Forty-three thousand medical students held their breaths in unison at 11:59 am Pacific on March 17. The suspense broke at noon when they discovered – finally – which residency program they were matched with. Match Day marks the beginning of their medical careers and sparks celebrations across the country, like these.

Alameda Health System matched with a cohort of the nation’s top-tier candidates. Our residency programs at the Wilma Chan Highland Hospital Campus are highly competitive. The surgery residency program received more than 1,300 applicants this year for seven categorical and nine preliminary positions. The internal medicine residency program received more than 2,000 applications for just 31 positions. And Highland Hospital’s emergency medicine residency, ranked among the top five in the country, attracted more than 700 applicants for just 12 coveted positions.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the 2023 class to the Highland family,” said Dr. David Duong, associate residency program director of emergency medicine. “These interns are mission-driven, passionate about health equity, and just phenomenal human beings. The future of medicine looks bright and hopeful!”

The matchmaking process is an algorithmic wonder developed by researchers David Gale and Lloyd Shapley, who won the 2012 Nobel Prize for discovering an efficient solution to a common problem: how to match different agents as well as possible. Known today as the Gale-Shapley Algorithm, it establishes a system by which every student is matched with the residency they most prefer from among those who prefer them.

“We select applicants who will thrive here and have a track record of serving and advocating for safety net patients. We also prioritize creating a diverse cohort because we want a workforce that reflects the patients we care for in Alameda County,” said Dr. Duong. “Get ready for another sensational class! These residents are movers and shakers who are the future faces of health care.”