Fourth-year medical students at Baylor College of Medicine learned where they will conduct their residency training, and their matches revealed a strong focus on primary care fields. Match Day, held today at U.S. medical schools, marks the culmination of the annual National Resident Matching Program that pairs fourth-year medical students with residency programs throughout the nation.

At Baylor, 158 students participated in the match, and more than 70 percent of them will begin their residencies in the primary care fields of family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, medicine/pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology or emergency medicine. Fifty-four students will continue their training in residencies at Baylor College of Medicine, and 73 matched with residency programs in Texas.

“Our match today shows Baylor College of Medicine’s continued commitment to provide well-trained primary care and specialty physicians,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor College of Medicine.

Regardless of specialty, Klotman reminded students that, “Throughout your career, you will be representative of the Baylor way of doing things – our mission, our vision and our values. When you start your residency, you’ll realize how well trained you are, and you should be very proud. It’s important that you represent Baylor and yourselves professionally at all times and that you remember the importance of diversity and inclusion.”

He was joined by Dr. Jennifer Christner, dean of the School of Medicine, in acknowledging the important affiliated institutions where Baylor medical students train during medical school. Klotman welcomed executives from two of Baylor’s affiliates who attended Match Day: Doug Lawson, CEO of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, and George Masi, president and CEO of Harris Health System.

“You have had the opportunity to work and train at truly the best training center in the world, the Texas Medical Center, and we are very appreciative of all the places that have allowed you to train there and have those experiences that got you where you are today,” Christner told the matching students.

Dr. Joseph Kass, associate dean of student affairs, also addressed students at the Match Day program, and Brian Park, president of the Class of 2019, spoke on behalf of his peers. Park matched at the University of California, Los Angeles in anesthesiology.

“There is a combination of fear and excitement that’s inside all of us on Match Day,” Park said. “No matter where we go or what specialty we pursue, as we push forward, we know we were trained in great hands. With that said, I’m proud to say, Baylor College of Medicine Class of 2019, congratulations, we finally did it!”

After the brief program, students clustered around the large, colorful board where the envelopes were posted that contained their match letter, and at 11 a.m., they were finally able to learn of their fate.

One student who matched, Anne Xu, was thrilled to learn of her residency match in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. She joined a group of current internal medicine residents for a photo opportunity and celebrated with her parents, visiting from her hometown of Hot Springs, Ark.

“This is exactly where I wanted to be, and what I wanted to be doing,” she said.