Medical students across the country found out where their career begins last Friday. Match Day marks the day that fourth-year medical students learn where they’re receiving their residency training. It reflects not only an algorithm that pairs about 44,000 applicants to their hospital of best fit, but also represents the fruition of all medical students’ academic careers. During the ceremony, students were called up individually to receive their envelopes. The medical students have a tradition of having a bucket of money that everyone drops a dollar into as they receive their envelopes — the last to be called wins the pot. When the celebration ended, students met with family and friends to open the envelopes and learn where they’re going for their residencies. Sneha Ramya Gadi, a fourth-year Medical student who will be going to Atlanta for her residency at Emory University, said in an email that she plans to study internal medicine and emphasized how important residencies are for medical students. “Match Day is the day fourth-year medical students all over the country find out where they matched to pursue further training in their chosen medical specialty,” Gadi said. “It’s important because though medical school graduates are guaranteed their degrees once they graduate, they will not be able to practice medicine unless they are trained in a recognized residency. So it’s a step towards becoming a licensed, practicing physician.” The University’s celebration of Match Day was organized through the collaboration of the Medical Alumni Association and the graduating class officers of the School of Medicine. Around 160 University graduating medical students participated in the Match Day ceremony and two were deferred residencies. Elizabeth Hoang, a fourth-year Medical student and prospective Obstetrics and Gynecology resident, worked with her co-chair, fourth-year Medical student Kristina Burger, to plan a week of events to bring the class together and celebrate prior to Match Day. Hoang will be completing her residency at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and plans to study Obstetrics and Gynecology because she said she sees it as a field of study that allows her to both provide quality care to patients and promote women’s health. “For me, it is the field with the best of both worlds,” Hoang said in an email. “We have the opportunity to do some really amazing, complicated surgeries and procedures that is well balanced with strong continuity of care and relationships with our patients. Additionally, I think there continues to be various barriers for women to receive appropriate healthcare and what better field to be in to become a leader and an advocate for women’s health.” Gadi said Match Day brings many emotions with it and that the day highlights taking the first steps to becoming a doctor. “In college, medicine was fairly abstract,” Gadi said. “I knew I wanted to pursue it, but what does that really mean? Even in medical school, there are so many steps to take before you can actually say you’re going to work as a doctor. So now that it finally happened, I feel extremely excited, grateful, humble and optimistic for the future.” Edy Ndem, fourth-year Medical student and class president, intends to study plastic surgery, and is going to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her residency. Ndem said Match Day commemorates the end of the students’ academic career and the beginning of what all medical students have dedicated their lives to. “It means that I can do something that I really fell in love with and it’s like I’m just starting my career, and being able to actually form your own relationship with patients and really getting into the nitty gritty of what we’re going to medical school for,” Ndem said.