Each year, Match Day looms as the milestone moment when fourth-year students learn where they’ll complete their residency training. In a process overseen by the National Resident Matching Program, tens of thousands of students from around the U.S. are matched to specialty training programs at medical centers nationwide.
But students interested in the highly competitive specialties of ophthalmology and urology have traditionally participated in an Early Match process. With much less fanfare, these students learn two months early what city they’ll call home for the next several years of their lives.
For our Class of 2012, it’s shaping up to be a remarkable year. Nearly all of our students who were aiming to match into these highly competitive specialties have made excellent matches.
Seven students matching to ophthalmology — five from this year’s graduating class and two from last year’s — are heading to stellar programs like Boston University, the Mayo Clinic and Mount Sinai. The three would-be urologists — two from the Class of 2012 and one 2011 graduate — have been matched to the Universities of Michigan, Chicago and Louisville.
The military medical students also get an early look at what the future holds. The Air Force, Army and Navy coordinate their own residency matching program and, as a result, about a dozen students learned in December that they’re headed to programs stretching from Walter Reed to San Diego. They’ll be training in fields ranging from family medicine and pediatrics, to emergency medicine and anesthesiology, with four students opting for surgery.
A total of 14 fourth-year students have participated in a variety of military scholarship programs, which cover medical school tuition and fees. In exchange, after graduating, the students will serve one year of active duty for each year of scholarship support received. This year, three of the students elected to take a civilian deferment.
The remainder of the Class of 2012 is eagerly anticipating Friday, March 16 when, at noon, they’ll receive envelopes that contain the names of their residency programs. In a change from past years, Match Day has moved to the third Friday of March, instead of the traditional Thursday. This was done to accommodate another change in the Match Program that creates a standardized process for the yearly Scramble of unmatched students to find an unfilled program in their specialty. This will be the inaugural year of what is known as the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program that aims to institute a fair process for students who need to obtain a post-match appointment.