Where are they going? Students celebrate Match Day
03/17/11 Portland, Ore.
There's the "Forefinger Sweep" – emphatic, but risky. The minimally-invasive "Pinch and Tear." The painstaking "Flap Deconstruction." One hundred nervous medical students. One hundred ways to open an envelope.
Even in today's electronic world, life-changing decisions can still arrive on a single sheet of paper. Each year careers, aspirations, relationships and much more hang on the fifty or so words delivered by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) to each graduating medical student across America, at exactly the same time on the third Thursday in March. That’s when senior medical students learn where they will go for the next phase of their training. It’s called Match Day.
One hundred fourth-year students from the OHSU School of Medicine joined almost 16,500 other students from across the country in the 2011 Match. Over 23,400 first-year residency positions were on offer nationally, and a complex computer algorithm matched student preferences for those programs, the programs’ own preferred list of candidates and a host of other data points to generate a final list of residency assignments.
Fifty-seven percent of the students from the School of Medicine matched in internal medicine, family medicine or pediatrics, and matches to family medicine increased four percent over last year, with 24 students matching. Eight of OHSU’s students matched in emergency medicine programs, eight in anesthesiology and two in otolaryngology. Five students matched in each of psychiatry and surgery, three in each of radiology, urology and OBGYN, and two in ophthalmology.
For some at OHSU, the journey will be short – at least, physically. Nineteen students will remain at OHSU for their residency positions, and an additional 11 will stay in Oregon. Altogether 76 percent of the class matched to programs in the western region, including Oregon. Ten will travel to the Northeast, seven to the Midwest and seven to the South.
Jessica Carlson, MD Class of 2010 President, will travel to Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, NY to begin a five-year surgery residency. “I’m very excited,” she said. “It’s hard to leave Oregon, but my conversations with the Bassett faculty only reinforced my impression during the interviews that this is a great next step for me.”
Rachel Seltzer, a participant in the inaugural OHSU Rural Scholars’ program, matched in family medicine at OHSU. “I’m thrilled and flattered to be staying in Oregon and at OHSU,” she said. “Matching here will enable me to receive the training I need to serve Oregonians in communities such as John Day and Enterprise, and continue my advocacy for rural health care in Salem.”
About 50 percent of the graduating class will eventually stay or return to practice in Oregon, and one-third of all practicing Oregon physicians have received all or part of their training at OHSU.
"Residency is the next stage of the educational continuum in a physician’s training. They will learn more about medicine and the specific specialty they have selected," said Dean Mark Richardson, MD. “We are enormously proud of all of our graduates and of OHSU’s role in educating the next generation of physician leaders for Oregon."
Nationwide, the total number of first- and second-year positions exceeded 26,000 for the first time. Slightly more than 94 percent of U.S. medical school seniors matched to a first-year residency position this year; 81 percent of those students matched to one of their top three choices, according to the NRMP. Dermatology, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, radiation oncology, thoracic surgery, and vascular surgery were the most competitive fields for applicants. At least 90 percent of those positions were filled by U.S. medical school seniors.
Read the OHSU media release.
Photos & Video of Match Day 2011
A photo album of Match Day is posted on facebook
A video of Match Day is posted on YouTube