, a good doctor must build relationships with the patient and their family—I find that part of the experience the most enjoyable part.

SGU: What are you most excited about starting your medical career?

JL: I am excited to work with a culturally diverse patient population that will allow me to be the best physician I can be. I am motivated by the idea that I will have a strong impact on the lives of my patients.

SGU: What advice would you give to students just entering their clinical rotations?

JL: Truly immerse yourself with every patient case during your clerkships. Learn your patient inside and out and apply what you have learned thus far. Overall, enjoy your time in the hospital and clinic because you can make lasting connections with attendings and residents along the way.

SGU: What advice would you give to clinical students applying for residencies?

JL: If you can schedule a clinical rotation at one of your top programs, try to do so. Although the entire process from the ERAS application to interviews can be daunting, I recommend seeking and researching advice every step along the way. Completing the residency application as early as possible will allow for edits to be made. During interviews, prepare by learning about the program. Most of all, however, be yourself.

SGU: In what ways do you believe SGU has prepared you for the next step in your career?

JL: SGU was instrumental in training me to enter residency. From the learning environment in the classroom setting to the transition to clinicals, they fostered a supportive academic environment.

SGU: Now that you look back on your time at SGU, how would you describe your experience?

JL: SGU allowed me to acquire a culturally diverse medical education allowing me to treat my patients with the utmost cultural sensitivity. The friendships made in Grenada will undoubtedly last a lifetime. I would experience it all over again if given the chance.