Residency Match Week underway, results released Friday

In the United States and abroad, graduating medical students are in the midst of Match Week, March 12 to March 16.

This is the week that applicants learn their U.S. residency training placement results.  Match Day is celebrated Friday, March 16, when selection announcements are formally and simultaneously delivered to each participant.

The UW School of Medicine and several WWAMI regional offices in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho celebrate this milestone with their medical students. The students are nearing completion of their M.D. degrees and are about to enter the next stage in becoming physicians.  In Seattle, the ceremony begins, as it has for decades, with a 9 a.m. striking of a gong given to the medical school by former associate dean for academic affairs Dr. D. Daniel Hunt. Family, friends, faculty and staff join their students in their last minutes of anticipation and the following festivities. 

The National Residency Matching Program coordinates the Main Residency Match. Last fall, graduating medical students interviewed with the residency programs in the locations and fields that interested them. Then applicants and program directors rank each other in order of preference, and submit their choices to the National Residency Matching Program. A computerized math algorithm matches applicants to programs.

Residency training, depending on the specialty, ranges from two to seven years. 

The National Residency Matching Program, in a news release, said it expects the 2018 Main Residency Match to be the largest in history.  It is likely to exceed the more than 43,000 applicants who registered for the 2017 Match. More than 31,000 positions were offered last year. 

The National Residency Matching Program also noted that match results are closely watched because they can indicate changes in the make-up of the physician workforce.

The National Residency Matching Program also manages the Specialties Matching Service for fellowship matches in more than 60 medical subspecialties, such as hand surgery, medical genetics, pediatric infectious diseases, geriatric medicine and others.  The 2018 appointment year reached a record high by filling 8,700 fellowship positions. This service maintains a separate schedule of dates when applicants are notified and is not tied to the main residency Match Week

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