Marc and Taylor Kai Continue Medical Education Journey Together

When the clock struck noon on Match Day in March, medical students across the nation simultaneously learned where they would complete their residency. For Marc Kai and Taylor Kai, they were matched to the same residency location, and that was intentional.

Marc and Taylor are married and enrolled in a couples match, which means they strived to match at the same health care system. Through this process two applicants individually rank their list of choices for residency, then link them, and an algorithm helps determine where both applicants matched. Now that they’re graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, the next stop for Marc and Taylor will be the University of Maryland.

“Because we were hoping to match at the same place, we had to be more strategic when listing our choices, while also keeping our options open to compromise,” Taylor said. “We both see ourselves doing a fellowship in the future, so we worked to maximize our chances of matching now and in fellowship.”

The couple have experienced nearly all of medical school together. They met on the second day of orientation week at a social event at the Mellow Mushroom, bonding over their love for the outdoors. Their icebreaker was that Taylor likes wearing interesting shoes, and Marc likes wearing interesting socks.

“It was basically my excuse to talk to her,” Marc said. “Then we started being study partners, which was mutually beneficial. She’s very studious and helped me stay more focused, but we also helped each other maintain lives outside of medical school.”

Planning a wedding is already complicated enough, but Marc and Taylor planned theirs during the peak of their medical school journey, near the end of finals week in December 2017. The process leading up to it was challenging to say the least. They recall staying up until 2 a.m. the night before, putting the final touches on decorations and building an arch for the ceremony, and they heavily utilized the help of their friends and family.

“It sounded like a good idea at the time, but it was pretty hectic,” Marc said with a laugh.

Thankfully, they can look back at it fondly. After all, they’ve made it through very happily married and ready to take the next step of their careers together.

They both are pursuing internal medicine, through which they’ll follow the same curriculum until they pick out a specialty. Picking the same path is helpful, as the programs to which they applied were aware that they were couples matching. Later on, Taylor is looking to specialize in pulmonary and critical care, while Marc is looking into oncology to complement his prior PhD research.

And for the moments when they have some time away from the hospital, they plan to prioritize their down time for traveling, which is already an important part of their relationship. They took a six-week road trip from Portland, Ore., to upstate New York during their first year of medical school, and in second year, they drove through Asheville, N.C., Atlanta, and across Florida. They traveled to Belize for their honeymoon, and for their big trip this past year, Thailand and Cambodia.

Perhaps the Kais’ greatest adventure, however, will begin when they experience their first official years of their careers in medicine as doctors.