On a cold and rainy St. Patrick’s Day that forced festivities to be moved inside, fourth-year medical students at Baylor College of Medicine still had the ‘Luck o’ the Irish’ on their side for Match Day, where they learned where they will continue their medical training as residents for the next three to seven years.
Match Day, held today at U.S. medical schools, culminates the annual National Resident Match Program that pairs fourth-year medical students with residency programs throughout the nation. At Baylor, 159 students matched, and more than half will begin their residencies in the primary care fields of family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, medicine/pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology or emergency medicine. Forty-eight students will continue their training in residencies at Baylor College of Medicine, and 70 matched with residency programs in Texas.
“One thing I like to remind people is that it’s called Match Day, not selection day,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, Baylor president, CEO and executive dean. “Medical students who are graduating are not selecting the best or their first choice. It’s important that no matter what in your mind was on top of your list, when you open that envelope and see your match, that is the best place for you to be because that is an organization so excited that you’re on the list,” he said, adding that he did not get his first-choice residency program.
Klotman also told students that from this point, they will be representing Baylor College of Medicine. “We believe in science being the basis of what we do, and it’s important that we also represent our values of respect, integrity, innovation, teamwork and excellence in patient care.”
On behalf of the School of Medicine Office of Student Affairs, Dr. Andrea Stolar, senior associate dean of student affairs, applauded the Class of 2023 for its grace and maturity during medical school, much of which was during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You are better equipped because of your experiences; you are stronger people because of what you have endured. You have been an integral part of our treatment teams and of our community, and for that we are grateful to you,” said Stolar, also acknowledging Baylor’s affiliate hospitals that provide the foundation for clinical excellence.
She also reminded students of the “great privilege to be a physician, to have permission to enter the lives of others in the most intimate of ways, and in that way to serve.”
Class of 2023 President Nasim Khalfe took the opportunity on Match Day to reflect on her journey and that of her classmates.
“Exactly three years ago in March, we were hearing whispers of a pandemic, and our world changed as we know it. We were just first-year medical students. I remember my concern thinking our most important function as humans – our ability to connect – was in jeopardy. Rather than sit back, it was so inspiring to witness an innate understanding amongst our class of how critical it was to continue to build up our community. We adapted. We handled every plot twist thrown our way and did it with a smile. Or at least we learned how to smile with our eyes behind a mask while caring for our patients and each other.”
“When you open your envelope today, take a deep breath and give yourself a huge congratulations for all that you’ve accomplished personally and professionally in a short four years (though I know some years felt longer than others). No matter what your envelope holds, you will end up where you are meant to be, and best of all, after what feels like a million years – we will finally have jobs!”
After the brief program, students clustered around the large, colorful boards where the envelopes were posted that contained their match letter, and at 11 a.m., they were finally able to learn of their match.
Scroll through a photo album capturing the excitement here.