Third class at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine anxiously awaits Match Day

Match Day 2015

David Hungate

Match Day is a ceremony steeped in tradition at medical schools across the country, and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is no exception. Above, Sanghee Suh, Class of 2015, places a marker where she has been accepted into her top choice for a residency program. The tradition will be played out again for the Class of 2016 this Friday.

One of the most nail-biting, suspenseful days of the year will play out this Friday at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine as 41 soon-to-be doctors learn where the next leg of their journey will take them. And they’re in good company, too, as thousands of medical students across the country will be anxiously doing the same thing.

Match Day is part of the National Resident Matching Program, which connects fourth-year medical students with residency programs across the country. It is a ceremony that has been played out on medical school campuses for decades.

“Every doctor remembers their Match Day,” said Dr. Cynda Johnson, dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “It’s an important milestone because it solidifies their future specialty and determines where they will be living for the next three to seven years of their lives.”

Match Day involves a complex algorithm that matches students’ preferences for the location and specialty of their residency with the residency programs’ ranking of applicants. The results are revealed at the same time on the same day at all medical schools in the United States.

So far, the school has had excellent results for its residency placements. All of its fourth-year students in its first two classes were matched with one of their ranked residency programs. These included placements at some of the country’s most elite programs such as Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Emory, and Duke. This year’s class interviewed for residencies in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

“As with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s first two classes, these students have performed well, exceeding the national mean scores on their medical board exams,” said Dr. Aubrey Knight, associate dean for student affairs. “This, as well as other benchmarks of success, has positioned them to be highly competitive at the national level.”

In addition, 15 students from the first two classes remained in Roanoke either for a preliminary year that some residencies require or to complete their entire residency.

The school will graduate its third class on May 7.

Written by Catherine Doss