A scene last year from Match Day 2015, when UW graduating medical students celebrated their residency training placements.
On Match Day 2016, Friday, March 18, graduating medical students across the nation will simultaneously learn where they will be receiving their residency training.
Residency training prepares those who have recently earned an M.D. for particular fields of medical practice. The training ranges from three years to more than seven years, depending on the specialty.
The transition from medical school to graduate medical education is significant rite of passage for physicians-in-training. Most medical schools, including the UW and its WWAMI training sites in other states, mark the announcements of residency placement with special ceremonies.
The social media hashtag to converse about the UW Match is #HuskyMatch
The national hashtag is #Match2016
The event is dubbed Match Day after the placement program run by the National Resident Match Program. Usually beginning in the fall of their final year of medical school, students apply to the residency programs where they would like to train. Residency program directors then review and interview applicants. Early in the year, applicants submit their rank-ordered residency preferences to the National Resident Match Program. In turn, program directors rank applicants.
A computerized mathematical algorithm matches applicants with programs based on the preferences on the ranked lists.
During Match Week, March 14 to 18, all participants learn whether a match was made. Those who matched await the placement results on Friday. Those who are unmatched seek a position during the Match Week Offer and Acceptance Program.
Last year there more than 34,000 applicants nationwide and over 30,000 residency positions. The 2016 Match is expected to be larger.
On Match Day, applicants receive their placement notification through an announcement envelop, or through an app on their mobile devices.
During the UW Match Day ceremony, many of the UW applicants in Seattle gather in the Health Sciences Lobby to learn their results and share them with family, friends, faculty and staff. Other WWAMI training sites also mark the event with their local, participating students.
WWAMI is a regionalized, decentralized medical education program in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. The program is a key reason why many UW medical school graduates decide to enter training in fields facing workforce shortages. These include the primary care fields of family medicine, general pediatrics, and general medicine.
The national and regional results reported from the Match are closely watched for predictions of future changes in the physician workforce supply.