Lesson Plan Eight: Match Day

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Match Day is one of the most important milestones a medical student’s career. In mid-March of each year, med students learn where they have “matched” and will complete their residency training.

Students will learn what a residency is and the typical length of residencies for various specialties. They’ll watch a video of a real Match Day ceremony, and then participate in a Pre-Med Club Match Day ceremony with their peers. Additional activities include sharing articles, Inspiring Stories, and journal writing.


  • Students will learn about residency training
  • Students will simulate the excitement of Match Day
  • Students will celebrate the completion of the Pre-Med Club


Introduce Match Day and Residency to the students:

  • Match Day occurs on the third Thursday of March and it the day when medical students which specialty they will pursue and where they will go to continue their medical training as residents. Medicals schools hold ceremonies for their students so that everyone learns where they will go on the same day. They are very festive and emotional ceremonies.
  • Residency is the stage of medical training that happens after a student graduates from medical school. Residencies train doctors in their specialty and can last anywhere from three to five years. Some specialties may require additional training.

Facilitator: Watch the excerpts from the Match Day videos on a computer or projector, if possible. Share or read aloud Match Day articles. To find additional videos, search for “Match Day” on YouTube or a search engine. Discuss:

  • How did it make you feel to see/read about the medical students’ reactions?
  • Which ones were most meaningful to you?
  • Who would you like to bring to your Match Day ceremony and why?


Call students up to the front of the room, one at a time, to receive their envelopes. Like a typical medical school ceremony, they’ll open the envelope in front of their peers and tell their classmates where they’re going to be training as a resident and which specialty they will pursue. Or, if preferred, hand out all envelopes to students first, then have everyone open their letters simultaneously. Then, have students announce their specialty and where they will be training as residents.

Wrap Up

Ask students, if you could add or remove something from the Pre-Med Club, what would it be? What would you do differently if you did this club again? Give students their certificates of completion.

Additional Activities

  • Students share article with the group
    Have the students assigned to bring in articles share the story with the group. Have the student tell why they chose the article. Ask the group for their thoughts about the topic.
  • Inspiring stories
    Story of the week: Dani Sova
  • Final journal writing
    Have students read through the other journal entries and think back on what they’ve learned over the last sessions. Which lessons did they enjoy the most? The least? What would the like to know more about? Which lessons were the most helpful? Do they think a medical career might be right for them? What next steps will they take to move them forward on their journey to medical school?

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