Medical Students Meet Their Matches
On March 18, “Match Day,” fourth-year Feinberg School of Medicine students learned where they will be going for the next phase of their medical careers. The day marked the culmination of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) in which graduating medical students are matched with residency positions in the specialties of their choice at teaching hospitals across the country. This year 162 Feinberg School students participated in the NRMP, while the other 9 students matched through an early program or in military scholarship programs. They celebrated the traditional opening of the Match envelopes at an off-campus party with friends and families.
Among Feinberg School students, 67 matched in medicine residencies (42 in categorical and 25 in preliminary programs), 19 in surgery (8 categorical and 11 preliminary), 17 in pediatrics, 15 in transitional residency programs, 12 each in emergency medicine and orthopaedic surgery, 9 in obstetrics and gynecology, 5 in psychiatry, 3 each in pathology and family medicine, 2 each in urology and physical medicine and rehabilitation, and 1 each in anesthesiology, neurological surgery, neurology, otolaryngology, and plastic surgery.
Nationally 25,246 applicants participated in the Match, a 5.3 percent increase from 2003. For the first time, more than 20,000 matches were made to first- and second-year residency positions. A news release from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) stated that these match results indicate that the “NRMP continues to be a successful and effective process for both resident applicants and residency programs.” James Taylor, president of the NRMP board of directors, added, “The notable increase in applicants and residency positions this year indicates a high level of support and a continued confidence in the fairness of the Match. It also once again demonstrates how important the Match is to medical education and sends a clear message to those who want to dismantle the process,” referring to an ongoing legal challenge against the process.
The NRMP matches the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs to fill the available training positions at U.S. teaching hospitals. The Match was established at the request of medical students to provide a fair and impartial transition to the graduate medical education experience necessary for all practicing physicians.
According to the AAMC, nearly 93 percent of medical school seniors seeking first-year residencies matched with open positions at participating teaching hospitals. The match rate for U.S. medical school seniors has remained between 92 and 94 percent for the past 20 years. More than three-fourths (76.8 percent) of all 2004 Match participants, including international medical school graduates and other non-U.S. medical school seniors, were matched to residency positions.