(Mar. 19, 2009)
More than half of the medical students graduating from East Carolina University this spring will go into primary care residencies.
Those are the results of the annual Match Day, celebrated today amid whoops and hugs at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU.
Of the 62 students participating in the match, 13, or 21 percent, are entering family medicine residencies. Eight are entering some type of internal medicine residency. Six students are entering pediatric residency programs, and seven are entering obstetrics and gynecology.
"I can't even tell you how excited I am," said Pui-Nn Ho, who will be staying in Greenville to pursue a surgery residency at ECU and Pitt County Memorial Hospital. "I'm thrilled that I'm going here."
Before they can provide direct patient care, U.S. medical school graduates are required to complete a three- to seven-year residency program accredited in a recognized medical specialty. Medical students at the nation's 125 medical schools learned their destinations today.
The class of 2009 was accepted into institutions in 19 states in 20 specialties. The Brody School of Medicine at ECU and Pitt County Memorial Hospital will be home to 12 class members. Thirty graduates will stay in North Carolina.
Jeremy Kilburn of Charlotte leapt in the air after learning he would be doing a radiation oncology residency at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, his top choice.
"I look forward to being in a fantastic program with faculty that I have a lot in common with and the opportunity to be close to family," Kilburn said. He will be centrally located to family in Mooresville and Hickory. Kilburn was joined by his wife, Katie, their infant daughter Jillian, and his mother, father, identical twin brother, older sister and nephew.
Fellow medical student Lindsay Roofe of Laurinburg is going to Vanderbilt Medical Center for pediatrics. "It was my first choice," Roofe said. "I'm looking forward to getting to take care of patients finally and to learn more," she said. Her aunt, Sandra Harris of Hamlet, and her mother, Cathy Roofe of Pinehurst, were delighted.
"We're so proud of her," Harris said. They are also excited that she is going to Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., rather than San Francisco, her next choice, which would have been a lot farther from home.
Officials at Brody, which emphasizes primary care, were pleased with the match results.
"This class is a superb class, both in terms of cohesiveness and friendship," said Dr. Paul R.G. Cunningham, who was overseeing his first Match Day as dean of the Brody School of Medicine. "This is an unusual year where so many students matched at their highest ranked schools, so it's a special year for celebrating."
The National Residency Match Program, a private, not-for-profit organization, provides a method for matching applicants for residency positions in the United States with residency programs at various teaching hospitals. Applicants and hospitals rank each other in order of preference, and a computer matches them based upon those rankings.
According to the NRMP, the number of available residency positions this year was the highest in match history. This year, 29,890 applicants vied for one of the 22,427 first-year residency positions available. Of those, 15,638 of these applicants were U.S. medical school seniors. Other applicants included previous graduates of U.S. medical schools, U.S. citizen and non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates, and osteopathic doctors.