March 21, 2012
Ashley Pitlyk

Fourth-Year Medical Students Make their Match with Residencies

Friends, family and faculty celebrated the next phase of students’ medical education

Jenny Schmidt
Jenny Schmidt and her husband, Brian, celebrate her placement with the internal medicine program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. For more Match Day photos visit the SLU Health News Facebook photo album. Photos by Ashley Pitlyk 
ST. LOUIS - Rain couldn't stop the smiles from shining at Saint Louis University School of Medicine's 2012 Match Day event on March 16. Squeals of excitement, tearful phone calls to family and even occasional jumps for joy filled the room as 175 fourth-year medical students learned where they will be going for their residencies, the next phase of their medical education.

Match Day is an annual event that combines the emotional excitement of an awards show and the yearning of the lottery as results from the National Residency Matching Program are simultaneously released to medical students nationwide.  

Prior to Match Day, medical students rank their preference for specialties and medical institutions. Likewise, hospitals and other medical institutions list their preference for residents. Students' and the program directors' rank lists are matched, which results in the selection of students for residency positions.

This year's Match Day celebration was held at the Redbird club at Busch Stadium where students received their fate in sealed envelopes that they opened in the presence of friends and family.

"The hour before is the longest wait," said Jenny Schmidt. "I woke up this morning and my stomach was in knots."

Schmidt's nerves were eased when she learned she matched with the internal medicine program at the Medical College of Wisconsin - her first choice. A Wisconsin native, Schmidt is excited to be moving back home where her family is.

Schmidt wasn't the only student to be matched with her first choice program. Matthew Hoegh literally picked up his wife, Kim, in the air when he learned he was accepted to the hospitalist program at the University of Colorado. Hoegh fell in love with Denver when he was researching residency programs, but he still holds a soft spot for the memories he made at SLU.

"It's bittersweet to leave St. Louis, but it will be an adventure," Hoegh said.

"The high number of first choice matches reflects the excellent quality of our students," said James Wilmore, M.D., associate dean of admissions at the School of Medicine. "We are extremely proud of our students, who will enter all fields of medicine and surgery and will be trained in programs across the United States."


Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and infectious disease.

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