For Release: March 22, 2010
David Corriveau, Media Relations Officer, Dartmouth Medical School, at David.A.Corriveau@Dartmouth.edu or 603-653-0771
Date with destiny, destinations: 87 DMS students matched
Lebanon, N.H.—At Dartmouth Medical School's celebration of Match Day for doctors-in-waiting on March 18, a record 87 DMS students learned where they'll begin residency training after graduation.
Before helping to hand out the envelopes revealing their destinations, DMS Dean William R. Green, Ph.D., described the festive gathering of students, faculty, and loved ones at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) as the profession's equivalent of the NCAA basketball tournament, which also began on the 18th.
"This is truly a fun March-Madness type of moment," said Green.
While some of her DMS classmates collected their envelopes with a smile and a quiet "thank you" to Green or to Susan N. Harper, M.D., assistant dean of medical education, Shailvi Gupta erupted into a leaping dance, with several cries of "Yes!" Turns out she's heading for a residency in general surgery at the University of California San Francisco-East Bay in Oakland.
"That was indeed my number-one choice," the Dallas-raised, NYU-educated Gupta said after the ceremony. "I didn't realize how badly I wanted it until I got it."
In all, 21,749 of the record 30,543 medical students who applied to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) received matches, and 14,992 of the 16,070 U.S. medical-school seniors who applied shared the Match Day moment at medical schools nationwide, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). At Dartmouth, 15 students chose internal medicine - 3 of them a joint internal medicine/primary care program and one a joint internal medicine/pediatrics program - while 10 picked pediatrics, 10 went into anesthesiology, 7 selected obstetrics and gynecology, and 6 are bound for orthopaedic surgery.
While 11 of the new doctors will continue their training at DHMC, the other 76 will disperse to 25 states and one Canadian province (Ontario). Eighteen will train in Massachusetts, 10 in California, 8 in New York State, and 7 in Pennsylvania. Twenty-two are bound for preliminary or transitional residencies.
Each February, students state at which teaching hospitals they prefer to train, and the hospitals in turn rank the students who apply. A computer algorithm then sorts and matches the aspiring doctors with the training institutions, and the Monday before Match Day - traditionally the third Thursday in March - students find out whether they got one of the available slots.
While in recent years, Dartmouth typically has seen 60 or so medical students qualify for Match Day, this year brought an unusual influx of students who had delayed graduation.
"Many DMS students opt to 'split' for a variety of reasons, such as extended international work, extended research projects, etc., and this class had a large number choose that option," Harper said. "Additionally, there were students who were in dual-degree programs - M.D.-Ph.D. and M.D.-M.B.A who also converged on this class."
In Dartmouth's Match Day tradition, the deans call students in random - rather than alphabetical - order to collect their envelopes. Each student in turn deposits a dollar in a bowl, with the final student keeping the kitty as a reward for waiting the longest. This year, the prize went to Darcy Kerr, who will train in pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital.