A ‘Match’-making moment for medical students

The University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago.

Today, 170 medical students at the University of Illinois Chicago learned where they will complete their training and begin their career as doctors.

UIC and its medical students participated in the coordinated national event — called Match Day — in which students around the country were notified of their placements in residency programs, where they will receive three to seven years of specialty training following medical school graduation.

At UIC, which has one of the nation’s largest and most diverse medical schools, the college hosted a virtual event for students, who were notified of their placements by email at 11 a.m.

“At the University of Illinois College of Medicine, our goal is to educate and train the next generation of world-class physicians who will use their skill, compassion and drive to create a healthier, better world,” said Dr. Mark Rosenblatt, executive dean of the College of Medicine. “Match Day is an important step on the journey into the high-touch, high-tech, high-impact world of medical practice. On behalf of UIC and the College of Medicine, it is an honor to congratulate our students on their success and celebrate with them today.”

For UIC medical students, the top matched specialties of 2021 include internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, emergency medicine and anesthesiology. The top locations include Illinois, California, Indiana, Wisconsin and Massachusetts.

UIC students were matched to 74 residency programs in Illinois, including 51 in Chicago. 

“Medical students at UIC are among the brightest in the nation, and it is no surprise to see so many of them matching to top programs throughout the country. Our students have shown a passion for new ideas and creating lasting change, and I know they will make a difference for their patients in residency, fellowship and beyond,” said UIC’s Dr. Amanda Osta, assistant dean of advising and career planning at the College of Medicine.

Since 1952, residency matches have been determined by the National Resident Matching Program, or NRMP, through a highly structured interview process. For applicants, the process begins in the fall during the final year of medical school, when they apply to the residency programs of their choice. Throughout the fall and early winter, applicants interview with programs. From February to early March, applicants and program directors rank each other in order of preference. Submissions are processed using a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs. 

Due to the pandemic, this year’s process was fully virtual — interviews that historically have occurred in person were conducted online.

According to a news release from the NRMP, 2021 had the largest number of applicants and positions ever.

“Like medical school itself, the match process can be challenging, but it is meant to give every new doctor their best chance at success. By participating, students have opportunities to learn about themselves and explore programs, this year through an entire virtual recruitment season. This amazing group of new physicians truly lead the way in an entirely new environment,” Osta said.

“The pride students feel today in being matched represents years — for some, a lifetime — of perseverance and passion. Today, the countdown starts — students will soon be doctors. I have every confidence that our students will be outstanding skilled and compassionate physicians. This is a moment worth celebrating,” said Rosenblatt, who oversees the college’s campuses in Chicago, Peoria, Rockford and Urbana.

In addition to the 170 students from Chicago, 50 students from Peoria, 45 students from Rockford, and 12 students from Urbana also celebrated being matched today, bringing the college’s total to 277 matched students.

Match listings from the College of Medicine are available online: Chicago, Peoria, Rockford and Urbana.

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