Match Madness: 67 DMS Students Learn Residency Destinations

Whoops, cheers, hugs, and applause were the order of the day at Dartmouth Medical School's 2011 Match Day ceremony on March 17, when 67 students learned where they'll begin residency training after they graduate in June.

DMS Dean Wiley ‘Chip’ Souba and Susan N. Harper, MD, assistant dean of medical education, took turns calling names and handing out envelopes containing the students' destinations – with placements to 23 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. See the complete DMS Match results here.

"This is a celebration of an enormous amount of work on the part of your kids," Souba told parents of the aspiring physicians, adding, "I matched to Dartmouth six months ago."

Among the seven students who will continue their training at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in the fall, student government president and internal-medicine candidate Erin Sullivan will be making a second homecoming.

"I was born at Mary Hitchcock Hospital in 1980," Sullivan said after the ceremony. "My dad was doing his residency at Dartmouth when I was born. This was my first choice. I'm very happy to be staying. I looked at a few other places – Yale and Brown were my next two choices – but I still have a lot more to learn at Dartmouth. I have a lot of respect for the medical faculty."

In all, 37,735 medical students applied for 26,158 positions in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), according to the NRMP. At Match Day ceremonies across the U.S, more than 16,000 medical school seniors learned where they'll spend their next three to seven years.

Twenty-five members of this year’s graduating class at DMS will go into internal medicine, with two of them entering joint internal medicine/primary-care programs. Seven from DMS are following the pediatrics path, five are pursuing anesthesiology, four are going into family practice, and four will pursue obstetrics/gynecology.

Every February, students declare at which teaching hospitals they prefer to train, and the hospitals in turn rank the students who apply. A computer algorithm then sorts and matches the aspiring doctors with the training institutions, and the Monday before Match Day – traditionally the third Thursday in March – students find out whether they got one of the available slots.

Following Dartmouth's Match Day tradition, Souba and Harper called students in random – rather than alphabetical – order to collect their envelopes. Each student in turn deposited a dollar in a bowl, with the final student keeping the kitty as a reward for waiting the longest. The 2011 prize went to Katherine Au, who will train in obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.