In Match Day celebrations around the country, family and friends surrounded more than 17,000 U.S. medical school seniors as they opened envelopes telling them where they will spend the next three to seven years in residency training. Match Day coincided with St. Patrick’s Day this year. At one medical school, students were led to the Match Day ceremony by a faculty member playing the bagpipes. In some ceremonies, students opened envelopes one by one on stage. In others, the entire class opened envelopes simultaneously.
“U.S. medical schools advise students on their residency choices to help them narrow their interests among dozens of medical specialties and thousands of residency programs,” AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, said in a press release. “This increases the likelihood of successfully matching to a program that meets the students’ interests and skills and helps build a physician workforce that can address patient care needs.”
According to data from the National Resident Matching Program, 94% of U.S. applicants matched to residency positions, with 78% matching to one of their top three choices. The recent presidential executive orders on immigration, however, introduced uncertainty to the March 17, 2017, event, since thousands of international medical graduates are included in the Match each year.
“The AAMC is greatly concerned that visa delays may obstruct foreign students who successfully matched to residency programs today from starting their training and treating patients on or around July 1, 2017,” Kirch said. “Physicians from other countries provide a substantial portion of U.S. patient care, especially in rural and other underserved communities, and play a critical role in the health security of our nation.”
Photo credits (clockwise): Andy Duback for UVM Larner College of Medicine, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Zara Tzanev for Tufts University.