‘Ides of March’ no ‘match’ for medical school’s class of 2019

There were plenty of hugs and smiles at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s Match Day celebration for the class of 2019. All 37 members matched to competitive residency programs across the country.

The soothsayer’s warning, “Beware the ides of March,” spelt doom for Julius Caesar and shook up the Roman empire, but it sealed a much different fate for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s class of 2019.

Continuing the streak from the five classes before them, all 37 members of the class successfully matched to a residency program to continue their education, making their Match Day theme, “Ides of Match,” celebratory instead of ominous.

Match Day is celebrated by medical schools across the country. At noon EDT, students who have entered the match process run by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) can open envelopes that reveal where they will do a residency program in their specialty of choice. This year, according to the NRMP, more than 43,000 medical student applicants vied for about 33,000 positions – meaning not all applicants received a spot.

“The match is competitive, but each year, our students have shined,” said Daniel Harrington, interim dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “Their hard work over the last four years – in addition to the support they receive from our faculty, employees, and their family and friends – pays off on Match Day with successful residency placement.”

Members of the class will go into programs representing 15 specialties in 18 states and 28 different academic health centers. This class will also do their residency in two new states for VTCSOM alumni: Missouri and Rhode Island.

The most represented specialties in the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s class of 2019 include internal medicine, emergency medicine, and pediatrics. This class also added a new specialty: ophthalmology.

The matches for the class includes prestigious programs such as Baylor College of Medicine, Brown University, Duke University, Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California San Francisco, University of Washington, and Yale University.

“This is the most successful match in Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine history,” said Aubrey Knight, senior dean for student affairs. “Students in this class opened doors for themselves and this school by matching into world-class residencies, particularly programs that are noted as the leaders in their specialty.”

The students held a private ceremony starting at 11 a.m. to countdown the minutes until they were allowed to open their Match Day envelopes. At noon, the envelopes shredded with shouts, tears, hugs, and high-fives cascading around the auditorium.

At 12:30, students held a public ceremony where fellow students, faculty, community members, and the media were invited to learn where the members of the class are headed. Continuing a tradition started on the school’s first Match Day, students announced where they were headed for residency to the crowd and pinned that location on a Match Day map that remains on display throughout the year in the school library.

Six students from the class of 2019 will stay in Virginia for their residency. Three will do their full residency in Roanoke with another one staying for an internship year. This brings the total number of VTC School of Medicine graduates who have done part or all of their residencies in Roanoke to 31.

The Class of 2019 will graduate on May 11.

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