It's amazing how one little envelope can dictate the direction of someone's life for the next three to seven years, but that's what happens on "Match Day," where medical school students find out where they'll serve out their residencies.
A total of 172 University of South Florida medical students joined thousands of their counterparts from around the country in finding out what hospital or medical center they'll be working at at events last week.
According to the National Resident Matching Program, more than 42,000 students, the largest group ever, applied for almost 31,000 slots across the country.
"It is their most important day," Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, said. "Having gone through it myself, I can tell you that there’s no day that has more stress and usually happiness at the end, but you don’t know where your future will be – you could be across the country at a residency program or you could be staying here or anywhere in between."
Breaking down the numbers at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, 41 of the graduating medical students, or about a quarter of the class, will stay at USF; 64 of them, or about 37 percent, will remain in Florida.
Here’s a quick Match Day primer: during their fourth year of med school, students interview at hospitals and medical centers around the country and rank their favorites. The facilities do the same as well, only with hundreds of students on their lists. But with limited slots available, luck plays a part as well.