College of Medicine students celebrate 'Match Day'

March 18, 2004

Students participate in national medical school tradition

For many Penn State College of Medicine students and students across the country, the anticipation of "Match Day" is finally over. The envelopes have been opened and the students' futures have been revealed.

On March 18, College of Medicine students and faculty gathered in the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center hospital auditorium to participate in the annual Match Day ceremonies -- a national tradition in which soon-to-be-graduated medical students throughout the United States simultaneously opened letters to learn what hospital or other health-care provider has accepted them into a residency program. For pictures, visit

"I got my first choice," said student Mark Cappel. "I just can't believe it. I'm so excited."

This year, 107 College of Medicine students participated in the national match to find placement as health-care professionals after graduation, 14 of which are under-represented minorities. An additional 16 students learned previously they had been matched in military or other special programs. Another 16 College of Medicine students were accepted into the Penn State College of Medicine's various residency programs and will remain at Hershey Medical Center.

"I'm so happy I got into my first choice," said Carolyn Calisti. "It's here in Hershey. I wanted to stay here because everyone is so supportive of education. Besides, I love Hershey. It's in the middle of everything, but not a big city."

Also, Penn State Hershey Medical Center accepted students from around the country for its new emergency medicine residency program. Six students from across the country were admitted into the program through the match, filling out the available emergency medicine residency slots.

"As a brand-new residency program, we were very impressed with the level of interest we received from medical students throughout the country," said Kym Salness, chair of emergency medicine. "Our incoming residents have excellent educational track records and were ranked very high on our list of prospective candidates. We are extremely pleased with the quality of our inaugural group of residents."

Including the emergency medicine program, 96 medical students nationwide today were matched to 20 accredited specialty residency programs in the College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center. Of those students, 18 are under-represented minorities. In all, the college has 40 accredited residency programs.

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) program, otherwise known as "The Match," is a private, not-for-profit corporation sponsored by five organizations. It is designed to ease the often chaotic and stressful transition from medical school to residency for medical students.

Each year in February, after researching, visiting and interviewing residency programs and otherwise investigating their options, participating senior medical students and other applicants are required to file a rank-order list of training programs of interest, indicating the priority of their preference. Likewise, program directors file their rank-order list of applicants.

The computer "match" increases the options for medical students allowing them to compete for a broad range of medical programs and maximize their access to residency programs. This matching of interests assures placement in preferred residency programs for students.

Each year the NRMP enrolls approximately 3,700 programs in the match and more than 31,000 participate in the match.

Students still have graduation ceremonies ahead of them before they officially begin their various residency programs. The 2004 Graduation Weekend at Hershey is May 14-16.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 20, 2009