It’s a Match!

Fourth-year students at Baylor College of Medicine are wrapping up medical school, but first they had to unwrap the colorful match board and tear open the envelopes that chart their future over the coming years.Match Day at Baylor and across the nation was held March 21. It represents the culmination of the National Resident Matching Program, which pairs fourth-year medical students with residency programs throughout the country. It is held at institutions across the country on the same day.

Students rush for their envelopes on the Match board

Students rush for their envelopes on the Match board

It is a special day at Baylor, when students and their families join with faculty and others at Baylor in celebration of their medical career journey. Festive balloons lead the way through the halls of Baylor to the courtyard, where the event is held.

At Baylor, 173 fourth-year medical students participated in the match. Results of the match included:

79 students who are entering primary care residency programs in the fields of family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, medicine/pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology or emergency medicine. This represents 45 percent of the students participating in the match.

45 students who matched with programs at Baylor College of Medicine, and 70 who matched with residency programs in Texas.

“It’s a great day at Baylor College of Medicine. When we think of the fun times here, we think of White Coat Ceremony as students are starting medical school, we think of graduation and, of course, we think of Match Day,” said Baylor President and CEO Dr. Paul Klotman.

But he reminded students that Match Day is not the end of the journey. Drawing an analogy to car racing, he said Match Day is more like determining pole position but students still need to perform well in the race.

“You can match to your No. 1 choice but if you don’t go there and perform to the best of your abilities and training, you won’t do as well as someone who got their fourth choice.”

Klotman told the students they will find that they are better trained than everyone else. “Practice the Baylor way, and be proud of the organization that you came from.”

Dr. Alicia Monroe, senior dean of education, told students they will be an important part of the alumni network, and urged them to stay involved with Baylor.

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“You are Baylor College of Medicine,” she said. “How you carry yourselves, how you care for patients, how you are involved with your communities will carry the name of Baylor College of Medicine.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Stephen Greenberg, senior vice president and dean of medical education, imparted the lessons of Capt. Kirk of Star Trek, including to always be explorers and to learn and listen to people with vastly different views and change when the circumstances change. “If you can do that, it will take you far.”

Dr. Mary Brandt, associate dean of student affairs, reminded students of her three rules – always do what’s right for patients; look cool doing it by making sure they hone their skills and practice professionalism; and don’t hurt anyone, or anything, that has a name.

Class president Ben Ma told his peers to revel in the day and celebrate their accomplishments to date but to remember that there is much more to be done.

“This is an important occasion and a huge step for us. But today does not define us. We get to define our own futures,” Ma said. “We have a lot more patients to see and milestones to accomplish.”

Ma then led the countdown to 11 a.m., when students grabbed the envelopes from the colorful match board. They tore open their envelopes, and then the celebration began.