USA senior medical students discover residencies on annual ‘Match Day’

Updated: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:30 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - It was an emotional day for senior medical students at Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine as they gathered for the annual “Match Day”.

Every year, senior medical students meet across the U.S. and Canada to find out where they’ll go to residency after graduation.

“Match Day is the day where all over the nation, every graduating medical student finds out where they’re going to be pursuing their graduate medical education which is their residency training. Not only do they find out on the same day nationally but they find out at exactly the same time,” explained Kelly Roveda, Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine.

Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama Match Day...
Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama Match Day 2023 Class of 2023(Bill Starling | Bill Starling)

Students and their families nervously await their match.

“They submit their order of preference and the residency program submits their order of preferences and then it’s just a matching algorithm that puts them together so it’s palpable, nerve wracking,” added Roveda.

“I’m a little nervous. I know I have a job, so that’s number 1. I’m a little nervous about picking up and moving my family- I have two little girls, I am married,” said Aidan Gilbert.

A sealed blue envelope holds the key to their futures.

“I’m just excited- I don’t care where, I think we’re all ready to go. We know we have to move and I am excited for a new adventure,” said Sarah Filingim.

For many, this moment is the result of years of hard work, sacrifice and support from friends and family.

When the moment comes, students rip open their envelope.

Tears, hugs and cheers erupt.

“We definitely screamed,” said one joyful student.

“I almost cried when I opened it, and I was just so relieved afterwards,” said another.

Each student crosses the stage to share where they’re going, putting a pin on the map of their residency location.

By the end of the ceremony, the map is covered with students matching in 24 states.

It’s a monumental and life-altering day.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Matthew Joyner. “We are kind of used to moving at this point.”

“I’m completely relieved,” added Cammie Joyner. “I am also super proud of him. I’ve known him for eight years and this has been his journey for the longest time and it’s just great knowing where we are going to go- it’s now coming to fruition. It’s just great.”

USA says 51 students matched out-of-state and 22 students matched in Alabama with 10 of those students matching at USA Health.