Johns Hopkins med students learn their residency destinations on Match Day

The wait is over for 124 students who will soon graduate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Today at noon, they opened the envelopes that let them know where they will spend the next chapter of their lives.

Image caption: Kimberley Lee (left)

Image credit: Keith Weller

Johns Hopkins' annual Match Day celebration took place on the second floor of the Anne and Mike Armstrong Medical Education Building in East Baltimore. The students, along with family members, friends, and mentors, gathered for a brief program leading up to the dramatic moment when students learned which hospital and specialty program has accepted them for their residency. A similar scene unfolded simultaneously at medical schools across the country.

This year, the top five specialty selections for Johns Hopkins students who applied to be matched are internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, anesthesiology, and psychiatry.

Kimberley Lee, the first in her family to go to college, always dreamed about coming to Johns Hopkins for medical school, even while in her native Jamaica.

Now, she's staying in the Johns Hopkins family for a residency at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (her top choice) focused on internal medicine. She plans to be an oncologist and has an interest in helping patients during end-of-life care.

"The impact you can have on an individual or family is overwhelming," she says. "You put on this white coat and people trust you, people listen to your advice."

Of the 124 students, 42 were matched with Johns Hopkins affiliated hospitals.

Prior to Match Day, students complete paperwork and on-site interviews with hospitals, then provide a ranked list of their top choices. Hospitals submit a similar list indicating openings, preferred students, and specialty or generalist preferences. Each applicant is matched via computer algorithm to the hospital residency program that is highest on the applicant's list and has offered the applicant a position. Johns Hopkins students are often matched with their first- or second-choice sites.

The National Resident Matching Program was started in 1952 with the goal of maximizing happiness by matching the top choices of both residency programs and medical students to ensure universal satisfaction. The program calls its method the "Algorithm of Happiness." According to the program's website, in 2013, a record 40,335 people applied for residencies in the United States through the program, and the program filled 99.4 percent of available residency positions.

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