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Perfectly paired: Match Day becomes a celebrated highlight for medical students of the Class of 2024

All the matched students gathered outside in front of a banner. Banner copy: UT Southwestern Medical School - Match Day 2024 - UT Southwestern Medical School

Match Day changes the lives of aspiring physicians as they watch their futures unfold in a single career-defining moment. On Friday, March 15, fourth-year medical students across the nation simultaneously opened envelopes at 11 a.m. to discover where they would spend the next phase of medical training as residents upon graduating in May.

UT Southwestern Medical School’s Class of 2024 gathered to experience this event in the Bryan Williams, M.D. Student Center gymnasium, surrounded by loved ones, friends, faculty, and staff. One of the most significant milestones in the life of a medical student, Match Day is the culmination of years of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication for these future leaders and change-makers who will go on to transform lives in the communities they serve.

UTSW’s Class of 2024 matched into 29 different specialties at hospitals across the nation, where they will refine and grow themselves as physicians, care for patients and communities, and advance science and medicine.

“Today we wish our students luck in the next phases of their medical careers where extraordinary opportunities await,” said Angela Mihalic, M.D., Dean of Medical Students and Associate Dean for Student Affairs. “As educators, we have watched their remarkable transformation over the past four years, particularly having started medical school virtually at the height of the pandemic. I am inspired by their spirit of cooperation and commitment to acquiring a strong fund of knowledge and clinical skills, despite all the challenges they faced.”

Dr. Mihalic said she admired the exceptional flexibility, resiliency, and adaptability the students displayed through all the challenges secondary to the pandemic, including experiencing an almost completely virtual curriculum in their first year; learning anatomy entirely online; not having the benefit of in-person learning and its impact on establishing support systems and friends that are vital in such a challenging field of study; a change to the grading of the national board exam; and new complexities in the residency application process. Despite these initial obstacles, they worked diligently and with determination to develop the knowledge and clinical skills to excel in the clinical clerkships achieving a 100% pass rate on their USMLE Step 2CK licensure exam. “It is amazing that they have done so well,” she said.

Joining the Class of 2024 to applaud their achievements on Match Day were Daniel K. Podolsky, M.D., President of UT Southwestern; W. P. Andrew Lee, M.D., Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost, and Dean of the Medical School; Sherry Huang, M.D., Vice Provost and Senior Associate Dean for Education; Jonathan Efron, M.D., Executive Vice President for Health System Affairs; and other academic leaders and mentors.

For 2024, the top five residency specialties selected by UT Southwestern students were:

  1. Internal Medicine
  2. Pediatrics
  3. Psychiatry
  4. Anesthesiology
  5. Family Medicine

UT Southwestern’s medical training has prepared this year’s class to flourish in the great tradition of healing and service to humanity.

“It is a privilege to witness the students’ growth throughout their time at UT Southwestern,” said Sarah Baker, M.D., Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. “As a former psychiatry clerkship director, it is especially rewarding to witness the development of their clinical skills. I am thrilled to be a part of Match Day in my new role in Student Affairs and excited to see all the great things our students will accomplish as the physicians of tomorrow.”

Norberto Rodriguez-Baez, M.D., Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the Office of Student Empowerment and Engagement and Professor of Pediatrics, said he is profoundly proud to witness the Class of 2024 as they step into the forefront, ready to confront the challenges of a diverse world.

“Today, as they embark on this new chapter, we celebrate not just their accomplishments but their potential to make a tangible difference in the lives of those they serve. They understand the urgency of addressing health care disparities and that they are entering a realm where their compassion and dedication will redefine what it means to heal,” Dr. Rodriguez-Baez said. “They will not merely echo the sentiments of the past; they will be the resounding voice that reshapes the narrative of health justice.”

Colorful pie chart with copy: UTSW Match Results Class of 2024 - Anesthesiology 15, Child Neurology 1, Dermatology 3, Emergency Medicine 14, Family Medicine 15, Internal Medicine 50, Internal Medicine-Preliminary 3, Med/Peds 6, Neurology 10, Neurosurgery 3, Obstetrics/Gyn 5, OMFS 5, Ophthalmology 5, Orthopedics 9, Otolarygology 4, Pathology 3, Pediatrics 19, PM&R 7, Plastic Surgery 5, Psychiatry 17, Psychiatry-Neurology 1, Radiation Oncology 2, Interventional Radiology 1, Radiology 7, Surgery 8, Surgery-Preliminary 2, Transitional Year 2, Urology 1, and Vascular Surgery 1
Colorful pie chart with copy: UTSW Class of 2024 Matched to UTSW Programs - Anesthesiology 3, Dermatology 1, Emergency Medicine 3, Internal Medicine 12, Med/Peds 3, Internal Medicine- Prelim 1, Neurology 1, OMFS 5, Ophthalmology 2, Orthopedics 2, Otolaryngology 2, Pediatrics 2, Phy Med and Rehab 1, Plastic Surgery 2, Psychiatry 6, Psych-Neurology 1, Radiation Oncology 1, Radiology 1, Surgery 2, Surgery-Prelim 1, and Vascular Surgery 1

Each year, fourth-year medical students in the U.S. participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) to determine where they will begin their medical careers serving as residents. The NRMP oversees a highly structured interview process that uses an algorithm to match preferences of students with those of residency programs. Match Day is a coordinated event held on medical school campuses across the nation, where placements are announced simultaneously. This year, 44,853 active applicants participated in the Main Residency Match, according to the NRMP.

The end of medical school training marks a new beginning for students, one where their stories will evolve with purpose and meaning. Of the 224 students who matched in the Class of 2024, 53 will complete residencies at UTSW, 93 will train in Texas, and the rest will disperse to top institutions across the country. As they begin the next phases of their careers, they undoubtedly will find joy in their work and a lifetime of friendship among the dedicated community of UTSW alumni.

“The best part of our year is Match Day,” said Blake Barker, M.D., Associate Dean of Students and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine. “We meet these future physicians on the first day they step on campus and see them develop into diagnosticians, scientists, and healers. On Match Day, their future comes to life when they open those envelopes. They have worked very hard to get here. We can’t understate how immensely proud we are to see the joy, relief, and thrill on their faces today.”

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