Letter to the Editor: Response to "The Match Revealed" in August 2005 Issue.
To the Editor:
The Match Algorithm has a tremendous impact on our professional careers when it assigns young physicians to their residency programs. Making the Match favor students has long been a goal of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). Prior to 1996, the Match algorithm favored residency programs. AMSA pushed for change so that the algorithm now favors students. Student-friendly changes to the Match only happen when medical students demand them, and AMSA has always been in the forefront of these movements.
After successfully leading the movement to improve the Match algorithm in the 1990s, AMSA again improved the system for students and residents when we worked to have contract disclosure prior to the ranking. It used to be that students did not know the details of the contract for their internship year until after they had already accepted the hospital's offer of a position, at which time it was too late to change their minds if they were not satisfied with the contract. AMSA changed that so now students are able to see the contracts that they will sign before they submit their rank lists.
AMSA has also been instrumental in increasing the number of student voices on the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) board. This ensures that the Match continues to work for students, rather than seeing students as resources to be distributed to the participating residency programs. Medical students have the most at stake in the medical education process, and we must be active participants in the system to shape it to further our goals.
Leana S. Wen, National President, AMSA
Chris McCoy, Legislative Affairs Director, AMSA
Krishna Rao, Universal Health Care Coordinator, AMSA
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