In the medical field’s own version of March Madness, fourth-year students around the country celebrated Match Day on March 18, 2016. VCU’s medical students took it a step further, donning their favorite team’s jerseys … or in some cases Quidditch uniforms or Looney Tunes squad costumes.
With 56 days left before graduation, the 2016 Match brought them good news.
Ninety-seven percent of our students matched into a PGY-1 position prior to the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program, a figure much higher than the national average of 93.8 percent. At the conclusion of SOAP, over 99 percent of our graduating seniors had obtained a position in a residency training program.
- 70 students (41.2%) matched into primary care specialties: 33 in Internal Medicine; 18 in Pediatrics; and 19 in Family Medicine.
- 15 of our students matched into OB-GYN;
- 12 into Anesthesiology;
- 11 into Emergency Medicine;
- 10 each into Diagnostic Radiology and Psychiatry;
- 7 into General Surgery;
- 4 each into Dermatology and Orthopedic Surgery;
- 3 each into Otolaryngology, Integrated Plastic Surgery and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; and
- 1 each into Integrated Vascular Surgery and Radiation Oncology as well as the combined programs of Internal Medicine/Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medicine/Family Medicine.
Thirty students will stay at VCU Health (including VCU-affiliated Family Medicine residency programs) for the duration of their residency training, with 13 more completing preliminary training here in either Internal Medicine or General Surgery.
Additional students participated in early match programs. Four students matched into Urology, two into Ophthalmology and 11 into military programs.
“The Class of 2016 achieved exceptional outcomes in the increasingly competitive residency match process,” said Chris Woleben, M.D., associate dean for student affairs. “As confirmed during the recent LCME accreditation site visit, our medical education program as well as our longitudinal career advising program help ensure our students are well prepared to enter residency training in the specialties of their choice.”
Woleben closely monitors trends in local and national residency match statistics to refine Student Affairs’ existing programs. This past year, his office increased collaboration with program-specific advisers for students.
“I thank all of our faculty advisors for the time and energy they have spent helping our medical students attain their career goals,” he said.
According to the National Resident Matching Program, this year’s Match was the largest on record, with 42,370 registered applicants and 30,750 positions.
Match Day at the VCU Health System
“While we primarily recruit primarily from the southeast, we went much more national this year,” said Mary-Alice O’Donnell, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate medical education. “We have recruited from all parts of the country, and this summer will welcome interns from Boston to Tucson to Seattle as well as many from Richmond.
“We’re really proud of the caliber of this year’s recruits. One measure is the board scores of the incoming class and the increased number of AOA members,” she noted, referencing the national medical honor society. “I’ve heard from many program directors who are enthusiastic about the interdisciplinary team spirit and patient-focus this group will bring.”
Already the training programs are circulating the names and photos of the incoming first-year residents. The Department of Psychiatry even brought in a cake, sending the future interns pictures from their celebration.
Match Day 2016
At noon on March 18, medical students along with their faculty, families and friends gathered for Match Day, the annual rite of passage when fourth-year medical students learn where they will go for residency training in their chosen specialties. Photos by Cabay Fine Photography and Kevin Schindler.