Match Day: 113 envelopes (and a marriage proposal)

March 24, 2013

The 2013 residency Match was the largest in NRMP history; U.S. medical school seniors made up 16,390 of the 25,463 applicants who successfully matched to first-year residency positions.

During the OHSU Match Day ceremony on March 15, eager and nervous medical students crowded into the CROET Atrium to learn where they would be spending the next three to seven years of their lives.

The much anticipated answer (an emotional whirlwind for many) came at 9 a.m., when students opened sealed white envelopes addressed with just their name. The contents revealed not only where they would train after medical school, but what medical specialty they would pursue.

Of the 120 graduating students, 113 will pursue clinical training.

“This is an exciting day for you and your family members’ lives as you take another step in the never ending journey of becoming a physician,” said Mark Richardson, M.D., MBA, dean, OHSU School of Medicine. “No matter where you go next year, your contribution to the changing landscape of health care can and will make a difference.”

Forty-seven of OHSU’s graduating medical students, or 42 percent, are entering residency in primary care, which includes internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics. Matches to internal medicine increased two percent over last year, with 19 students matching. (While some of the students selecting internal medicine are likely to go on to sub-specialize, the overall starting number for primary care is significant.) Fourteen of OHSU’s students matched in emergency medicine programs, 11 in surgery, and six each in anesthesiology and radiology.

For some the journey will be short – at least physically. Eighteen students will remain at OHSU for their residency positions, and an additional six will stay in Oregon. Altogether, 80 students (70 percent of the class) matched to programs in the Western region, including Oregon. Fifteen will travel to the Northeast, 11 to the Central region and seven to the South.

“My four-year-old daughter convinced our family that we would ‘win’ Match Day if we all dressed up in matching outfits,” said Richard Bruno, MS4. “So, with our coordinated colors and a little bit of St Patrick’s Day luck, we matched to exactly where we wanted to be.” Bruno will train in the joint family medicine and preventive medicine program at Johns Hopkins and Franklin Square Medical Center, while attaining a master of public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The day marked a double dose of excitement for Stacy Sprando, MS4. She not only learned she’d be conducting her emergency medicine residency training at OHSU, but her boyfriend proposed to her during the Match Day ceremony before she had even opened her envelope.

“Match day was an incredible whirlwind, a memory that I will take with me for the rest of my life,” said Sprando. “I could not have dreamed up a more wonderful proposal than Dave asking me to spend the rest of our lives together no matter what was inside that envelope. Opening it to find out I would be part of OHSU Emergency Medicine is a true blessing.”

Based on national data collected by the American Association of Medical Colleges, about 50 percent of the graduating class will eventually practice in Oregon. Currently, one-third of all practicing Oregon physicians received all or part of their training at OHSU.

Additional Match Day Resources