Matching in a global pandemic

Match Day at Baylor College of Medicine had a different feel this year due to the national call to practice social distancing in our country’s fight against COVID-19.

On this day, fourth-year medical students across the U.S. learn where they will continue their residency training for the next three to seven years. Typically a festive celebration with immediate and extended family, friends and peers, students this year received their match notification by email.

While there was no on-campus celebration for the Class of 2020, they must still be recognized as they start their professional careers at the most critical time for healthcare in our lifetimes.

Match Day 2020

Fourth-year medical students Emily Johnson, left, and Maya Firsowicz match in ob/gyn and dermatology, respectively. Congratulations!

“You will never forget this experience,” said Baylor President, CEO and Executive Dean Dr. Paul Klotman in a virtual speech sent to students ahead of the March 20 11 a.m. match. “You are entering the health professional world just at a time when the world needs health professionals. There can be no better time for you to be entering the next step of your careers.”

Of the 184 fourth-year medical students participating in the match:

  • 105 are beginning their residencies in the primary care fields of family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, medicine/pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology or emergency medicine. This represents 58 percent of the students participating in the match.
  • 33 students matched with residency programs at Baylor College of Medicine. 71 matched with residency programs in Texas.

Klotman assured students that they should not focus on whether they received their top match. “When you match, you’re matching at an institution that really, really wants you. You’re going to be excellent where you are, and you will represent Baylor College of Medicine – all of our values, our willingness to strive for excellence, our importance around integrity and collaborative work.”

Dr. Alicia Monroe, provost and senior vice president of academic and faculty affairs at Baylor, joined Klotman in acknowledging the students regarding the importance of the timing of their match during a global pandemic.

“You have just reached an important milestone in your professional development and in your education as a physician,” Monroe said. “You have been given the privilege and opportunity to pursue a career in medicine. Please know that this is an opportunity for you as you transition, not only to take your place as important contributors and leaders in medicine, but know that you’ve been well-prepared to serve and lead, and provide comfort and care.”

Andrew Jensen, president of the class of 2020, addressed his peers and urged them to celebrate their hard work. Jensen matched in anesthesiology at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Among all the chaos, this day really is our day. Thank you so much Baylor College of Medicine class of 2020, and congratulations.”

Dr. Jennifer Christner, dean of the School of Medicine, and Dr. Joseph Kass, associate dean of student affairs, also spoke on behalf of the students, congratulating them on their future endeavors.

View the full video below.