A Perfect Match: Match Day sets course for future physicians

March 21, 2002

Keshava Rajagopal, one of 111 graduating seniors at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, was overjoyed to discover he was accepted to Duke University's medical residency program -- his first choice. This past Thursday, medical students across the country simultaneously discovered where they would continue their training during Match Day -- an annual rite of spring since 1952.

Fourth-year medical students submit a list of hospitals, ranked in order of preference, to the National Resident Matching Program, a nonprofit corporation that coordinates residency positions in graduate medical education throughout the United States. The hospitals also rank their applicants -- based on letters of recommendation, transcripts and personal interviews. The NRMP then matches each student with the highest-ranking hospital that accepts him or her.

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