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In an annual ceremony known as "Match Day," graduating medical students around the country and at the University of Maryland School of Medicine discover where they will begin their careers as doctors.
During the emotionally charged, suspense-filled ceremony, students are handed an envelope revealing which residency program has accepted them.
The ritual takes place at the same time on the same day for all graduating U.S. medical students.
At the same moment, the students learn the location for the next phase of their training.
The annual "Match" is conducted by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) - a computerized system that matches the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs at U.S. teaching hospitals.
The NRMP is a private, not-for-profit corporation established in 1952 to provide uniform date of appointment to positions in graduate medical education throughout the United States.
Each year approximately 16,000 U.S. medical school seniors compete for residency positions in the United States.
At the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the "Match" is held in historic Davidge Hall - the oldest medical school building in continuous use in the United States.
Students are called in random order, heightening the suspense. After receiving a match letter, each student drops a donation into a bag, and the money is given to the last person to receive his/her letter, who often uses it to fund a post-Match bash.
More than 50 percent of Maryland's practicing physicians and other health care professionals are School of Medicine graduates.