INDIANAPOLIS—Amid the specter of the COVID-19 crisis, 334 Indiana University School of Medicine students learned their residency futures during a virtual Match Day event on Friday, March 20.
Traditionally a boisterous affair conducted at the IUPUI Campus Center—with fourth-year medical students assembling to open their envelopes together as the clock strikes noon—this year’s Match Day was instead conducted virtually in response to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.
The decision by IU School of Medicine leadership to move the event online was in alignment with Match Day cancelations at medical schools across the country. Despite being unable to share the moment in person, students were invited to a Match Day via Zoom—with school leaders giving congratulatory messages before counting the students down to open emails containing their matches.
“The events of recent weeks have shown how critical it is for our country to have a strong health care system. With this Match Day class, we are contributing 334 superbly trained physicians to that workforce,” said Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, dean of IU School of Medicine and IU’s executive vice president for university clinical affairs. “We are thrilled to retain so many of our talented medical students in Indiana for the next chapter of their careers—they will play a huge role in ensuring Hoosiers have access to high-quality care throughout the state.”
Match Day is a rite of passage in medical school, as fourth-year students nationwide simultaneously learn what residency program they have “matched” into after months of anticipation. While medical school provides students with foundational knowledge and skills necessary to be a doctor, residency offers intensive preparation for a medical specialty and is required before a physician can practice independently.
Contributing to Indiana’s physician workforce
77 members of the Class of 2020 will enter residency programs affiliated with IU School of Medicine or IU Health.
Other highlights from IU School of Medicine Match Day include:
39 percent of students will enter primary care residencies, helping to fulfill a significant need for primary care physicians in Indiana and across the country
Graduates will complete residences in 35 states
Students matched into a total of 34 specialties
In addition to a great match here at IU School of Medicine and within our state residencies, as well as prominent programs in the Midwest, including Northwestern and Michigan, graduates will continue their education at many prestigious programs, including Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, Duke and Washington University in St. Louis, to name a few.
“Match Day is one of the most important days in the life of a medical school. This class was met with an unprecedented set of circumstances. But while we had to celebrate virtually today, that in no way diminishes the accomplishments of this talented group,” said Paul M. Wallach, MD, executive associate dean for educational affairs and institutional improvement. “We are so incredibly proud of these junior colleagues and everything they have accomplished during their time at IU School of Medicine. We are confident they will continue this excellence as residents and in their careers as physicians.”
IU School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.