UI medical school students receive residency assignments on match day


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

“Pomp and Circumstance” swells in the background as high-school students move their tassels, signifying their graduation.

For most, this is the defining moment of an academic career.

For the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine students, Match Day is a larger event.

At 11 a.m. today, UI fourth-year medical students will tear open letters that contains the information stating where their medical residencies will be for the next several years.

“We’ve gone through high school, college, and medical school, working for this,” said Shady Henien, the medical-school student government president. “This is it. My family is coming from Pennsylvania to be with me. This is bigger than graduation.”

In the fall, the students compiled a list of the top-five places they would like to receive their residencies, after rotating and going through an interview process with the hospitals, UI Health Care spokeswoman Jennifer Brown said. The hospitals, in turn, complied a list of the top-five students they were interested in.

Christopher Cooper, the associate medical-school dean for student affairs and curriculum, went through the Match Day process himself and explained it as “excitement and terror.”

“You’re excited to find out — students find out who they did match,” Cooper said. “But you’re also hoping to get one of your top choices, and you’re relieved you got a place, and you start thinking about what your life may be like.”

On March 11, students received emails stating whether they received matches. A majority of students were matched. For some students, they had to contact the hospitals that had open positions to try to find a position. In 2012, 130 of the 140 students were matched the first time. Five more students received residencies subsequently.

For medical student Andrea Keohane, the week of waiting has been stressful.

Keohane, who is on the Match Committee, said the members wanted to help relieve the stress as well as help the graduating class, of roughly 145 students, with bonding.

“We took it upon ourselves to get together and see people who we haven’t seen for a while,” she said. “This is kind of a long process, so we’ve been setting a designated bar to meet up every night. This week has gone a lot faster than I thought. I’m really stressed; it’s a really big decision of where you’re going to spend the next four years, in my case.”

The students signed contingency contracts — whatever the matches may be, students have to serve their residencies at the match locations.

Cooper said that although it is not common, some students applied for residencies under various specialties because of the competitiveness in certain aspects of medicine.

“Most students pick one specialty,” Cooper said. “But on occasion when it becomes extremely competitive, we tell them to have a parallel plan.”

Some of the more competitive specializations include surgical subspecialties such as ophthalmology and dermatology. Primary care — family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and gynecology — is often less competitive. In 2012, 49 percent of the graduates went into primary care.

Henien said the process of the match was made much easier because the UI is known for its medical school and has trained its students well.

“The University of Iowa does a great job,” he said. “The University of Iowa is so well-known and prestigious in the country and prepares the students very well.”

In today's issue:



Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.