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Release: March 16, 2000

UI medical students make their residency matches on Match Day

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The first class of University of Iowa medical students who will graduate in the new millennium found out today where the future will take them for their medical residencies. The students, surrounded by family and friends, received the news by tearing into sealed envelopes at the traditional "Match Day" ceremony held at the UI College of Medicine.

Medical residencies provide students with advanced training in their specialty areas after four years of medical school. This year, 48 students in the medical class of 159 students will remain in Iowa for postgraduate training, including 26 students at the UI Hospitals and Clinics and 22 students in UI-affiliated community hospitals located in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Iowa City, Mason City, Sioux City and Waterloo.

"The number of medical students staying in Iowa is in keeping with the UI College of Medicine tradition of meeting the state's needs for medical care in each county," said Robert P. Kelch, M.D., dean of the college. "We are pleased by how well our students are received by medical institutions in Iowa and across the country."

Some 64 percent of the UI students matched with their first choice of residency programs, a slight increase over the 63 percent first-choice match rate last year. Some 86 percent of the UI seniors matched with one of their top three choices, the same percentage as last year.

"UI medical students continue to excel and to be recognized for their achievements," said Peter Densen, M.D., associate dean for student affairs and curriculum, and professor of internal medicine. The UI first-choice match rate of 64 percent compared to the national rate of 62 percent.

Some 87 UI students, representing 55 percent of the class, matched with residency programs in primary care specialties. Nationally, 49 percent of this year's graduating medical school seniors matched with residencies in primary care.

By specialty within primary care, the UI residency matches were: 32 students (20 percent) in family medicine; 28 students (18 percent) in internal medicine (including one student in internal medicine and pediatrics); 22 students (14 percent) in pediatrics; and five students (3 percent) in obstetrics and gynecology.

In nine of the past ten years, more than 50 percent of UI College of Medicine graduates have entered a primary care specialty. Densen said the college is again pleased to see so many students commit to primary care, while other students also are well prepared for the specialties represented by their residency placements.

Densen added that the graduating students represent the second medical class that will graduate having taken all four years of the new curriculum implemented with the first-year students in 1995. The curriculum emphasizes small-group instruction, problem-solving skills and lifelong learning.

"Data from the previous class indicate that, as a group, students completing the revised curriculum are matching to higher quality residency training programs," Densen said. "Residency directors report that UI medical graduates are better prepared for the training they will receive."

Geographically, the most popular states following Iowa were California (11 students), Minnesota (9), Texas and Wisconsin (8 each), New York (7) and Illinois, North Carolina and Virginia (6 each).

Most UI medical students, 146 in all, received their residency matches by participating in the National Residency Matching Program, which has provided a fair and orderly process for U.S. residency matches since 1952. The other UI students secured their residencies through specialty matching programs or through the armed forces.

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.