Editor's Note: All media are invited to attend. If you are interested in covering this event, please contact Nancy Fullbright at 478-301-2716.
MACON – Mercer University School of Medicine students from Macon and Savannah will soon participate in a tradition that more than 23,000 medical students across the nation share. At on Thursday, March 17, the School will begin its annual Match Day in the Medical School Auditorium, in which fourth-year students learn which residency programs they will enter following graduation. Students from the School of Medicine's Savannah campus will travel to Macon to learn their match results.
Crystal Bailey, a fourth-year medical student from Young Harris, Ga., said Match Day is an exciting time for everyone involved.
"We've all worked very hard for the last four years at Mercer. On Thursday, we finally find out where we'll begin our careers as physicians," said Bailey, who plans on eventually returning to north Georgia to practice medicine. "Match Day is more than just finding out where we go for residency. It is on this special day that our dreams cease being just dreams and actually become a reality."
The National Resident Matching Program, a computerized process that matches students and residency programs according to their stated preferences, processes information entered by both students and residency programs. While students enter their desired residency programs in order of preference, residency programs directors also submit their preferences for students. The computer program uses an algorithm to automatically link students with the program they most want. No student can be matched to a program he or she did not rank.
"This time of the year is always stressful for medical students, as they anticipate the beginning of their residency training," said Robert Beran, executive director of the National Resident Matching Program. "For most students, the results are a great relief, in that more than 85 percent match one of their top three choices."
Prior to entering a residency, medical students must complete four years of medical education. Following graduation, they enter residencies, which last from three to five years, depending on the area of practice. Between 65 and 70 percent of Mercer's graduates practice medicine in Georgia after completing their residency programs, with additional graduates returning after fulfilling military obligations.
About Mercer University and the School of Medicine:
Mercer University's School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Students entering Mercer University School of Medicine will be graduated from a school that utilizes a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice.
Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 15 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South.