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A bit of Match Day history from the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

logo for college of medicine 50th anniversary

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the graduating charter class for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, we are sharing this story that looks back at USF Match Days.

The first Match for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine was 50 years ago, when the charter class was gearing up for graduation and learned where they would conduct their residency training.

The early Match Days for MCOM were held in the former Auditorium within the USF Health Sciences Center, what is now USF Health.

early Match Day in auditorium

A few years later, the students convinced College administrators to move the event to a nearby venue, Skipper’s Smokehouse, where it was held for many years.

a first Match Day at Skipper's Smokehouse

Fun fact: In addition to the fun celebratory vibe, one key tradition holds for MCOM: the random envelope draw. Student names are called in random order, and each student called up drops a dollar bill in a box. The last student called to open his or her Match envelope wins the cash.

In 2010, the Office USF Health Communications and Marketing was one of the first in the nation to livestream a Match Day, opening up viewership to family and friends across the world. The team won a national award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for the enterprising idea and execution.

evite to first livestream for Match Day 2010.

Here's an excerpt from coverage of the next year, when livestream was again offered and fully embraced:

“…But at the USF Health College of Medicine, Match Day 2011 will have a special twist.  Medical students’ family members and friends will be able to share the emotion of the moment – even if they can’t be there in Tampa for the March 17 ceremony starting at noon ET.  That’s because the USF Health College of Medicine will harness several digital channels to broadcast the Match Day event online, including on Facebook, the virtual world of Second Life and Twitter. USF Health College of Medicine last year became one of the first medical schools in the country to livestream Match Day. Doing so changed the event. Family members watched from as far away as India and Dubai. They were able to send congratulatory messages online to the students. And many students, as they came on stage to open their envelope, first recognized their loved ones watching from far away…”

In 2015, MCOM moved Match Day to Ulele. Larger space was needed to hold the largest matching class in the history of the USF medical school. Here's an excerpt from event coverage:

“After some 25 years of gathering at Skipper’s Smokehouse in north Tampa, the Morsani College of Medicine Class of 2015 opted to move their Match Day closer to downtown Tampa, finding a celebratory spot along the banks of the Hillsborough River and Tampa’s Riverwalk at Ulele, one of Tampa’s hottest dining destinations.”

first Match Day at Ulele.

U.S. Match history: 

Match Day is the annual ritual when senior medical students across the country learn where they will spend their residencies, the next phase in their medical education, which can last from three to seven years depending upon the specialty pursued. They’ve spent the past six months or more interviewing with residency programs and then ranking their picks within the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

Match Day is when students find out which programs chose them. For most students, this day is a defining moment: they find out where they will launch their careers.

  • Early days meant med school senior applied to residencies via paper applications and waiting for a paper response letter.
  • In 1952, and more centralized match process was created to place senior medical students into residency training programs.
  • In 1978, the organization was renamed the National Resident Matching Program.
  • Mid 1980s added in couples matching into the algorithm.
  • In 1999, rank order lists were entered via the 'internet'.
  • In 2002, there was a big shift and the entire Match became web-based -- registration, ranking and results.
  • For more on Match Day history, visit here:

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About Health News

USF Health News highlights the great work of the faculty, staff and students across the four health colleges – Morsani College of Medicine, College of Public Health, College of Nursing and Taneja College of Pharmacy – and the multispecialty physicians group. USF Health, an integral part of the University of South Florida, integrates research, education and health care to reach our shared value - making life better.