Why Match Day has more meaning in 2021

On the third Friday of March each year, medical students across the country find out where they’ll spend the next phase of their medical career as residents. This year, 147 medical students from the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) celebrated the reveal of their residency placements.

Perelman School of Medicine students sit masked and socially distanced surrounded by balloons and streamers and confetti as they open envelopes.

Penn’s unique Match Day ceremony was a hybrid celebration—some students stayed home with family and found out their results virtually, while a small group of matching students celebrated in person on campus. The annual ceremony is the culmination of a process that matches graduating medical students with a residency program for future training, and for many, the event holds more meaning than graduation. The lengthy process involving advising and mentoring, applications, interviewing (this year, virtually), and then a ranking process where students rank programs and programs rank students. For many, they’ll be spending the next three to five years—if not longer—at these programs, where they’ll continue to train and hone their skills as medical doctors.

“The pandemic was a monumental challenge for the world, and its effects on the application process pale in comparison to what the world has had to go through. But it was reassuring to see how quick programs were able to adapt so applicants could get an inside-view of their programs,” says Divyansh Agarwal, a sixth year MD-Ph.D. student at PSOM. “Despite the virtual nature of the processes, by the end of interview season I was able to get a good appreciation of each residency program. I could tell how well the residents got along together, sense their camaraderie, and their happiness came out as I spoke with people about their programs.”

Read more at Penn Medicine News.