Get ready to cheer, because it’s Match Week for the nearly 300 medical students participating in the 2021 Main Residency Match organized by the National Resident Matching Program, culminating with Match Day on March 19.
After years of hard work and determination, the future path of each member of the Class of 2021 will be revealed in the brief time it takes to open an email. Likely from their own homes, students will count down the seconds before noon, when they will receive the email containing their residency assignment for the next three to seven years, depending on their medical specialty. WSU students will fill residency slots in 22 specialties, including Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Emergency Medicine.
Throughout the week, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to share congratulatory messages, photos and videos leading up to, and on, March 19, using the hashtags #WayneMatch2021 and #Match2021 for social media posts.
To share their success, applicants may also choose from three #WayneMatch2021 frames on Facebook, and a WSU “I Matched” GIF via Giphy. Alumni and faculty can participate by sharing photos and stories from their own Match Day using #WayneMatch2021 and #MatchThrowback.
On March 19, the live and interactive Match Day celebration will begin at 10 a.m. on Zoom, hosted by class leadership. The event will feature as many of the traditional Match Day program elements as possible, including award announcements, deans’ remarks, mock awards, an open mic session, an exciting Match statistics presentation, a map of matched locations, and of course, the countdown clock. RSVP today at https://rsvp.wayne.edu/matchday2021.
The Match Day event follows the protocol of the NRMP, a private non-profit corporation established in 1952 to provide a uniform date of appointment to graduate medical education positions in the United States.
“To match into a residency says much about our students and about the medical education they have received, because the competition nationally for residency positions is fierce and grows more competitive each year,” said Dean Mark E. Schweitzer, M.D., who is among the speakers for Friday’s event.
In fact, last year’s match rate – 97.4% – surpassed that year’s national average match rate of 93.7% for allopathic students, with 40,084 active allopathic and osteopathic applicants applying for the first time together for 37,256 available residency positions. A total of 19,256 M.D. U.S. seniors like those at WSU participated in the 2020 Match.
From mid-January through late February, applicants and program directors rank each other in order of preference and submit preference lists to NRMP, which processes them using a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs. Unlike previous years, interviews for the 2021 Match were conducted virtually.
“This year, working in the conditions forced upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic, is something none of us will forget. I am certain that our students’ experience of adapting to the situations caused by the pandemic will make them better physicians,” he added.
Several members of the Class of 2021 who participated in early matches for post-graduation residency programs in the specialties of Urology and Ophthalmology, as well as the Military Match, already know the next step in their medical journey.
Matt Martin learned Feb. 1 that he matched with the Ophthalmology residency at Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit, and the West Bloomfield, Mich.-native couldn’t be happier about staying in Detroit.
“Kresge was easily the No. 1 program on my rank list. I knew going into the interview season that every program I interviewed with was going to have to convince me that they were a better fit for me if they wanted to surpass Kresge as my No. 1 choice,” he said. “Every program I interviewed at was, without a doubt, impressive in its own regard. However, none were able to present me with a complete package of everything I was looking for in a residency program like Kresge was able to.”
Historically, close to half of students from previous matched classes remain in Michigan for residencies. The rest spread throughout the country and into Canada.
Chandler Bronkema, who grew up in Grand Rapids, matched with Harvard Medical College’s Urology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
“This was at the top of my list, so I couldn’t be more excited,” he said. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed living and learning in the heart of Detroit. However, I look forward to a new adventure in the exciting city of Boston.”