Penn State College of Medicine students reveal their futures

Fourth-year Penn State College of Medicine medical students joined thousands of fellow medical students across the country at noon today (March 19) in simultaneously opening letters to learn which hospitals and health care providers have accepted them into residency programs. The much-anticipated ceremony is known as Match Day.

The sound of 118 ripping envelopes filled the Hershey Country Club and was soon followed by cheers and hugs. A cake in the crescent shape of the College of Medicine’s main building, designed by Baltimore-based Charm City Cakes, capped the celebration for students and their families.

Match Day included 17 students from central Pennsylvania. This year, 20 students were accepted into the College of Medicine’s various residency programs and will remain at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. This marks the first time in more than two decades that the Medical Center filled all available positions in its residency programs during match week.

Fourth-year medical students began the residency assignment process months ago by researching, visiting and interviewing with directors of residency programs that interest them. In February, students filed their rank-order lists of residency programs of interest. Medical program directors also filed their rank-order lists of applicants. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), a private, not-for-profit corporation established in 1952, completes the "match." Each year, approximately 16,000 U.S. medical school students participate in the residency match.

According to the NRMP, this was the largest Match in history: 29,890 applicants participated — 1,153 more than last year and 4,500 more than participated five years ago. More than half the participants (15,638) in this year's match were U.S. medical school seniors, 400 more than in 2008.

Fifteen additional College of Medicine students did not participate in Match Day. They learned before today’s event that they have been matched with military or other special programs.

College of Medicine students now look forward to graduation ceremonies before beginning their residency programs. The 2009 graduation weekend is May 15-17.

Watch part of the medical students celebration on our Penn State Hershey YouTube Channel.

For photos, visit http://live.psu.edu/stilllife/1996 online.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010