BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Friday is Match Day. It’s one of the most important days in the lives of medical students.

Mary Bubala reports they all learn at the very same time where their future is taking them.

At the University of Maryland School of Medicine, they’re called down one by one and handed their Match Day envelope. A few open it right there in front of their med school classmates.

It’s a rite of passage shared simultaneously at medical schools across the country. Medical students apply to several residency programs, then a computer algorithm matches their preferences with the schools. It comes after years of hard work.

“This letter says I matched at UNC for emergency medicine,” said Skyler Lentz.

Bubala “Is that where you wanted to go?”

Lentz: “Yes, that’s where I wanted to go. I’m very happy!”

Across the city at Johns Hopkins, med students all open their Match Day letters at the very same time. It’s filled with anticipation, then instant relief.

“It’s my first choice,” a student said.

Back at Maryland, the last name is called out of 154 students, and the celebrating is well underway.

“We both got our number one, yeah both got our number one,” a pair of students said.

Jason Blevins’ family owns a fruit orchard in Pennsylvania. He’s worked on the farm most of his life, but now he’s about to find out he’s heading to the Big Apple to train in orthopedics.

“Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, Manhattan,” he said.

Bubala: “Could you even read that in the split second you opened it?”

Blevins: “Oh my gosh I was excited. I almost cried I was so happy!”

Also incredibly happy, Novlette Askinseye, who met the love of her life in medical school–Kevin Affum. They get married in a month and the residency program is able to match them together.

“Today is just the culmination of everything we’ve worked so hard for. We are so excited, we’re thrilled,” Affum said.

A big number of students are staying right here in Baltimore, having matched at either Hopkins or Maryland.

Match Day started back in 1952, when students wanted to make the process fair and impartial.

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