CONTACT: C. LINDON LARSON
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-9569; fax (319) 335-8034
Primary care careers remain top choice of UI medical grads
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Once again, the majority of this year's University
of Iowa College of Medicine graduates will enter careers in primary care
specialties -- medical fields essential to the health of Iowa and the nation.
According to Wednesday's "Match Day" announcements, nearly 57
percent of students will continue their education in family medicine, internal
medicine, pediatrics, or obstetrics and gynecology.
Match Day marks the time when medical students across the country learn
where they will spend the next several years pursuing advanced training
in their specialties of choice. Graduating UI medical students, their families,
friends and teachers gathered Wednesday, March 19, at the college to await
the moment when they could tear into envelopes and learn what the future
For college officials, the overall result is no surprise: The school
has a recent tradition of high interest in primary care over specialized
fields, perhaps due in part to its strong emphasis on general and community-based
"As a leading research-oriented medical center, we are very pleased
to see so many of our students choose careers in primary care and to be
among the nation's top schools for primary care education," says Dr.
Robert P. Kelch, dean of the college. "While all medical specialties
have essential roles, primary care physicians occupy the front lines of
"All our students complete medical school having seen the role
of primary care physicians in Iowa communities," says Dr. Peter Densen,
associate dean for student affairs and curriculum at the college. "Our
focus on primary care is very strong, but we continue to offer a broad-based
education that prepares our graduates for an array of opportunities."
For many students, Match Day is the culmination of four years in medical
school and visits to medical residency programs across the country. The
National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) is the process by which students
are guaranteed places in such programs. All UI students who participated
in the match secured residency positions, 69 percent with their first choice
and 86 percent with one of their top three choices.
Of the 169 students who will earn the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree
from the college this year, 155 participated in the NRMP. Some 27 percent
chose residencies in family medicine, 21 percent in internal medicine,
6 percent in pediatrics, and 3 percent in obstetrics and gynecology.
Some 58 graduates will remain in Iowa for their post-graduate training,
25 in Iowa community hospitals and 33 at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.
Some 20 will enter the Statewide Family Practice Training Program, which
operates residency programs at nine sites across Iowa.
Among UI graduates who complete family medicine residencies in Iowa,
more than 60 percent remain in the state to begin their careers, many in
communities with less than 10,000 residents, according to Roger Tracy,
director of the Office of Statewide Clinical Education Programs for the
Family medicine remains an area of particular strength for the UI. The
percentage of graduates pursuing this specialty is well above the national
average of 17 percent. Last year, the college was one of only four schools
recognized by the American Academy of Family Physicians with its Gold Achievement
Award, which honors medical schools for success in producing graduates
who enter family medicine.
The NRMP reports strong interest in primary care among students at other
schools as well. Across the country, the number of first-year primary care
residencies offered in the match exceeds the number of residency positions
in more specialized medical fields. Primary care residencies are also filled
at a higher rate.