Students learn their future at Match Day

Gray skies didn’t take away from the bright futures of Baylor College of Medicine fourth-year medical students at Match Day 2015, held Friday, March 20. That’s when they learned where they will be conducting their residency training for the next three to seven years.

Baylor Match Day 2015

2015 Class President Diane Chen tears the cover off the Match Board to reveal students’ envelopes. Chen will stay at Baylor for training in otolaryngology

Match Day is the culmination of the National Residents Matching Program, which pairs fourth-year medical students with residency programs throughout the nation.

At Baylor, 178 students participated in the National Residents Matching Program, and two additional students participated in the Military Match. Of those students:

  • 90 students 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 51 percent of the students participating in the match.
  • 47 students matched with residency programs at Baylor College of Medicine.
  • 77 students matched with residency programs in Texas.

Match Day at Baylor is a festive, family event, with balloons adorning the hallways and courtyard where the event is held. A class photo and a student-organized flash mob preceded the short program, which included remarks from Dr. Mary Brandt, senior associate dean of student affairs; Baylor president, CEO and executive dean Dr. Paul Klotman; Dr. Alicia Monroe, provost and senior vice president of academic and faculty affairs; Dr. Clay Goodman, associate dean of undergraduate medical education; and class president Diane Chen.

Klotman reminded students that it’s not whether they get their first choice that matters most.

“Remember that if you don’t get your first choice today, you were still the first choice of the organization where you did match, and they are ecstatic,” Klotman said. “I got my second choice, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s not what choice you get, it’s where you’re going.”

Wherever students end up, they will find that they are better trained than their peers from other institutions, Klotman said. “There’s nothing wrong with Baylor swag – make sure everyone knows you’re a Baylor trainee.”

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Monroe called students Baylor’s professional progeny, emphasizing that everything they do going forward will reflect on Baylor. She described this time as one of growth and transformation for students as they take the next step in their lifelong journey.

“You are not just going to do well, you are going out to do good,” Monroe said.

Goodman offered students three phrases they should keep in mind as they continue their medical training:

  • “Can I help” – while it’s implicit that doctors are there to help patients sometimes it’s best to simply ask, “How can I help?” Ask the same of your fellow residents too, he advised students.
  • “I don’t know” – There’s no shame in admitting you don’t know something, he told students, and it’s best to follow up with, “But I will find out.”
  • “I love you” – reserve this for your family, he said, they made you who you are.

Class president Chen offered thanks on behalf of all her classmates to the student affairs office and to the great educators at Baylor, “Those with us today and some of whom have left us too soon.”

“We stand here together representing Baylor College of Medicine with our commitment to the art of medicine,” she said. “Whether you will be staying or departing, take your experiences here as a foundation and as a source of inspiration. Let the standard of excellence and compassion set here by our professors be a standard we will continue to strive for and spread wherever we may be.”

Brandt led a countdown to 11 a.m., when students rushed the colorful board stapled with envelopes that revealed their match. They tore into their envelopes, celebrating their futures with classmates and loved ones.