At 11 a.m. today, students learned their destinies as future resident physicians and where they will be training in their chosen specialties. Due to COVID-19 safety concerns and CDC recommendations, fourth-year medical students virtually celebrated the start of a new chapter in their lives.
To cancel the traditional celebration was a difficult choice ultimately made by many schools of medicine across the country so as not to jeopardize the health of students and their families.
“We were able to modify match and go virtual,” said Laine Young-Walker, MD. “Small groups of students picked up their envelope and left to celebrate with their families. The students videotaped the exciting experience of opening the envelope with their families and are sharing it with us so we can create a video to share with the class.”
The 2020 class of medical students from the MU School of Medicine was highly sought after: ninety-nine percent of the class received a residency program match, meaning many hospitals and health systems chose graduating MU medical students as their top residency candidates.
Twenty percent of the MU School of Medicine’s class of 2020 will stay on the MU campus for their residency training. Thirty-three percent of MU medical students will remain in Missouri, and thirty-eight percent of this graduating class selected residency programs in high-need care fields.
Of these 106 students, ten have spent the last two years in Springfield, Missouri, at the Springfield Clinical Campus. The Springfield location was established in June 2016 in partnership with CoxHealth and Mercy health systems. The program allows medical students to train in precision health by learning the nuances of rural medicine firsthand.
The National Resident Matching Program conducts an annual match process designed to optimize the choices of medical students and residency program directors. Students rank their residency program choices in order of preference, and program directors rank students. The data is put into a computer, and the best match for both is made. In the third week of March, results of the matches are announced. More than 43,000 medical school graduates compete for approximately 31,000 residency positions each year.
While the majority of medical students match through the National Resident Matching Program, an increasing number of students match through early residency match programs. Two students of the class of 2020 matched in December through the United States military match program; five ophthalmology students matched through SF Match in January; and three students matched in January through the American Urological Association’s match program.
MU School of Medicine graduates consistently receive residency program matches. The medical school’s class of 2019 had a ninety-eight percent match rate.