LOVE AND MEDICINE IN RESIDENCY
For those that subscribe to the belief that love conquers all, you will be happy to know that love can even triumph over the dreaded residency Match.
During 4 years of education, medical students who are single often have more on their minds than memorizing drugs and bugs and reading good old Harrison’s from cover to cover. After all, many physicians meet their life partners while in medical school. The sparks of love and lasting bonds could happen at any time, whether during first-year orientation or surgery clerkship. Today, nearly every graduating class has its share of student couples, and marriages in which both partners are practicing physicians are on the rise.
ONE MATCH FOR BOTH
Just like their fellow classmates, medical student couples have to cope with the confusion, frustration, and uncertainty involved in choosing a specialty. But, for graduating seniors involved in a relationship, an additional hurdle awaits: the Couples Match.
In this process, every couple has the same two goals: (1) to secure a residency position in the desired specialty of choice; and (2) to match at a program in the same hospital, city, or general geographic region. The Couples Match is a special arrangement within the main residency matching system. In response to the increasing number of student couples as more women entered medical school, the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) introduced the first Couples Match in 1984. It eliminated the chaotic behind-the-scenes negotiations couples used to secure residency appointments. The Match system now easily accommodates the additional flexibility medical student couples require to achieve their goals. According to NRMP data from the 2018 match, 621 participated in the Couples Match.
WHAT MAKES A COUPLE?
In an official sense (meaning, for NRMP purposes), a couple is simply defined as two partners who are both graduating seniors and who are entering the Match process at the same time. They can be from the same or different medical schools. Traditionally, most couples are engaged fiancés or married spouses. However, all types of couples can enter the Couples Match—boyfriends, girlfriends, newlyweds, gays, lesbians, or even close friends simply wishing to remain together during residency. Residency programs do not know which of their applicants are matching as couples, nor do they require couples to reveal the nature of their relationship. Technically, no romantic linkage is necessary. But before you and your best friend decide to Couples Match, remember that both partners in the relationship should be strongly committed to each other. After all, your futures (at least for the next 3 or more years) are intimately tied together.
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
Based on recent Match statistics, the chances of matching together at the same hospital or in the same city are quite good, with an average match rate of 81% from 1994 to the present.
READY FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL AND BEYOND?
Whether you’re a couple or single, if you’ve always dreamed of becoming a physician, there has never been a better time. COVID-19 has shown the desperate need for physicians on a global scale. Your community needs you! And we can get you there.
Joint MD/MPH Program – for those who want to earn both their medical degree and a masters of public health (MPH), this is the program for you. An MPH is a highly coveted post-graduate qualification that will better equip you for careers in primary care, international health, or really any specialty.
Accelerated Premedical Program – for those who want to change careers, have always dreamt of being a physician, or are high school graduates, this program will give you the credits and background you need for direct admission to our MD program.
Contact our Admissions Team and begin your journey!