Medical Students Celebrate Match Day 2015

The nervous excitement in the room was palpable on Friday as the School of Medicine Class of 2015 lined up to get their yellow envelopes, each one containing the name of the hospital or program where they will spend their next years training as resident physicians.

Match Day is a yearly rite of passage, the moment when fourth-year medical students across the country simultaneously learn where they will be continuing their training. 

The “match” is not made in heaven but through a computer algorithm developed by the National Residency Match Program. Applicants rank their most preferred programs while the programs similarly rank applicants, and the computer attempts to make the best possible match.

Being matched to one’s first or second choice can be a significant triumph for a graduating student since residency at a prominent institution is seen as a crucial launching platform for a successful career. Yet not every student aims for a career as a specialist at one of the country’s top medical centers. Many graduates see their future in primary care serving their community, and their first choice may be a program in a rural hospital.

Of the 177 UCSF School of Medicine graduates matching this year, 72 are headed for primary care tracks in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. For specialty programs, 105 students matched, including 18 to ObGyn, 17 to Emergency Medicine and 10 to Surgery.

As to region, 108 will stay in California, including 47 at UCSF, while the rest will take up residencies in other states, with the largest cohorts going to New York, Massachusetts and Washington State.

Slideshow photos by Mark Wooding