Match Week reveals future for residency training applicants

Months of anticipation culminate at medical schools on Match Day with details of graduate placements

Friday, March 15, University of Washington graduating medical students will be joining with their peers around the country and the world to celebrate Match Day 2019.

The day marks the close of Match Week (March 11-15) when the results of the National Residency Matching Program unfold.  This is the time when students about to complete their M.D. degrees, and recent graduates, learn in which residency program they will train for the next three to seven years.

Match Day is celebrated with letter-opening ceremonies that give these physicians-in-training a chance to share their news with family and friends and medical school faculty and staff.  University of Washington medical students participating in the residency match will be feted at an event at the UW's Seattle campus. Celebrations for participants also will be held at several WWAMI training sites. 

WWAMI, an acronym for the partnering states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho, gives medical students from the region an opportunity to take medical school classes at one of several participating universities.  They also have the chance to obtain clinical training and experiences in doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals across the region.

 The WWAMI program is known for its excellence in preparing physicians for rural health, family medicine, child and maternal health, care of the medically underserved, work with a diversity of populations, and many other vitally needed health workforce areas.

There will be some 250 National Residency Matching Program participants from the UW School of Medicine this year.  In the fall, they began applying to residency programs and interviewed throughout the winter.

Match Day 2015:  a residency announcement is happily in hand. 

  The students then rank their choices for residency training in order of preference.  In turn, residency programs rank their choices of students.  A computerized mathematical algorithm then matches applicants with programs.  Certain results become available during Match Week. For example, by now applicants have learned whether they have matched.  Placement details will be announced at noon EDT, 9 a.m. PDT on Match Day.

At that time, some University of Washington medical students will get official confirmation that they will continue their training in Seattle or in one of the WWAMI states. A number of applicants at other medical schools around the nation also will receive notification that they will do their residency at a sought-after UW Medicine or a UW Medicine-affiliated program. Depending on their program, new residents generally begin their training in early July.

The National Residency Match Program is private, non-profit organization established in 1952 at the request of medical students to provide an orderly and fair method for residency placements.  In addition to the annual main match for more than 43,000 registrants, the Match Program also conducts fellowship matches for more than 60 subspecialty fields.

The American Medical Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges and similar groups watch the match results for indicators of medical students’ interests in various specialties and to assess the future physician workforce.

The AMA, the AAMC and the NRMP are jointly hosting online celebrations of Match Week 2019 and Match Day. These will be on Tagboard, YouTube and Twitter (#Match2019) Match participants and the medical education community will be posting pictures, videos, and congratulatory messages.  They invite those interested in this rite of passage for physicians, and the transition from medical school to residency training

Last year, the 2018 residency match had more than 43,000 applicants, and more than 33,000 positions were offered.

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