JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Seventy-three East Tennessee State University (ETSU) graduating medical students found out where they have been matched for their residency next year.

Friday, better known to the graduates as Match Day, marks a climax after years of hard work.

“Just the culmination of eight years of hard work and just thinking about all the people who supported me along the way, both through my undergrad and throughout medical school,” said ETSU medical student Ahmed Elgazzar.

For students like Elgazzar and Stephanie Alu, Johnson City hasn’t just been the place they attended medical school. They also attended high school in the area together.

“Being able to be here in my own community, graduating medical school – I have been on this journey since I was a kid,” said Alu.

One by one, the medical students received their envelopes, which held the answers to where they have been accepted for their future training.

“I’m excited,” said Elgazzar. “I think that’s the big theme here. I think everyone’s excited. It’s drowned out some of the nerve-racking emotions that we’ve had throughout the year.”

After a countdown, the letters revealed where the Quillen students will go. For many, the long-term plan is to come back to the Tri-Cities.

“Hopefully, [I’ll] come back one day to pour back into my community, it’s something that I’m really looking forward to,” Alu said.

Both Alu and Elgazzar got their first picks. Alu will do her residency in South Carolina and Elgazzar will do his in Alabama.

A release from ETSU stated that every graduating student was matched with a residency program, with the vast majority receiving their number one choice.