“Match Day” Reveals Future Plans for New Doctors

Graduating medical students at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), and their peers nationwide, found out today where they will be serving their post-graduate residency training. On “Match Day,” which occurs at exactly noon, a nationally administered computerized system gives the results of the matches it has made between medical students and residency training programs across the country.

Of the 183 fourth-year medical students at MCW, 178 students obtained first-year residency positions through the match. The remaining five obtained positions through the military match.

54 of MCW’s graduating fourth-year students (29.5 percent) will remain in Wisconsin to serve post-graduate residency training.

Physicians are required to have a minimum of three years of post-graduate training in the specialties they choose. Primary care fields attracted 43 percent of MCW graduates this year. Those fields include internal medicine (12 percent of the class), pediatrics (14 percent), family medicine (13 percent), and medicine/pediatrics (4 percent).

The three top choices of specialty were pediatrics (14 percent), family medicine (13 percent), and a third place tie between internal medicine and emergency medicine at 12 percent each. The remaining 50 percent of graduating physicians selected specialties including anesthesiology, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, radiation oncology, pathology, neurology, child neurology, general surgery, plastic surgery, thoracic surgery, urology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, dermatology, otolaryngology, radiology, internal medicine/pediatrics, and psychiatry/neurology.

For students participating in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), or “Match,” it is the culmination of a year’s work. During the first half of their senior year, medical students apply for positions at residency programs of their choosing. In February, after they have visited program sites and been interviewed by program directors, the students enter their choices, in order of preference, into a computer. At the same time, residency program directors nationwide enter similar rank order lists for the students they have interviewed.

Lists from each group are sent to the NRMP headquarters in Washington, D.C., where a computer matches students and residency programs. The Match is programmed to give students their highest choice possible. Results are released simultaneously throughout the nation.

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