The Day Matches Are Made

Over the 50 years since the School of Medicine admitted its first class, many aspects of medical education and practice have changed. But one thing has not: Match Day.

Every year since 1952, at precisely the same moment, thousands of graduating medical school students across the country simultaneously tear open an envelope.

The single sheet of paper inside informs each graduate where he or she will do their residencies—in other words, where each will spend the first several years of their lives as working doctors.

Operated by the nonprofit National Resident Matching Program, the emotional event culminates months of student’s applications and interviews with a dozen or more hospitals and institutions, all in search of their perfect match.

Each student creates a ranking of their choices, while each hospital and institution creates its own list of preferred residents. A computer algorithm compares the lists, crunches the numbers and produces a single choice for each matched student.

“Match Day is a dramatic and joyous event that symbolizes the start of the next phase of our students’ medical education and training in their chosen fields,” says Carolyn Kelly, MD, associate dean for admissions and student affairs. “I don’t think Match Day events have changed much in the last 50 years, and that seems to be fine with just about everyone!”

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