Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
09:39 AM

SELECT Medical Students Learn Match Day Results in Downtown Allentown

There are lots of firsts in a medical student’s career: first cadaver lab, white coat, medical simulation and patient encounter. For the 2017 graduating class of SELECT (Scholarly Excellence, Leadership Experiences, Collaborative Training) medical school, a partnership between University of South Florida (USF) Health Morsani College of Medicine and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), there were even more firsts – 27 to be exact. That’s how many students are first in their family to go to medical school.

On Friday, March 17 those students and their families gathered in a ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Allentown to experience yet another milestone – their first Match Day.

Match Day is annual rite of passage for fourth-year students at medical schools across the country. It’s the day when all their hard work, studying and exams pay off culminating in one last test – a test of nerves. The day they open sealed envelopes that reveal their “match” to a medical residency program.

“Match Day is one of the most significant events in a medical students’ life,” said SELECT Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Michael La Rock, MD. “It’s the culmination of many years of hard work and has an impact on a doctor’s future career. Students who have family members in medicine have heard the folk lore around it, but for first timers it’s even more nerve wracking.”

The 2017 graduating class of SELECT includes 50 students. More than three dozen attended Match Day festivities in Allentown, 11 of their classmates learned match results in Tampa, Fla. where SELECT students complete the first two years of classroom training before coming to LVHN for two years of clinical experiences.

The matching process is a service of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Fourth-year medical students from across the country apply and interview for residency programs independent of NRMP, then submit rank order lists (ROL) of their residency preferences. Residency directors submit similar ROLs. Both lists are aggregated by NRMP and the results are revealed to students on Match Day.

Students submit their common residency applications in mid-September and then take a month or more to travel across the country for personal interviews. It’s a time consuming and expensive process for students who also juggle classes, complete clinical rotations and manage research projects throughout their fourth year of SELECT.

“Match Day is a rite of passage for students filled with high expectations and celebration,” La Rock says. “Where you’re matched for residency is most likely the place you will practice medicine. All our students are well prepared for their residency programs. In past years, many have matched to top programs.”

This is the third graduating class of SELECT. Previous graduates have matched with top institutions including LVHN, the University of Pennsylvania, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, University of California–Davis, the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Schools in Rochester, Minn. and Jacksonville, Fla.

“SELECT’s curriculum focuses on values-based care, leadership, health care systems and emotional intelligence,” said Robert Barraco, MD, Chief Academic Officer and Associate Dean for Educational Affairs. “As an educator, it’s a real joy to know you are impacting 50 professionals who will care for and heal tens of thousands of people in their careers. It’s breathtaking when you think of the number of lives they will touch.”

About LVHN

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses - three in Allentown including the region's only facility dedicated to orthopedic surgery, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; 26 health centers caring for communities in seven counties; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices and 18 ExpressCARE locations throughout the region including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE at the Health Center at Palmer Township; pharmacy, imaging, home health services and lab services; extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care at the region’s busiest, most-experienced trauma center treating adults and children, burn care at the regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer care, orthopedics, and neurology and complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, the Lehigh Valley Heart Institute and the Lehigh Valley Institute for Special Surgery give clinicians of the highest caliber the necessary infrastructure, programs and partnerships to help community members stay healthy and provide the most advanced treatment when needed. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a formal member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, a transformative initiative to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with cancer in community health care settings, including access to key MSK clinical trials. Robotic surgery is offered in ten specialties across the health network with more than 10,000 procedures performed since 2007. Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital and Level 4 NICU in the region, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest has been recognized among the top five hospitals in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report for for five consecutive years. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg are national Magnet hospitals for excellence in nursing. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org, or following us on Facebook and Twitter.