Like every doctor in the United States, I can remember every detail of my “Match Day.” The envelopes with our match results were placed in our mailboxes.
The entire class crowded in front of the mailboxes until the dean announced it was time. The doors were opened, envelopes were torn open and cheers erupted as we (finally) knew where we would be training!
The medical students know this process cold, but for their families and friends, here’s what this year’s graduating class went through to get to this moment.
Sometime last spring, students made their final specialty choice. Over the summer, they filled out the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) application, made sure letters of recommendation were submitted and met with their dean to provide information needed to complete their Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE).
From October through January, they travelled around the country visiting programs that offered them an interview. Last month, they ranked those programs in their order of preference and signed off on the final list. At the same time, the residency program directors submitted a list of the applicants they interviewed in their order of preference.
And then we all waited….
Today is the first day of “Match Week.” The National Resident Matching Program algorithm has been run with the goal of placing every graduating medical student in the United States into a residency training program. The system works well, with more than 95 percent of residents successfully matched to programs. For the few that don’t match, there is a second opportunity to match through the “SOAP” (Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program), which will take place this week.
On Friday, our team from the Office of Student Affairs will take the envelopes containing the match results for our 189 graduates and staple them to two large boards. The boards, covered in paper, will be taken to a courtyard while students, family, faculty and friends gather. There will be congratulations from the president of BCM, short speeches from the deans and comments from the class president.
The class may (or may not) have a surprise as part of their celebration, like last year’s flash mob. And then, at 11 a.m. sharp, the class president will tear the paper from the boards, the envelopes will be opened…and the celebration really begins!
Congratulations to everyone matching this week and to the family, friends, faculty, program directors and deans who make this possible.
-Dr. Mary Brandt, Associate Dean of Student Affairs