Match Day for Medical Student

At this time of year, high schoolers across the country are eagerly awaiting their college acceptance letters. And on this particular day, all 4th year medical students across the country will find where they've been matched with residency programs. It's a decision that will affect the next four years of their lives, and it's called "Match Day". From the KUHF NewsLab, Melissa Galvez reports.

"3, 2, 1….(cheers, applause)"

It's the moment these medical students have been waiting for-when they surge like a pack of hungry lions towards that bulletin board, where each one will find an envelope containing his or her fate.

"Go, go go!"

Every year 4th year medical students, like these from Baylor College of Medicine, go through the same process.  They pick a specialty, like pediatrics, and apply to residency programs.  They rank their favorites, and the schools pick the ones they want. A big computer makes matches between the two-and voilà!  A decision is made which determines where these future doctors will spend the next four years of their lives.

"I think we've all been really lucky"

Faith Dorsey and Shaina Horwitz are two students who just tore open their envelopes.  Dorsey is going to Columbia for pediatrics and Horwitz stays at Baylor to study pediatric neurology.  Horwitz says that the match process was especially hard this year:

"This match process was so hard this year, I think a lot of people were just really happy that they matched…Like Dr. Donovan said, more applicants, the number of spots are less available, medical students across the country are becoming more  competitive, so it's just a tougher market"

So it's taken a lot of hard work to get to this point.  Horwitz says she and her fellow students feel a great sense of accomplishment:

"I feel like on surgery it was just, it was literally so non-stop that you didn't really have time to eat or go to the restroom, so I feel like at this point there's so much we've gone through, that you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel until it's right there.  So it's kind of exciting that we're in the moment now, and we can just enjoy it"

So now, on to the celebration…

"Tonight we're goin' out…we're going to go out on Baylor's tab"

Not everyone gets their first choice, however.  In fact, some students don't get matched with a school at all, so they have to look on their own through a process called "Scramble". Molly Christensen  and her fiancée Jeff Reitsema were matched with their second choice school, in New Mexico.  But she says that they're not disappointed:

"We really feel like the top three programs we ranked are all wonderful, and we really feel like we're being led where we should be, and we're just so excited that we're going to be together."

Their preferred form of celebration?

"We're going to go jump in the big fountain in front of Baylor"

Happy Match day, everyone.

From the KUHF NewsLab, I'm Melissa Galvez.