Medical Students Find Their Matches
Fourth-year medical students at the Feinberg School of Medicine learned on March 20 what residency programs they will enter this summer and celebrated the news with their classmates and families. The Northwestern students were part of 14,332 United States medical school seniors who participated in the annual Match Day, sponsored by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). This year’s Match featured the most positions—23,365—ever offered in its history; the match rate for US. medical graduates was 92.3 percent. While the number of U.S. graduates remains essentially the same each year, the number of international medical graduates applying for positions increased by about 10 percent compared to last year.
At the Feinberg School, only 2.5 % of 161 students participating in the Match did not match to either a first- or second-year position, according to Jack F. Snarr, PhD, associate dean for student programs. All subsequently found positions during the “scramble” wherein unmatched seniors contact institutions with remaining open positions. “A couple students had matched into second-year positions but needed preliminary medicine programs,” says Dr. Snarr. Four other students in the Class of 2003 will pursue health management or research endeavors before seeking residencies.
“The biggest jump we saw was in anesthesiology,” continues Dr. Snarr. “We have nine people going into that specialty. During the past 25 years, we’ve averaged about four or five people matching in anesthesiology.” He suspects that spike resulted in part from the re-invigoration of the Feinberg’s School department under the leadership of M. Christine Stock, MD, James E. Eckenhoff Professor and chair of anesthesiology, appointed in 2000. “It’s a fascinating area, and our students are finding role models who are excited about the specialty.
“On the other end of the spectrum, the number of students going into obstetrics and gynecology and general surgery has been falling nationwide,” he says. “While the number of our students going into general surgery has remained fairly stable, we had fewer student going into ob-gyn compared to last year.”
At the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, 221 residency positions were offered. Through the NRMP, 214 (96.8) percent, were filled. The remaining seven positions were subsequently filled.