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The Envelope, Please - 03/19/2014
The Envelope, Please
The wait is almost over for 126 students who will soon graduate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: At noon on Friday, March 21, they will open the envelopes that let them know where they will spend the next chapter of their lives training for careers in the medical fields of their choosing.
Johns Hopkins’ annual Match Day celebration will take place on the second floor of the Anne and Mike Armstrong Medical Education Building at 1600 McElderry St. in Baltimore, Md. The students, along with family members, friends and mentors, will gather at 11 a.m. for a brief program leading up to the dramatic moment at noon, when students will learn which hospital and specialty program has accepted them for their residency. At that moment, students from medical schools around the United States will be doing the very same thing.
Prior to Match Day, students complete lengthy paperwork and on-site interviews with hospitals and 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.
Couples who are interested in going to the same city can have their applications linked. They will be matched based on the location they ranked highest and the location where each was offered a residency at a local hospital.
The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) 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 NRMP’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.
The graduates seeking residency placements in this year’s match are evenly divided between men and women, with 63 of each. 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 wants to stay in the Johns Hopkins family, and she’s hoping for a residency at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center 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. You put on this white coat and people trust you, people listen to your advice,” she says.
Luis Murillo has imagined this day since he was in high school, with each graduation another stepping stone on the path to life as a doctor. This time, he has reached the summit, and the present is now that future. Murillo wants to focus on family medicine and hopes that Match Day will lead him to a small, community-based residency program somewhere near his hometown in Pennsylvania. He wants to focus on rural medicine, specifically the interdisciplinary study of health and health care delivery in rural environments. Yet his heart lies in international medicine; in the future, he wants to help set up clinics in disadvantaged countries.
Janaki Paskaradevan, President of the Medical Student Senate, was born in Sri Lanka but spent most of her youth in Minnesota. She is looking forward to a pediatric residency. When doctors start seeing patients as children, she says, they can help patients make the right decisions and lead them toward a healthy life. She also hopes to focus on medical education, where she hopes to develop programs to help the next generation of doctors pursue their careers.
Members of the media interested in covering the event should contact Lauren Nelson (email@example.com, 410-955-8725) or Stephanie Desmon (firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-955-8665) for information about parking or any other questions.