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MATCH DAY MADNESS AT TUSM

March 15, 2013

CONTACT: Rebecca Harmon rebecca.harmon@tuhs.temple.edu

 

 

 

Hundreds of eyes turn to the large digital countdown clock hanging on the wall in the lobby of the Medical Education Research Building. At the podium, Larry Kaiser, MD, Dean of Temple’s School of Medicine, begins counting backward.


10, 9 … Dozens of cameras are raised.


8, 7 … A nervous murmur runs through the crowd.

 

6, 5 … The room takes a collective breath.


4, 3, 2, 1 …“Open your envelopes!” instructs Dr. Kaiser.

 

A brief pause occurs while hundreds of white envelopes are ripped open. Then … pandemonium. Hugs. Cheers. High fives. Tears. Gasps. Screams. Laugher. Disbelief. More tears. Fist bumps. Smiles. All are occurring simultaneously in the tightly packed room.


Welcome to Match Day 2013, the day when all fourth-year medical students in the United States simultaneously find out where they will be doing their residencies. It is one of the most important – and emotional – days in a student’s journey to being a physician.


The matching process has been compared to “rush week” for fraternities and sororities: students and teaching hospitals first try to impress each other, then they rank each other in order of preference. A computer sorts through tens of thousands of preferences and spits out the matches. Then, on the same day and at the same hour, tens of thousands of students throughout the United States find out if they matched with one of their top choices.


Back in the lobby of the Medical Education and Research Building, the pent-up nervousness from just minutes ago dissipates into a million different emotions for the 190 Temple seniors.

 

“Tarheels, baby!!” screams one student, who will be going to North Carolina for his residency.


“Wow! Just….wow!” says another, almost in shock.


Hugs, tears and more hugs as friends begin finding each other and sharing their matches. The hundreds of family members who have gathered to share in the excitement look on in wonder.

 

“This whole experience was anxious…overwhelming…exciting,” says Theresa Colberg, who matched with Beth Israel Medical Center for Psychiatry.


“Temple was my first choice and that’s what I got,” says a smiling Faith Peterson, who will do her OB-GYN residency at Temple University Hospital. “I loved my experience at Temple and I have family in this area…I’m thrilled to be staying here.”

 

As things begin to calm down, students make their way over to a large bulletin board that holds a map of the United States. Each grabs a small star sticker and places it on the city where they will spend the next several years of their lives in training.


Miami. Los Angeles. Dayton. Chicago. Ann Arbor. Lancaster. New York. Tucson. St. Louis. And Philadelphia. Temple Owls truly will be everywhere.