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Release: March 23, 2001

UI medical students make their residency matches

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- With the start of spring, University of Iowa College of Medicine fourth-year students are ready for new beginnings. At the college's traditional Match Day ceremony March 22, students learned where they "matched" to medical residencies, which provide new doctors with advanced training in chosen specialties.

Some 48 percent of the class of 181 students matched with residency programs in primary care specialties, which include family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology. Generally, about half of graduating UI medical students enter primary care specialties.

"As has been the national trend this year, we experienced a decrease in the number of students choosing primary care residencies compared to other years," said Peter Densen, M.D., associate dean for student affairs and curriculum in the UI College of Medicine, and professor of internal medicine. "However, also similar to the national trend, we had more students choosing anesthesiology, radiology and emergency medicine."

These three areas were the top non-primary care specialties selected by this year's UI medical class with 12 students choosing anesthesiology, 11 students matching to diagnostic radiology and nine students opting for emergency medicine. Other specialties selected included surgery (9 students), psychiatry (7) and pathology (7).

By specialty within primary care, the UI residency matches were: 33 students in family medicine; 18 students in internal medicine (including one student in internal medicine and pediatrics); 26 students in pediatrics; and 9 students in obstetrics and gynecology.

Most medical students receive their residency matches by participating in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), which has processed most U.S. residency matches since 1952. Of the 181 students in this year's graduating UI medical class, 170 made their matches through the NRMP. Students who do not use the program secure their residencies through specialty matching programs or through the armed forces.

Nearly 63 percent of the 170 UI students securing positions through the NRMP matched with their first choice of residency programs, similar to the first-choice rate matches for UI medical classes in 2000 (64 percent) and 1999 (63 percent). In addition, 84 percent of UI students using the NRMP process matched with one of their top three choices.

"When you look at the places UI medical students are headed, you can see the students are matching to excellent programs all across the country," Densen said.

This year, 54 students, representing 30 percent of the class, will remain in Iowa for postgraduate training. Some 24 students will complete residencies at the UI Hospitals and Clinics, and 30 students will train in various specialties at UI-affiliated programs located in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Mason City, Sioux City and Waterloo. Some 20 of the 54 UI graduates remaining in Iowa for residencies will train in family practice.

"Despite the decreasing national trend this year, Iowa family practice residency programs did well overall. UI graduates continue to select these programs and stay in the state," Densen said. "In addition, the UI Hospitals and Clinics did well filling residencies in all areas of practice."

Geographically, the most popular states following Iowa were Wisconsin (14), Missouri (9), New York (8), Utah (8), California (7), Illinois (7) and North Carolina (7).

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.