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.”
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).
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