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O’Match Day Madness Hits Temple!

POSTED ON March 21, 2017

As luck would have it, 2017 Match Day—the day when all fourth-year medical students nationwide simultaneously learn where they will be doing their residencies—happened to fall on St. Patrick’s Day.

That might explain the extra charge of festivity among the medical students, friends, and family members packed into the Maurice J. Stone, MD Commons of the Medical Education and Research Building at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM) on March 17.

Some in the crowd wore green shirts; others donned green beads, sunglasses, or shamrock crowns. Even LKSOM Dean Larry Kaiser, MD, FACS, sported a light green tie and a strand of beads.

The Irish spirit was especially palpable among the Barnes family, who gathered to support fourth-year student Erin Barnes as she waited to learn where she would begin her neurology residency.

The family wore matching green shirts reading, “Happy St. Match Day, Congratulations Erin!” on the back. The front read, “Watch out ____, here she comes!” A Sharpie rested on a nearby table: Erin would have to wait until noon to write her match on each family member’s shirt.

Match Day represents an important milestone for seniors on their way to becoming physicians. In the matching process, students and teaching hospitals rank each other in order of preference, and a computer sorts through tens of thousands of preferences to match students and sites.

On the same day, at the same hour, tens of thousands of medical students throughout the country find out whether they matched with one of their top choices. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) reports that total Match registrants topped 43,157 this year (204 of these registrants came from Temple). The number of available positions was 31,757—an all-time high.

The NRMP further reported that U.S. medical school seniors made up 19,030 of the 27,688 applicants who successfully matched to first-year residency positions, and about 80 percent of U.S. seniors who matched obtained one of their top three choice programs.

At the moment of truth, a hush fell over the crowd as the medical students tore open their envelopes. The room quickly erupted into cheers, laughter, smiles, and even a few tears as the students learned where they would spend the next several years of their lives.

Erin Barnes examined her letter for a moment, screamed, grabbed the Sharpie, and wrote her match in the blank space on her husband Matt Reiss’s shirt: BOSTON (for Boston University Medical Center).

What better destination for a journey begun on St. Patrick’s Day?

2017 LKSOM Match Results

Top Specialties

  • 46 - Internal Medicine
  • 23 - Emergency Medicine
  • 15 - Pediatrics
  • 19 - Medicine-Preliminary
  • 11 - Radiology-Diagnostic
  • 9 - Neurology
  • 18 - Family Medicine
  • 11 - Surgery-Preliminary
  • 19 - General Surgery
  • 8 - Psychiatry

Top Institutions Matched To

  • 24 - Temple University Hospital
  • 17 - Thomas Jefferson University
  • 11 - Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • 9 - UCLA
  • 7 - St. Luke's University Health Network
  • 6 – University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • 6 - Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • 5 – Harvard
  • 5 – Columbia/Cornell
  • 4 – Johns Hopkins