They might be practicing in state-of-the-art hospitals or using the latest digital charting software, but for West Virginia University School of Medicine fourth-year students, it’s an old-fashioned white envelope that sealed their residency placement fates during Friday’s Match Day events.
Match Day is a national celebration where medical students learn in which U.S. residency programs they will train for the next three to seven years. For WVU’s School of Medicine’s three campuses: Morgantown, Charleston and Martinsburg, the celebration unites more than 100 students, families, faculty members and friends as they unveil their “match.”
“The juxtaposition of new technologies and deeply rooted traditions speaks to the essence of how we teach our medical students and celebrate their successes,” Dr.Clay Marsh, vice president and executive dean of WVU Health Sciences, said. “It’s the combination of the old and the new that keeps us evolving as lifelong learners and clinicians. Our medical students have mastered the techniques and processes that will allow them to become physicians, but most importantly they have nurtured the skills that will allow them to become compassionate care providers.”
For students, the Residency Match process begins in the final year of medical school, when they apply to the residency training programs and specialties of their choice. Following interviews at programs across the country, applicants and program directors rank each other in order of preference and submit those lists to the National Resident Matching Program, which processes them using a computerized mathematical algorithm to “match” them.
Students had a 100 percent placement rate. Other stats for WVU’s Match Day include:
• Students placed in 18 different specialty training programs across 20 states.
• Fifty-five percent of students matched in primary care specialties. Internal medicine and pediatrics were the top two specialties for the Class.
• Forty-eight percent of the class will remain in West Virginia to complete their residencies.
“For this cohort in particular, these students – whether native West Virginians or Mountaineers by choice – have demonstrated a deep commitment to the health and wellness of the state in their selection,” Dr. Norman Ferrari, vice dean for education and academic affairs and chair of the WVU Department of Medical Education.
The 2019 Residency Match is the largest in the program’s history, exceeding the more than 43,000 applicants who registered for the 2018 Match and the more than 33,000 positions offered last year.
WVU has the largest number of graduate medical education offerings in the state, with more than 50 specialty training programs, all of which are fully accredited. One-half of those training programs are the only such specialty programs offered in the entire state.
Residency training begins at WVU in July for residents from medical schools across the country.
The WVU School of Medicine’s medical degree commencement ceremonies take place on Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m. at the Creative Arts Center in Morgantown.