Everyone knows that the month of March is the season for NCAA basketball playoffs, but for those of us at medical schools, we also anxiously anticipate the results of our own season of madness, “the Match.” Last Friday, March 19, was the day when medical students around the country learned where they will go for their residencies, promptly at noon per tradition.
This year was particularly challenging. Because of the pandemic, our fourth year students had to complete their interviews and select their programs without the benefit of in person visits or the ability to do away electives. Thanks to the resilience of medical students everywhere, and the national coordination of the process, things went amazingly well, though it was certainly more anxiety-laden than most years.
According to the National Residency Matching Program’s post-match report, 38,106 positions were offered in this year’s match, a 3.3% increase from 2020. 42,508 registrants competed for these positions, an increase of 6% from the previous year. So the trend of increased competition in the Match continues. This year, 92.8% of US seniors matched pre-SOAP, which was lower than last year (SOAP=the Supplemental Offer and Application Process, which allows students who don’t match initially to place into available programs through additional rounds of matching). I am happy to say that our results at BSOM were higher than the national average with 93.4% of students matching pre-SOAP.
So, where is the Class of 2021 going? Fifteen are staying right here with us at Boonshoft. More than a third of graduates will enter either Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics or Medicine-Pediatrics. 41.6% will stay in Ohio, and 34% will stay in the Dayton region. A clear win! Many of our students matched into highly competitive programs outside of our region as well, including the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (my alma mater), the University of Pittsburgh, UCLA, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, University of Michigan, and others.
Congratulations to all! We are looking forward to celebrating with you in person at a scaled back commencement to accommodate pandemic safety. The ceremony, though it will be a bit different than in previous years, will still contain all of the excitement and emotion we have come to expect. As I watch our graduates walk across the stage to be hooded and receive their diplomas, I will be filled with pride at the resilience and strength demonstrated by this group of graduates as they say goodbye to us and head off to a future of dedication and service.