University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine fourth-year medical students receive residency assignments

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Fourth-year medical students at UNR Med learned where they will complete their residencies and take the next step toward becoming physicians at a special Star Wars-themed Match Day event today.

Fourth-year medical students at UNR Med learned where they will complete their residencies and take the next step toward becoming physicians at a special Star Wars-themed Match Day event today. Students received lightsabers that revealed their residency programs.

Fourth-year medical students from the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) received residency assignments today during a Match Day ceremony on campus.

An honored medical school tradition, an annual rite of passage and the most pivotal moment in medical education, Match Day is simultaneously observed by medical students around the country to reveal where they will complete their residencies and take the next step in their careers toward becoming physicians.

Fourth-year UNR Med medical students, with their families at their sides, participated in Match Day and learned where they will spend their residencies - including in northern Nevada, throughout the state and across the nation.

"UNR Med is dedicated to increasing the number of physicians in Nevada by educating more medical students, retaining them as residents and ultimately as practicing physicians," said UNR Med Dean, Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D. "We're thrilled to find that eight students will be staying in northern Nevada and 22 students have matched throughout the state. The fact that students want to train in Nevada supports our goal of training physicians who recognize the health care needs in our community and are committed to staying or coming back to Nevada. A major component of that is our community-based and community-engaged curriculum model."

Access to graduate medical training programs for residencies and fellowships is a competitive process known as "The Match." Medical students begin the application process at the start of the fourth year of medical school. After applications and interviews, both medical students and residency programs create ranked lists of their preferences. Binding contracts are signed in advance to honor the results.

The National Resident Matching Program is a private, not-for-profit organization, which uses a Nobel Prize-winning, computerized mathematical algorithm to align the preferences of applicants with those of program directors in order to produce the best possible outcome for filling training positions available at U.S. teaching hospitals.

In nearly 50 years of UNR Med tradition, the School of Medicine has undergone significant positive and transformative growth. Match Day is no exception. UNR Med has taken a unique approach to the most anticipated day of the year for graduating medical students. A new tradition has evolved in the form of marking the paramount and long-remembered milestone by hosting each Match Day with a surprise theme, taking memorability to the next level.

This year, the celebration was taken to a galaxy far, far away as UNR Med channeled the power of the Force. The Class of 2018 arrived to find the Joe Crowley Student Union ballroom transformed into a Star Wars-themed soiree, complete with stormtroopers, a portal to the stars, and treats inspired by the series, like Princess Leia cinnamon buns.

The students' energy level rose as their eyes fixed upon dozens of lightsabers, hidden to the hilt and labeled with a students' names. Instead of opening envelopes, students were directed to locate their lightsaber, which had been inscribed with their residency match in invisible ink. At precisely 9 a.m., the lights dimmed, and students were instructed to turn on their lightsabers, revealing the name of the residency program that will become their home for the next several years. Once the room was aglow from the shimmer of lightsabers, there were screams, kisses, hugs, joyful shouts and tears from the students, their families and loved ones.

Residency training location is a strong indication of where physicians will likely set up their medical practices following completion of residency and has strong implications for the future availability of health care professionals in a given area.

Approximately 34 percent of UNR Med students are staying in Nevada for some part of their training, and 49 percent matched in primary care, which includes family medicine, internal medicine, internal medicine/pediatrics, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology.

Match Day results with residency programs and specialties of the Class of 2018 are posted online.

Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen, MPA
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Released: Wednesday February 28, 2018 @ 3:00 PM