March 16, 2018

Match Madness: U-M medical students learn their fates at annual Match Day event

Virtually all of them (99.4 percent) matched to a residency program on their shortlist, despite intense and growing national competition for a limited number of training spots

Match Day letters

With the tearing of an envelope, 162 University of Michigan medical students found out their fate today at noon, along with tens of thousands of their peers nationwide.

The dramatic moment came during U-M’s annual Match Day celebration, which revealed where graduating students have been accepted for residency training. Each envelope contained a letter revealing which medical center has chosen the student for specialized training that will shape their medical careers.

As it does every year, Match Day brings suspense, drama and emotion, with hundreds of family and friends joining students at U-M’s North Campus Research Complex for the envelope-opening moment.

And just as before, this year’s match brought U-M Medical School students welcome news. Virtually all of them (99.4 percent) matched to a residency program on their shortlist, despite intense and growing national competition for a limited number of training spots.

Thirty percent will stay in Michigan, including 21 percent who will continue their training at Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center. The rest will travel to dozens of states, starting residency training this summer after graduation this May 11 in a ceremony that will feature U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., MBA.

“Every year, our students strive to reach their goals in the match, and every year this day is such an important moment,” says Rajesh S. Mangrulkar, M.D., associate dean for medical student education and the Marguerite S. Roll Professor of Medical Education. “Match Day gives us a chance to celebrate their aspirations as we prepare to send them off to the next phase of their career.”

Wherever they go, the students will have a new memento of their U-M medical training to bring with them: a new book of essays on becoming a doctor, written by fellow students.

Called “iatrogenesis: Essays on Becoming a Physician,” the collection looks at how medical training changes students, from the moment they don a white coat on the first day of medical school, to the match and graduation. Each U-M student matching today will receive a copy, published by the University of Michigan Press. It’s also available on and at Ann Arbor’s Literati Bookstore.

Says Mangrulkar, “This book is an inspirational reminder on Match Day of the purpose of our journey as physicians: to connect our own humanity to our patients’. Our students describe this so clearly for us through these essays.” 

Highlights of this year’s match for U-M students:

  • 40 percent of U-M’s graduates will train in a field that could lead to a primary care career as an internist, pediatrician, family practitioner, obstetrician/gynecologist or dual specialist in internal medicine and pediatrics.
  • Nearly one-third applied and matched successfully into one of a few highly competitive specialties, those with very limited spots available nationwide.
  • 28 students this year will graduate with both a medical degree from U-M and an advanced degree in another field from a top-ranked graduate program at the U-M or elsewhere, such as a Ph.D., a master’s degree in public health, clinical research or business, or a residency program in Maxillofacial Surgery. 
  • The students staying at the U-M for the next phase of their training were selected from among thousands of applicants nationwide. Nearly 1,200 doctors-in-training in 106 residency and fellowship programs currently train at U-M’s hospitals and clinics. Those programs are highly regarded by doctors around the country, and by the doctors who completed them, according to results compiled by Doximity.

More about Match Day: Each graduating medical student around the country enters the matching process after interviewing at several programs, by ranking the locations where they’d most like to train for their chosen specialty. In turn, the residency programs run by each teaching hospital and academic medical center rank the students they interviewed that they’d most like to take. Then, an elaborate computer-based system puts it all together to make the best matches. Learn more about the process at

For more about Match Day this year and in past years at U-M, see: