When it comes to milestone moments, there’s nothing like Match Day.

Envelopes handed out a noon. Fourth-year students wondering where they’re headed for the next stage of their training. It’s high drama.

And for our students, the celebration that followed was unprecedented.

Ninety-seven percent of our students who were eligible to start a residency program matched successfully. Their success exceeds the national 93 percent Match rate. I count that as a particularly noteworthy achievement because this was the largest Match ever with more than 30,500 applicants competing for not quite 23,000 first-year positions.

Many of our students are headed to some of the most competitive programs across the nation:

  • One matched into Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, taking one of the country’s only 10 such positions.
  • Six matched into Otolaryngology and seven into Orthopedic Surgery, which were two of the most competitive fields for applicants this year.
  • Thirty-six have chosen programs in the VCU Medical Center and dozens more are going to other prestigious programs like the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Emory, Duke, Yale, Brown, NYU, UT Southwestern and the Mayo Clinic and Georgetown.

And we’re equally proud of the 82 students who are going into primary care related specialties. Against the backdrop of the health-care reform debate in Washington D.C., these students are devoting themselves to careers that are essential for delivering compassionate, cohesive care to America’s aging population.

On the VCU Medical Center side of the Match, it was great to see that for the second year in a row our residency programs were totally filled with outstanding candidates. In this respect, too, we are making connections with premiere schools. First-year residents who start in July will come from programs like Dartmouth, Hopkins, Penn, and UNC. The class looks amazing and their board scores and other measures are incredible.

Congratulations to all our students, those going and those coming. Graduation is around the corner, but nothing quite compares to Match Day with its excitement, camaraderie and hope for the future.

Former Dean Jerome F. Strauss

Jerome F. Strauss, III, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System