Taking place on the third Friday of March every year at medical schools in the United States, Match Day is the day fourth-year medical students learn the results of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Fourth-year medical students are contractually obligated to attend the program to which they are matched. Since Match Day essentially marks the beginning of the end as medical students make the transition to a lifelong battle with medical debt, depression, and burnout, it is quite an exciting time: not so much for the medical students, but to their superiors who quietly chuckle over the poor career choices of these naive medical students.
Emotional Roller Coaster
According to a joint survey conducted by Gomerblog and Gomerpedia, fourth-year medical students describe the Match Day process as a "roller coaster" of emotions, ranging from anxiety and nausea to excitement and jubilee, but always, without fail, ending with urinary incontinence as they realize how little they know and how much disappointment lies ahead. Though making arrangements to move to the city and residency program at which they were matched remains a high priority in the months between Match Day and the end of June when orientation starts, there are several other notable high priorities:
- matriculation at medical school graduation;
- getting a head start on burnout posts to submit to KevinMD;
- researching a good psychiatrist for future coping needs;
- saying goodbye to all friends and loved ones; and
- becoming a DNR
Notable Match Day Moments
- For Match Day 2014, hackers accessed the NRMP website and released the results to the public a few days ahead of schedule. It nearly pushed the United States onto the brink of war.
- The NRMP fulfilled the students' demand for "more drama" on Match Day by hiring Steve Harvey to make each and every individual announcement, thanks to his flawless performance at the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant.
- On Match Day 2017, Americans were surprised but not surprised when former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did not match at the program of her choice. She remains in good spirits, however, reminding people that she did win the Match Day popular vote.