FAU’s Soon-to-be Physicians Celebrate Match Day ‘Virtually’

Match Day, Medical Students, Medical School, FAU Schmidt College of Medicine, Medical Residency

FAU medical students in the class of 2020 opened their electronic envelopes today at noon containing their residency match results. They celebrated virtually with their classmates, faculty and staff.

By gisele galoustian | 3/20/2020

While the nation and world are focused on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Florida Atlantic University’s soon-to-be physicians are an important step closer to bolstering the nation’s physician workforce today. FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine’s class of 2020 is now ready for their next phase of training – medical residency. They celebrated “virtually” with their classmates, faculty and staff today at noon when graduating medical students across the United States open their sealed envelopes containing their residency match results.

Although the Schmidt College of Medicine had to forego the most time-honored tradition of their in-person Match Day event which typically attracts hundreds of family members and community supporters, the College developed a web-based virtual gathering which followed social distancing guidelines while allowing them to connect together to celebrate.

“As you open your electronic envelopes today, you’ll be one giant step closer to your dream of practicing medicine,” said Phillip Boiselle, M.D., dean of FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine, as he addressed the medical students in a video. “Wherever your Match Day envelopes lead you, you will always be part of the Schmidt College of Medicine family. We are cheering you on from afar and we will always support you throughout your careers. Congratulations and all the best class of 2020!”

Match Day occurs nationally on the third Friday of March every year where the results of the National Resident Matching Program (NMRP)are announced. Results of the Main Residency Match are closely watched because they can predict future changes in the physician workforce.

In line with the medical school’s mission, 21 of the 62 members of the class of 2020 will conduct their residency in Florida (34 percent) with 25 members who will specialize in primary care including family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics (40 percent). Relevant to the current pandemic, one of the most popular residencies among FAU’s class of 2020 is emergency medicine; the residency matched for eight of the 62 members (13 percent). The class also matched in other highly specialized fields that are among the most competitive in the match process, including neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, urology, among others.

Among the various Florida institutions where FAU’s class of 2020 placed are the University of Florida College of Medicine – Shands Hospital, Gainesville; University of Central Florida College of Medicine /GME Consortium, Orlando; University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville; Nicklaus Children's Hospital, Miami; Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach; Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando; AdventHealth Orlando; Memorial Healthcare System, Pembroke Pines; University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa; and FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine.

The class of 2020 also placed in several top institutions nationally, including Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; University of Michigan Hospital, Ann Arbor; Baylor College Medicine, Houston; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Washington, D.C; New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center; Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis; Children's Hospital, Los Angeles; and Nationwide Hospital,  Columbus.

“Now more than ever, our nation needs physicians. While the coronavirus pandemic is foremost on all of our minds, we pause today to celebrate the accomplishment of our class of 2020,” said Stuart L. Markowitz, M.D., senior associate dean of student affairs and admissions in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine. “We wish we could all be together today to celebrate this monumental occasion. Welcome to your future, we are proud of you. You have matched!”

In addition, on Match Day, 51 outstanding medical students from around the country successfully matched into FAU’s residency programs in internal medicine (27), surgery (11), emergency medicine (6), psychiatry (4) and neurology (3). The fellowships also will be welcoming new trainees in cardiovascular disease (2), vascular surgery (1), geriatric medicine (1), and hospice and palliative medicine (1). Nine of the incoming trainees have academic affiliations in Florida (college, medical school), a strong predictor that they will remain in the state to practice and reduce Florida’s projected physician workforce deficit.

The NRMP uses a computer algorithm, developed in 1952 by Nobel Prize-winning economist Alvin Roth, to place students in the program that they prefer. Each residency program at a hospital has a fixed number of first-year positions that they can fill each year based on their accreditation. Leading up to the big day, each student lists in order of preference the residency program that he or she seeks to work with and each residency program then ranks its applicants in order of its own preferences.