NBC 5 News
On Match Day, medical school seniors found out where they will spend their residency, the next step in their medical careers.
More than 200 medical students at UT Southwestern found out Friday where they will spend the next three years of their career.
Match Day is an annual rite of passage in which medical school seniors from around the world learn if they have been accepted to a training position at a U.S. teaching hospital.
The National Resident Matching Program uses a mathematical algorithm to match students with available positions. At UT Southwestern in Dallas, 220 students received their results on Match Day.
"I opened the envelope, I saw UT Southwestern, [and] I said, 'Yes, thank you, Lord,'" Rachelle Dorvil-Makinde said.
"When I opened it up, it was like a well of excitement," said Cryil Varghese, who will do his residency at the Mayo Clinic Hospital. "I didn't know what to do."
The NRMP said a record number of positions were offered in total -- 29,171. The nonprofit group said 25,463 applicants were successfully matched to first-year residency programs.
Christy Wang, an aspiring anesthesiologist, will head to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
"Four years of hard work -- it’s all coming down to this day," she said. "I can't tell you how much it means."
The competition is toughest for those going to orthopedics, radiology and other lucrative specialties.
Friday’s distribution of letters was emotional for students, families and educators.
"You help many more patients by helping students learn be great doctors, and so I view this as another opportunity to give back in a much larger way," said Dr. Shawna Nesbitt, UT Southwestern Medical School associate dean of student affairs.