University of South Florida

USF Health senior medical students match to residencies

Click here for Match Day 2021 results.

About 170 senior medical students from the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine were successfully matched today and learned where they will spend their residency training after graduation from medical school in May.

Called Match Day, the annual event is held at all medical schools across the country to reveal where senior medical students will spend their residencies, the next step in their medical education – which can last from three to seven years, depending on the specialty.

After a cancellation last year due to COVID-19, this year’s Match Day for USF Health students returned to a format more like those in years past, with mostly in-person presentations of sealed envelopes and students announcing and celebrating their matches with classmates. This hybrid approach included some students streaming in virtually to share their matches with classmates.

At the in-person event, held outdoors at the downtown Tampa restaurant Ulele, public health measures were followed: the senior medical students remained socially distant, wore masks and, as health care providers in training with direct patient interaction, had already been vaccinated against COVID-19.

But some traditions remained on pause, like including friends and family at the event. To help keep them connected, the event was live-streamed so relations across the globe could see matches unfold.

Kicking of the program was U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, who offered good wishes in a prerecorded message shown to all in attendance and across the live-stream.

“From Washington DC, a big shout out and congratulations to everyone who is matching today,” Rep. Castor said. “Congratulations USF College of Medicine and all the fantastic folks who are on the way to their residencies. I know how important it is to have residency slots across the state of Florida. We’re behind. So, wherever you match, just know we want you to return to the Tampa Bay area, return to the state of Florida to practice medicine and serve your neighbors. And you can count on me here in Congress to work to expand the number of residency slots so future graduates can match and serve in the state of Florida. Go Bulls!”

Then came in-person congratulations from Charles Lockwood, MD, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine.

“It’s incredibly thrilling to me to be at this live event,” Dr. Lockwood said. “You’re an amazing group of people who have put up with a year that is unlike any in our history. I thank you for your patience, your tenacity, and your grit. This was an incredibly complex year, from an educational standpoint, and was emotionally draining on all of us. We’re all a little better, as physicians, for it. We dealt with a planetary pandemic, the likes of which we haven’t seen for over a hundred years, and came through it, particularly this state, incredibly well. We’re not done yet, but we’re close. So, it’s great to see you off to your residencies and the next phase of your careers. Congratulations, thank you all, and good luck.”

And then the matches began!

The national match process is handled through the National Residency Match Program (NRMP). In the months leading up to Match Day, students apply and interview for residency slots with institutions across the country, and then rank their preferences. Match Day, which begins at noon (ET), is when students learn which residency programs chose them and where they will train for the next three to seven years.

This year’s NRMP’s main match was the largest in NRMP history: a record-high 48,700 applicants submitted program choices for 38,106 positions, an increase of 3,741 (8.3%) applicants over 2020 (the largest single-year bump in recorded history).

For this year’s Match Day, the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Class of 2021 includes 171 senior students, of which 46 are in the SELECT MD program, who have spent the past two years in clinical rotations in Allentown, PA.

Stats: From the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Class of 2021: 171 students matched; 37 students (22%) are staying at USF; 79 (46%) are staying in Florida; and 57 students (33%) chose primary care as their specialty (internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics). Click here for more details about the nationwide Match from the National Residency Match Program.

Photos by Allison Long, video by Torie Doll, USF Health Communications and Marketing

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