A Rite of Passage

Medical students will experience a rite of passage as they await their match sealed in an envelope. After four years of hard work, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine students will find out where they will spend their residencies during Match Day at 11 a.m. Friday (March 21) at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center, 17th Street and University Avenue.

Match Day is a nerve-wracking event that has played out on medical school campuses across the country since 1952. Approximately 150 TTUHSC School of Medicine students will participate in Match Day and learn where they will be for the next three to seven years. The results are opened simultaneously at all of the nation’s medical schools.

“The Class of 2014 has a record of excellence in course work, patient care and community service,” said Steven L. Berk, M.D., TTUHSC executive vice president and provost and dean of the School of Medicine. “We are proud of our students’ accomplishments and share their excitement as they pursue their careers at outstanding teaching programs around the country.”

Months before Match Day, students begin applying to residency programs in their preferred specialties. Students visit sites to evaluate and ultimately rank their preferred residency programs. At the same time, administrators at each site interview applicants and rank them. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) coordinates this process and makes the final match algorithm, which is designed to produce results for students to fill the thousands of training positions available at U.S. teaching hospitals.
Berk said although Match Day is celebrated one day, the event is actually a week-long process. The process of Match Day is celebrated at the 137 U.S. medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

Starting on the Monday of Match Week applicants are informed whether they have been matched to a residency program of their choice, but the student is not told the name of that program. The same day, the locations of remaining unfilled residency positions are released to the unmatched applicants.

The match was established in 1952, at the request of medical students, to provide a fair and impartial transition from medical school to residency. In 2013 the NRMP enrolled 4,621 residency programs in the match, which altogether offered 29,171 positions. A total of 57,960 U.S. and international medical student applications were submitted for these positions, 29,014 of which were from U.S. senior medical students.

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