The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-9917

Release: March 18, 1999

UI medical students receive their medical residencies on 'Match Day'

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa fourth-year medical students today learned where they will go after graduation to begin their residencies -- advanced training programs that follow medical school -- as part of "Match Day," an annual event held at medical colleges around the country.

Some 59 percent of the graduating class of 162 students matched with residency programs in primary care specialties -- family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology. Sixty-four percent of last year's class and 57 percent of the class of 1997 entered primary care. Nationally, 54 percent of this year's graduating medical school seniors matched residencies in primary care.

In addition, 56 of this year's Iowa medical graduates, compared to 47 in last year's class, will remain in the state for at least one year of post-graduate training at hospitals, including the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

"As the Match Day results show, education in primary care continues to be a leading effort of the college, along with our strong programs in medical specialties and research," said Richard P. Nelson, M.D., executive associate dean of the college. "The increase in the number of graduates remaining in the state also reflects the college's commitment to meeting the health care needs of the people in Iowa."

"Our students' success in this year's match clearly indicates the strength of our curriculum," said Marian H. Schwabbauer, Ph.D., professor of clinical pathology and assistant dean for student affairs and curriculum. "We are very pleased since this is the first class to progress through the entire new curriculum. Clearly our graduates have the background and skills that residency programs value, and they are able to move into the next phase of their medical education with confidence."

The curriculum, implemented with the first-year students in 1995, emphasizes small-group instruction, problem-solving skills and life-long learning. Students also learn to conduct patient histories and physical examination earlier in their training.

Schwabbauer added, "While many of our students have opted for careers in primary care, nearly all specialties are represented in the residency placements, providing evidence of the breadth as well as the relevance and depth of the curriculum."

For most medical students, Match Day is the end result of four years of hard work and visits to residency programs across the country. Sixty-three percent of the UI students matched with their first choice of residency programs, 86 percent with one of their first three choices.

The National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) helps place graduating medical students in such programs. Most of the students who will earn a doctor of medicine degree at the UI this year participated in the NRMP. The rest secured residencies through specialty matching programs or through the armed forces, or opted to pursue post-doctoral research.

Forty-five UI students, representing 28 percent of the medical class selected residencies in family practice, 26 students (16 percent) in internal medicine, 16 students (10 percent) in pediatrics and nine (6 percent) in obstetrics and gynecology. Of the 56 graduates remaining in Iowa for first-year post-graduate training, 21 will train at the UIHC.

Geographically, the most popular states following Iowa were Wisconsin (12 students), Illinois (11), North Carolina (8), Indiana (7), Missouri (7) and Texas (6).

Nationwide, 13,707 medical school seniors, representing 93.8 percent of all U.S. graduating medical students, received a first-year residency position through the NRMP matching process. Since 1952, the NRMP has provided an orderly and fair process for U.S. residency matches and served as an initial indicator of the career interests of U.S. medical school graduates and other physicians who seek training in residency programs nationwide.