In the weeks after Match Day, the day that fourth-year medical students learn their fates for residency training, most medical students are reflecting on their results with joy, resignation, or despair. A handful of others are still reeling in the realization that their medical careers are going to look significantly different than they had planned.
The survivors of the World War II atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have considered themselves lucky, at least at first. Shortly thereafter, however, those who didn’t die from radiation poisoning learned that the radiation from the bombings placed themselves and their children at increased risk of cancer. Now, they can add heart disease and stroke to their list of potential medical problems.
Today is Match Day, the day when fourth-year medical students across the country learn their fate for the next three to five years, and possibly their lifetimes. It’s the day that the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) announces the assignments of the students to their residency training programs that will develop the pluripotent medical student into a specialized professional. In short, it is one of the most important days in a medical student’s career.
Each spring, thousands of medical students across the United States render their fate into one of the most bewildering processes of higher education: the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). The program was developed in 1952 as a means to “relieve the pressure and inequity of free market recruitment, and to establish a uniform playing field with educational boundaries” with regards to residency training programs. Prior to this, the process of achieving a desirable residency spot was fraught with chaos, with multiple different application forms and processes, not to mention false promises and false information.