This year’s Match Day brought good news for the Class of 2013 who continued the medical school’s tradition of beating the national average.

At noon on March 15, fourth-year students gathered for a milestone in their medical training: the annual day when they learn where they will go for residency training in their chosen specialties.

Thirty-nine percent of the students are headed into primary care with dozens more matching into highly competitive fields including Anesthesiology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Dermatology and Thoracic Surgery, a specialty that only offers 12 training spots in the entire U.S.

“The VCU School of Medicine Class of 2013 achieved outstanding results in the National Resident Matching Program,” said Christopher M. Woleben, M.D., F.A.A.P., associate dean of student affairs.

“Ninety-four percent of our graduating students who participated in the process matched prior to the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) compared to the national average of 93.7 percent.” Of unmatched students, 50 percent received a program offer within the first two rounds of SOAP, the process that helps place unmatched students to unfilled programs.

The total number of U.S. seniors applying to residency programs jumped to 17,487 this year from last year’s 16,527, a factor Woleben said may have contributed to the overall lower match rate seen among graduating U.S. seniors across the nation.

“Not only did our students match into highly competitive residency programs, many of the placements are at prestigious academic medical centers across the country,” Woleben pointed out. Among those students are 29 who will stay at the VCU Health System for residency training in 13 different specialty programs.

Mary Alice O’Donnell, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate medical education in the medical school, said “We had a spectacular Match for 2013. Ninety-five percent of the 140 intern positions were filled during the NRMP match, and by the end of the second round of SOAP, 100 percent of the positions were filled. The programs were able to fill their positions with top quality candidates.”

Of particular note, the VCU Health System continues to expand its geographic range in recruiting, matching with students from 102 allopathic medical schools.

Of the 188 students who participated in the Match:

  • 73 matched into Primary Care specialties: 31 in categorical Internal Medicine, 21 in Family Medicine and 21 in General Pediatrics
  • 17 in Anesthesiology
  • 13 in Emergency Medicine
  • 10 in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • 8 in Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • 6 in Dermatology
  • 6 in Diagnostic Radiology
  • 6 in Neurology
  • 4 in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • 3 in Otolaryngology
  • 1 in Plastic Surgery
  • 1 in Neurosurgery
  • 1 in Thoracic Surgery

In programs that offer an early match process:

  • 6 matched in Ophthalmology
  • 3 matched in Urology
  • 4 matched to military programs

Read more about Match Day