MD/MPH: The Perfect Match

Dual-degree students celebrate Match Day 2024

Group of students celebrating Match Day.

Dual-degree students completing their Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Public Health (MPH) at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health reached the pinnacle moment they set their sights on when first entering graduate school. Every year, thousands of medical students anticipate the start of the National Resident Matching Program, which assigns students to a residency program in their chosen specialty.  

The School of Public Health had over 60 MD/MPH students complete their degrees and have now identified their next chapter, for those pursuing a career as a physician. Each MD/MPH student across the school's six locations in Texas waited in anticipation to celebrate their match destinations with their loved ones to learn where they will continue their residency programs this summer. 


Emily Bateman Barton, aged 27, an MD/MPH student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, has landed her dream match at the University of Colorado in otolaryngology. To Barton, this specialty, focusing on the ears, nose, and throat, holds the key to how people communicate, adapt, and present themselves to the world. "From hearing and sleep to cancer and airway problems, there are so many opportunities for conversation, education, advocacy, and research in the field," she expressed. Her future specialized training in otolaryngology will allow Barton to advocate for patients trying to communicate with their loved ones and the world. 

Barton decided to pursue a dual degree after working in a multidisciplinary clinic and often hearing about the frustration of patients' healthcare experiences. For Barton, she desired to support patients through education and preventative health measures. 

With her next steps in her residency program in Colorado, Barton is prepared to utilize her combined training in public health and medicine. "I am excited to take the tools I have gained in critical reasoning, research, and recognizing social determinants of health and apply them to a field I am incredibly passionate about," said Barton. She will continue to advocate and communicate for her patients in a specialty that connects breakthroughs with human connection. 
"Medicine is an amazing field, blending scientific discovery with what it means to be human." 


Simon Braendle, aged 25, an MD/MPH student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, has fastened his future with Baylor College of Medicine in a combined internal medicine and genetics residency. These two specialties have fascinated Braendle with their numerous possibilities for uncovering genetic structure and translating findings to diagnose and treat patients. 

"I'm excited to practice in this area as I'm interested in working and treating people with rare metabolic conditions, treating adults, and using research to advance medicine through precision and personalized medicine," Braendle stated. 
Braendle's interest in medicine and public health developed during his undergraduate studies while trying to seek health services. Through his experience, he realized how challenging the patient journey can be , which led him to pursue an MD/MPH to merge individual patient care with solving issues for population health. "I am interested in the combination of helping people, providing greater access to healthcare, reasoning through puzzles and being cognitively engaged through my career, and understanding and participating in advances in science to improve health care," he stated. 

Braendle looks forward to helping treat patients who suffer from rare diseases and providing the utmost care as he completes his 4-year training residency program at Baylor. 


Nisha Gupta, aged 25, an MD/MPH student at McGovern Medical School, has always been inclined to specialize in pediatrics. Gupta has successfully matched with the University of Washington and is eager to start her three-year pediatrics training. Gupta, an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, aspires to advocate for patients and the well-being of their communities through this specialty. "I have chosen to pursue pediatrics and am looking forward to connecting with kids and their families, where we can work on healthy solutions and provide guidance in a collaborative manner." 

As a Schweitzer fellow, she worked with kids to shed light on the mental health issues facing these age groups, such as depression, anxiety, and understanding personal identities. Gupta's match in pediatrics reaffirms her past work and supports her future working with children and teenagers as they reach every milestone. "I am proud that I have had even the smallest impact on helping these children understand themselves and their emotions," she said. This work has affirmed her decision to follow a specialty with her next destination in Seattle, which allows her to continue following a lifelong passion for increasing pediatric care. 

Gupta aims to empower these young individuals with the tools and knowledge to maintain lifelong wellness through her understanding of public health and medical training.  


Aliyah Conley Hauser, aged 27, an MD/MPH student at McGovern Medical School, has secured a match with her number one choice, Thomas Jefferson University in obstetrics and gynecology, a four-year training. For Hauser, this specialty works to advocate for women's health in a time when she observes the deprioritization of reproductive health. "As a physician, I am eager to advocate for reproductive justice and the importance of screening for and treating gynecologic cancers," Hauser said. 

Her early interest in public health stemmed from working directly with health policy as an intern in Washington, D.C., for Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI). "I loved seeing how policy was drafted, revised, and enacted to serve constituents. For a more community-oriented view of health policy, I interned for the Children's Defense Fund-TX and volunteered as an ACA enrollment counselor in Austin," she described. 

Through this work, Hauser decided to pursue a dual degree in medicine and public health to cement her passions and educate herself on advancing women's health. Now poised with the anticipation of conferring her degrees, she is positioned to elevate patient care and community medicine. 

"My goal is to ensure my patients and women in my community feel heard and supported through all stages of life." 

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