Medical students in the Class of 2010 at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine learned where they will spend their residency training after graduation as part of the nationwide “Match Day” on Thursday, March 18. For the first time, two Match Day ceremonies were held, one in Temple at the Cultural Activities Center and one in Bryan at the Brazos Center.

College of Medicine students, family and friends turned out in record numbers to celebrate. Envelopes containing residency letters were distributed to the 74 medical students individually, nine at the Bryan ceremony and 65 in Temple. Match Day organizers in Bryan and Temple coordinated via text message to ensure that all envelopes were opened at the same time.

Fourth-year student Erin Kreml said, “I’m going to Oklahoma City to do my residency in pediatrics, and I could not be more excited!”

For the first time in at least six years, more students matched to surgery residencies than in internal medicine and family medicine. This year, 18 College of Medicine students (24 percent) were matched to residencies in surgery and surgical specialties like neurological and vascular surgery. Internal medicine with 14 students (19 percent) and family medicine with 10 students (13.5 percent) were the next most popular specialties. Eight students (11 percent) matched in emergency medicine, six in anesthesiology, four each in radiology and psychiatry, three each in pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology, two in ophthalmology and one in pathology.

Forty-three students (58 percent) matched to residencies in Texas, followed by five students in Missouri, three each in Oklahoma, North Carolina and Minnesota, and two each in Alabama, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York. One student matched with a military residency in Hawaii at Tripler Army Medical Center. In all, College of Medicine students matched to residencies in 20 states.

Overall, this trend indicates that the College of Medicine continues to produce exceptional primary care and specialty physicians, and a majority of those physicians stay in the State of Texas to practice medicine.

“Our fourth-year students are consistently outperforming their peers,” Associate Dean for Student Affairs Dr. Gary McCord said from the Brazos Center in Bryan. “Their letters of recommendation from practicing physicians very often say that our students are performing at an intern level and beyond.”

Nationwide, approximately 16,000 students in 125 U.S. medical schools participated in the annual Match Day through the National Resident Matching Program. The Match uses a computer algorithm designed to produce favorable results for students that aligns the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs to fill the thousands of training positions available at U.S. training hospitals.

Residences were unveiled nationwide at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The Match was established in 1952 at the request of medical students to provide a fair, impartial transition from medical school to residency.

— Dhwani Chauhan