Best Birthday Present Ever!

It’s not everyday that you turn 30 and find out you landed a residency position to your first choice program. But that’s what happened yesterday, and I couldn’t be any more ecstatic. Yes, I’m happy to announce that I have matched into Mercer University / Navicent Health Family Medicine Residency Program! This means I am going back to my hometown of Macon, Georgia for the next three years and beyond. It’s an outstanding program with an amazingly supportive group of faculty, residents, and staff that I believe I will be thrilled to work with. Irene and I are especially happy that we will be able to raise our kids around the grandparents, an experience that neither one of us really had growing up, as children of first-generation immigrant parents.

I am especially proud seeing the friends that I shared the past four years with match into their dream residencies, from specialties as varied as surgery, radiology, neurology, and PM&R, to programs as prestigious as Yale and Washington University in St. Louis, which is my undergraduate alma mater, and two of my fellow AUC colleagues matched here this year! I feel so proud of everyone right now and am so thankful to have chosen this path. For my AUC colleagues who will be entering the Match next year and the years beyond, and for those on the island, I will be rooting for you all and look forward to seeing you all succeed. Best of luck everyone and thank you so much for this day!


Irene and me when we first found out where I matched!

Irene and me when we first found out where I matched!

surprise birthday

Irene planned a surprise birthday/Match day party for me at our favorite Southern restaurant in Valdosta, Steel Magnolias. Thank you to my family from Macon and Gainesville who came over to share this day with me!

photo (1)

Irene bought me a new iPhone 5s to use for my upcoming residency. My old iPhone 4 case won’t be able to fit on it, so I’ll need a new case. Now that I’m no longer a Caribbean Med Student, how should I design it this time?

Also, AUC published an alumni profile about me. Check it out!

22 comments to Best Birthday Present Ever!

  • Mohammed

    You’re gonna be great, Benji. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy 🙂

    • Benji

      Thanks Mohammed! Before you know it, you’ll be celebrating Match Day too! Best of luck in med school and let me know if you have any questions! 🙂

  • A

    Congratulations to you!!! All us AUC/Caribbean students who have been following your journey are so inspired. Best wishes to you!

  • Rachel

    Congratulations, Benji!! I am a non-traditional student on the application (to AUC) side of the process. Your blog encouraged me to (do even more) research in my quest to find the best fit for me. Thanks for exemplifying the possibilities of this path. You rock!

  • Dee

    Congrats! Seeing your success has made this journey more realistic. Thanks for sharing each step of the way with us.

  • Vivian

    Hello Benji,

    I recently discovered your website and I must say that you are a great blessing to many people like me. My reason for leaving a comment is to encourage you to never give up helping others with your gift of communication. This website that you created has been a great source of relief for me as I pursue my dream to become a physician. I have been overwhelmed by the process but reading about your journey has renewed my strength to not give up on my dream. I just want to say, THANK YOU!

  • Rose

    Congratulations Benji! Your blog is has taught me a lot about AUC and how far passion can take you! You are graduating with my friend Kemi for who I am also very excited!!! Congrats to you all!!

    • Benji

      Thanks Rose! Yeah I know Kemi! We were in England together and went to go visit Stonehenge with some other friends. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  • RossGrad

    Congrats Benji. As a former carribbean grad, I can imagine the relief and joy you had at hearing this news. Heres to your continued success

    • Benji

      Thank you Ross Grad!
      Yes, it was definitely a relief, especially since from day one, we knew coming to the Caribbean was a risk we were taking and were drilled over and over in our heads the idea that we need to outperform our US med student counterparts in order to match. In hindsight, things weren’t as bad as I thought.

  • Danielle

    Congrats on such an amazing accomplishment!!! I will be an International Medical Graduate as well, I attend Ross University and am currently in my third year. I am very interested in doing both of my Internal Medicine core as well as Surgery Core in Romford, but my career advisors are telling me that the international rotations are a disadvantage when applying for residency in the US. I have a friend who is an AUC Alum, did all 2 years of rotations in Ireland, and is an amazing trauma surgeon today. Could you tell me if your international rotations were ever an issue during the interview process, and if there were any states or hospitals that did not look favorable upon them. Any advice is greatly appreciated!! And again, congrats on completing the dream!
    Kind Regards,

    • Benji

      Hi Danielle,
      Congrats on making this far into med school. Clinicals is when the fun begins! I think going abroad to the UK for rotations is a great experience, and I certainly learned and did a lot at Romford. I did not have any issues that I am aware of by going to England for two of my rotations. Rather, I found a lot of my interviewers were actually intrigued that I went to England, and they would ask about my experience. Of course, I would describe my experience in a positive light, because it was, and make it into something that is a positive aspect about my application. However, I do not recommend going to England for all of your rotations because most residency programs require you do at least one year of clinicals in the US.

  • Danielle

    Thank you so much!!! I will only be doing 2 core rotations in Romford, IM and Surgery, all of the rest in the US! I am so glad to hear your advice! I even called residency programs that I would be interested to get their opinion on international rotations, and all had the same advice as you!!! I couldn’t be happier to have this opportunity to study abroad! Thanks again for the good news! All the best!!

  • Rebecca Howell

    Hey Benji—-Before you match…how do you determine WHERE your clinical rotations will be? Can you choose or do you literally have to travel to five differing locations the school opts for you????

    Concerned new student, Jan 2017

  • Angela

    Hi Benji,

    I am looking into applying for Family Medicine at Mercer university residency program but I wanted to know if I could possibly do a family med sub-internship there before I do?

    Thanks for all your help

    • Benji Ho

      Most people doing rotations here are from Mercer University. I only know of one person who was from another school who had the opportunity to rotate here. I’m not sure how he was able to obtain it.

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