Saturday, December 20, 2014

Students find out what future holds at Match Day festivities

Match Day

Phil Jones photo

AUGUSTA, Ga. – One by one they came.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Grunge rockers. Ace Ventura. The Riddler. A pair of potato heads.

Dressed as characters from the ‘90s, fourth-year students in the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University skipped, jogged and full-on sprinted down the aisles of the university’s Lee Auditorium Friday, all in a hurry to find out what their futures held.

One-hundred-and-ninety MCG students participated in Match Day 2013, the annual event that pairs fourth-year medical students nationwide with hospitals where they will train in their chosen specialties. Students rank hospitals and hospitals rank the students, and both sets of rankings are submitted to the National Resident Matching Program, based in Washington, D.C. According to the NRMP, the number of total Match registrants topped 40,000 in the largest Main Residency Match in the program’s history. The number of available positions also rose to an all-time high of 29,171 – up 2,399 over last year.

As MCG students received the envelope telling them where they’d spend the next three to seven years completing their training, reactions ran the gamut.

Classmates Chinonye Chika Ogbonnaya-Odor (dressed as Rafiki from The Lion King) and Leo Muduve shared a shout and a bear hug.

Ogbonnaya-Odor, a native of Nigeria, matched at the University of Medicine & Dentistry in New Jersey in Internal Medicine. “I wanted to choose field that would allow me to take care of every one in my family,” she said. “I am the only one in medicine.”

In addition to joining her boyfriend who is already in New Jersey, she won’t be far from her friend and classmate, Muduve, who matched to a psychiatry residency program at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.

As she opened her envelope, Julie Jacobs (dressed as a grunge rocker in a plaid, flannel shirt and jeans) burst into tears, and turned to embrace another classmate.

“I got it,” she said. In her case, “it” was a pediatrics residency at Children’s Hospital of Georgia – her top choice. “I loved all of my attending (physicians) and faculty and I knew I just couldn’t do any better than here.”

Match Day

Phil Jones photo

Like Jacobs, 78 percent of U.S. senior medical students matched to primary care specialties, including residency programs in pediatrics, family medicine and internal medicine. The number of U.S. students choosing primary care rose by almost 400 over 2012, according to the NRMP.

Of students matching at GRU, 40 percent will pursue primary care – 32 in internal medicine, 30 in pediatrics, five in a combined medicine and pediatrics residency program and nine in family medicine. Twenty-six percent of the class will also stay in Georgia – of those, 24 students will begin their first year of residency at MCG and 25 are going elsewhere in the state. In all, 108 students from across the country matched to residency programs at MCG through the NRMP and will begin training at Georgia Regents Health System in July.

Match results can be an indicator of career interests among U.S. medical school seniors. Among the notable trends this year, according to the NRMP:

• 3,135 U.S. seniors matched to internal medicine, an increase of 194 over last year.

• 1,837 U.S. seniors matched to pediatrics, an increase of 105 over last year.

• Family medicine matched 1,355 U.S. seniors, 33 more than last year. More than 95 percent of family medicine positions were filled.

• Emergency medicine programs offered 1,744 positions, 76 more than last year, and filled all but three of them.

• Anesthesiology programs offered 1,653 positions, 177 more than last year, and filled all but 62 of them.

• Specialties with at least 50 positions in The Match that filled at least 80 percent of positions with U.S. seniors were dermatology, emergency medicine, medicine-pediatrics, neurological surgery, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, radiation oncology, general surgery, and plastic surgery.

See the full list of Residency Appointsments (PDF).

Medical College of Georgia on Facebook.

One comment

  1. The unfortunate thing about this story is that none of the primary care numbers reported is guaranteed. This is known as “the Dean’s Lie.”

    Medical school graduates do not enter primary care upon graduation from medical school. They continue training in residency programs that allow them the option to graduate and practice as a primary care doctor, or pursue fellowship to sub-specialize in a specific area. This is not mentioned and misleading to readers.

    It is important to review this data: only 20-25% of internal medicine residents remain in primary care after residency – an overwhelming majority will pursue fellowships in sub-specialties to include cardiology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, etc. (this is from the American College of Physicians, confirmed by JAMA study 2012;308(21):2241-2247, down from over 50% in 1998). Internal medicine residencies should not be considered primary care residencies if an overwhelming majority do not practice primary care. Hardly one-half of pediatrics residents will practice primary care rather than continue training in sub-specialties.

    Over 90% of Family Medicine residents will remain in primary care, although their scope continues to decrease due to a number of factors and the addition of new fellowships for Family Doctors (sports medicine, obstetrics, adolescent medicine, hospitalist training, etc.). When reviewing this data, it is impossible to tout the percentages of graduates that are entering primary care when in actuality, it may not end up being that close.

    For a more accurate measurement of primary care workforce production, the percent reported by medical schools of graduates that match AND STAY in primary care should be utilized for the general public to truly understand how medical schools are performing in regards to primary care workforce.

    In order to do this effectively, this must be based on match data from at least 5 years ago (2 years after residency training). When looking at this data, the overall primary care workforce is trending towards and below 30% – much lower than COGME’s recommended 40+ percent primary care workforce.

    This is not to say this school is performing low compared to other schools nationwide in producing primary care doctors. The school probably does much better than the national average (which is closer to 30 percent or less that actually practice primary care after residency). However, the reported numbers in this report are very misleading to the general reader. When looking back at these numbers in five years, this could be considered fraudulent.

    For more on “The Dean’s Lie” – check out the following blog:

Leave a Reply