Dean's Update

March 15, 2024 - Aron Sousa, MD

Three medical students celebrating on Match Day


Today is Match Day! I think every physician remembers their match day as clearly as any day in their career. My own was pretty boring, but obviously I still remember it. I was on an away elective in cardiology at Minnesota, so I did not participate in the celebration at Indiana. I was doing my away rotation where my wife worked and had arranged for my letter to be delivered, by mail, to our apartment. I opened my letter when I got home at the end of the day. It was all anticlimactic but somehow memorable.

The run up to doing my rank order was much more stressful. We did not know where my wife would have a job the next year. We hoped and guessed she would get a job at Michigan State, so I ranked State first and then other programs in Michigan. If she had ended up staying at Minnesota, it would have been extremely tough.

It worked out well for us, and I am happy to say it looks like Match Day 2024 went well for our students too. Our overall placement rate at the end of the week including Match, Military Match, SOAP, and Advanced Matches was 98%, which is great and very standard for us.

For those of you who are not familiar with Match Day, here is the briefest explication. Each year, graduating medical students apply to residencies beginning in the late summer/early fall through a placement program called “The Match.” Students undergo interviews in fall and winter and then submit their rank order lists of their preferred residencies in February. Meanwhile the residencies submit their rank order lists of their preferred student applicants at about the same time. Computers at The Match go through these lists and match applicants to residencies. Magic happens, and students and residencies are notified of the results on a Friday in mid-March.

This year 37% of our students are entering a primary care residency and 51% will be doing their residency in Michigan. Those numbers are also in line with previous years.

It’s been a busy week for the college. In addition to the Match Day, we raised more than $22,000 for scholarships across the MD and MPH programs. Did you miss out? Never fear, your opportunity to give did not end on Tuesday, you can still support our students – give to the funds at our website.

This week, we welcomed MSU President Kevin Guskiewicz to the college’s East Lansing campus. He visited a student small group led by University Distinguished Professor Sue Barman as well as visiting laboratories in the radiopharmacy, IQ, Life Sciences, and the ISTB. He met with the department leadership committee, and I spent a bit of time with him as well. My thanks to Carol Parker, Allison Tilma, Cyndi Vincent, and everyone who helped us with the visit!

Match Day is rightly about the students, but I want to offer my deep thanks to all the staff and faculty who help our students through residency placement. Across our campuses, staff and faculty help prepare students for each next step in the match process. It is a big effort and is not always easy. And finally, congratulations to our “quite nearly” Spartan MDs on their match! 

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD, FACP
Dean, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

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