Friday was a day full of anxiety and jubilation, at least for the 268 graduating medical students in Baltimore.
This past Friday, March 15, was what's called Match Day, when 18,000 medical students across the country get matched to their assigned residency, according to the National Resident Matching Program. More than half of U.S. matched students also got their top choices.
Students at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore had little to worry about. As one of the most highly regarded medical institutes, it's commonplace for graduates to earn a spot at their preferred residency.
Graduates at Hopkins and university's countrywide celebrated the good news with bottles of champagne, each glass attributed to the many years of hard work and determination. The passion the new graduates have for their work could be felt in the air.
"Passion goes a long way," said Dr. Thomas Koenig, associate dean for student affairs at Hopkins. "It makes it easy to meet the responsibilities. People come to medical school because they want to make a difference in people's lives."
Not all applicants received a residency match, concerning a top medical education association. It's believed that within the next decade, primary care will experience a shortage of doctors, regardless of mass of graduating medical students. The more matches, the more doctors.
This year, nearly 6,300 graduates matched in primary care fields, which include internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine. That's 300 more than last year, as students are addressing the staff shortage issue by applying to primary care residencies.
"There's definitely a need for primary care," said University of Maryland School of Medicine student Novlette Akinseye. "I know that I am probably leaning toward that side."
Match Day is a call for recognition and exaltation, at least for most. For the 14,000 that did not get matched, many of which are appropriately qualified according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, will have to reapply for other residencies and hope for the best in the future.
Although there's always a dark cloud on an otherwise sunny day, this year's Match Day, like most, was an outstanding success.