Deans Reflections: Match Day: A Celebration of Past, Present, and Future

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Members of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) Class of 2022 celebrate learning where they will train for their residencies and in what field of specialty during Match Day 2022, held March 18, 2022 at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada. UNR Med, Photo By Brin Reynolds

By Melissa Piasecki, M.D.

For one moment each year, on the third of Friday in March, hundreds of fourth-year medical students collectively hold their breaths across the United States. The clock strikes 9 a.m, they tear open their match results, and the celebration begins.

Match Day, a rite of passage for medical students, sets into motion the next stage of their careers in medicine. While this momentous day celebrates the start of a new chapter for each student, it also recognizes the intense and rigorous journey toward becoming a physician they began four years ago-with many milestones along the way.

After receiving their first white coats to commemorate the beginning of their medical education, these students entered the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine's classrooms and labs. There, they learned the art, science, and skills of practicing medicine. Then, they studied hard for Step 1, the first of the three major exams required of physicians.

Students immersed themselves in pediatrics, internal medicine, psychiatry, family medicine, surgery, and OB/GYN during their third-year clerkships. During this time, they met with advisors and researched specialties to find their fit in the wide world of medicine.

By their fourth year, students continued to gain clinical experience and refine their career plans. They also began the process to find their residency training program. They polished their application materials, solicited letters of support, and practiced their interviewing skills. After participating in virtual interviews with potential programs, students ranked each program according to their preferences. Meanwhile, the programs indicated their top choices among student candidates and the number of available spots with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

Then, the computer matchmaking began. The NRMP compiled all the ranked lists using a mathematical algorithm to place applicants into residency positions.

Our students perform exceptionally well in the Match in all specialties and across the country. Residency programs know them for their exceptional skills, high levels of competency and knowledge, and outstanding leadership qualities. The Match is the finish line for medical school and a significant accomplishment on their path to becoming a practicing physician. Match results reflect the students' hard work and commitment to medicine and the tremendous dedication of the faculty and staff who work every day to support student success. I am grateful to UNR Med faculty and staff and our community partners for their commitment to our students.

The vision of UNR Med is A Healthy Nevada, and training and retaining Nevada's healthcare professionals, including physicians, is key to bringing it to life. Nevada continues to face persistent, widespread shortages of health care workers, which limits access to health care around the state, as reflected in the Office of Statewide Initiatives' annual Health Workforce in Nevada report. In specialties such as family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, and more, the state falls short of the number of physicians needed to meet our community's needs. The most effective strategy to grow our workforce is to expand our residency training programs' size and add new specialties for training newly graduated medical students. Expanding graduate medical education (residency programs) is one of the golden opportunities within UNR Med's affiliation with Renown Health.

To those students who choose a residency program in Nevada-thank you. You will help address physician shortages and build A Healthy Nevada. I hope those who train elsewhere will take what they learned in Nevada with them to other states and then bring home even more knowledge and expertise when they are ready to start practicing.

Wherever they match for their residency, UNR Med students will demonstrate the quality of our education and will open doors for future graduates. Each student reflects our school's commitment to educating the best physicians possible and helping all Nevadans and their communities live longer, healthier lives. We are proud of each and every one of them.

See the 2022 Match Day results and learn the residency programs and specialties of the Class of 2022.

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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: Monday March 21, 2022 @ 5:00 PM