20 March 2006

Match Day 2006

Match Day was March 16, ironically the same day that we started vaccinating. Match Day can best be described as either the best or worst day of your medical career. Today, all the 4th year medical students around the country find out where they will be completing their residency training. For all of my former classmates at Tulane, it is day that none of us thought would ever arrive. It is the culmination of 3 and a half years of hard work and sacrifice. For many, they will get one of their top 3 choices for residency training; for some, they will be training somewhere they never thought they would be training.

The Match works like this: 4th year medical students select their specialty and apply to a central Residency Application service that processes all of the applications. If the program they are interested in is likewise interested in the candidate, the student is invited for a day long visit to the hospital and an interview. After all interviews have taken place, the student ranks the programs he would consider training at from highest to lowest. The residency programs likewise rank the candidates highest to lowest. A computer analyzes all of the data from all of the students and programs and creates a Match list. A Match occurs when a program on the student’s list is matched with the student’s name on the program’s list of desired candidates. The Match is set up so that the student is given preference over the programs. I do not think I did the program justice here by attempting to describe the process; needless to say it is a complicated process, and a dreaded one, but all medical student entering residencies have to go through it.

As I was in the village when the Match happened, I did not find out the results until Saturday afternoon. I was visibily shaking when I went to the Tulane Med website, and read the list. I was so excited and surprised at the results. My classmates did very well, thank God.

I just wish I could have been there for the party and the celebration. I have attended the Match celebration in New Orleans a few times, and it truly is a huge party. And given this year's circumstances, many thought there would be no medical school at all, let alone a match. Were it not for the dedication and devotion of our deans, Drs. Krane and Kahn, none of this would have happened. Congratulations to all of my former classmates on their respective matches!!


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