Match Day Tradition Continues as Rochester Medical Students Celebrate Next Step

Mar. 19, 2021
2017 White Coat Students Only 300print
Students from the class of 2021 at their White Coat Ceremony in 2017.

Fourth-year medical students across the U.S. learned where they’ll be spending the next four years on Match Day, Friday, March 19, which was an all-virtual experience for the second year in a row.

Instead of gathering in an auditorium for the ceremonial envelope-opening, students at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry joined together on Zoom to count down to noon, when they could open emails from the National Residency Match Program containing the final results of the ranking and selection process.

Nevertheless, Senior Associate Dean for Medical School Education David Lambert, M.D., said that despite the COVID restrictions that prevent an in-person event, the spirit of what makes Match Day special remained intact. 

“It’s a day of celebration knowing our students will carry the University of Rochester brand – Biopsychosocial Model, the importance of people, and intellectual inquisitiveness – to the next step, which is their residency program. It affirms that we as a school have done what we should do,” said Lambert. “We congratulate our students on their achievements.”

Friday’s celebration wasn’t the only thing to go virtual this year. Students underwent Zoom interviews instead of in-person visits to institutions on their dance cards. Lambert said this meant students didn’t have to travel for in-person visits, which helped open more possibilities for them. 

Like other schools across the nation, SMD was forced to suspended in-person instruction last spring but, thanks to the hard work of a team of dedicated administrators, faculty and support staff, the school was able to welcome first-year students for August orientation.

Students from Rochester gathered for a virtual celebration on March 19.

Students had access to vaccines early on, per state guidelines, and they were helping to care for COVID patients prior to, and after, being immunized. The byproduct of working through such an unpredictable year is the type of grit that will help this particular cohort succeed in their future endeavors, Lambert said. “I think the group that matched this week and graduates in May had to face a lot more uncertainty than others before them and, as a consequence, developed resilience." 

From Rochester's class of 2021, 23 students will stay at URMC for their residency training and 70 will go elsewhere. Overall, UR SMD students pursuing residency training were placed in 22 different specialties, with the largest concentrations in Internal Medicine (10), Family Medicine (10), Emergency Medicine (7), Medicine/Pediatrics (7), Neurology (7) and Psychiatry (7). 

There are 178 incoming residents who matched at the University of Rochester Medical Center. These incoming trainees include graduates from Columbia University, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, Yale, Brown, Chicago, UT Southwestern, Virginia, Case Western, and Oregon.