Yale News

For many graduating medical school students across the country, March 15 — or Match Day —  marked a jovial end to a grueling months long application process to secure a spot in a residency program, the next step in their medical training.

On this day at the Yale School of Medicine, emotions ran high and champagne flowed as 85 soon-to-be doctors matched into residency programs across the country. Yale’s graduating medical students gathered with faculty, friends and family members in the Harkness Ballroom for the School of Medicine’s annual celebration.

“Match Day was once again a day of celebration for our medical students, who obtained residencies at top programs across the country,” School of Medicine Dean Robert Alpern told the News in an email. “Year after year these programs select Yale graduates. I personally want to congratulate the students as they move on to the next stage in their training.”

Over the course of their final year, senior medical school students apply to residency programs and interview with hospitals who show interest in their applications, according to Associate Dean for Student Affairs Nancy Angoff MED ’90 MPH ’81. The students then rank these programs based on their interest or other practical factors such as location. Meanwhile, residencies rank students they want most in their program. A match occurs when both a student and program rank each other as a top choice.

Students are not informed of their match results until at least 12 p.m. on Match Day, as medical schools across the country celebrate.

Among 88 graduating School of Medicine students, 85 matched with residency programs. Two students on the MD/MBA track chose to not pursue a residency program after graduating and will instead go into business, according to Angoff.

The graduating class of 2019 will disperse over 19 states and pursue 27 different medical specialities after graduation. Sixteen students will remain in New Haven to train at Yale New Haven Hospital-affiliated programs.

According to students, Match Day was a joyous event celebrating the culmination of four years of hard work.

“It was exciting to see not only where I was going, but where all of my friends ended up,” said Sara Tannenbaum MED ’19, who matched into an obstetrics and gynecology program between Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. “I was rooting for this whole group of people who I’d seen work really hard for four years.”

Nicholas Wilcox MED ’19, who matched into an internal medicine residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, called Match Day a “major milestone” in the yearslong process to become a physician.

“I know for almost all medical students, learning to care for patients has been the privilege of a lifetime, but also a difficult path requiring sacrifice and delayed gratification, perhaps more than most of us would care to admit,” Wilcox wrote in an email to the News.

Wilcox said that he is “very proud” of his classmates and their accomplishments as their time at the medical school draws to a close. He also said that he is thankful for the support he received throughout medical school from family, close friends and mentors at Yale.

“This investment was not just our own,” he wrote in the email. “Behind the scenes, our loved ones supported us unwaveringly, and sometimes thanklessly, through good times and bad. Our collective success is really a testament to them, and I believe that is what makes Match Day special.”

Last year, 56 School of Medicine students matched with residency programs.

Marisa Peryer | marisa.peryer@yale.edu