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ECU sends 66 percent into primary care residencies

Paulette Smith, left, celebrates after learning her daughter, Kitila Smith, will pursue a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh. Photo by Doug Boyd
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Mar. 20, 2008)   —   Nearly two-thirds of the medical students graduating from East Carolina University this spring will enter primary care residencies.

Those are the results of the annual Match Day, celebrated today amid whoops and hugs at the Brody School of Medicine.

Of the 70 students participating in the match, 11, or 16 percent, are entering family medicine residencies, more than twice the national average of 7.6 percent. Twenty-one are entering some type of internal medicine residency. Nine students are entering pediatrics, and four are entering obstetrics and gynecology.

"I'm super-excited," said Erin Swanson, who is going to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston for a residency in OB/GYN. "It's a long road. I'm glad it's finally 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 Thursday.

The class of 2008 was accepted into institutions in 17 states in 17 specialties. The Brody School of Medicine and Pitt County Memorial Hospital will be home to 11 class members. Twenty-five graduates will stay in North Carolina.

Officials at Brody, which emphasizes primary care medicine, were pleased with the match results.

"We're very happy with the way things turned out with this class," said Dr. Virginia Hardy, senior associate dean of the Brody School of Medicine. "From day one, they've been very committed. We know they'll continue to make us proud and put Brody on the map."

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, 28,737 applicants vied for one of the 22,240 first-year residency positions available, the most ever. Of those, 15,206 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.


Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2481