Half of WVU Medical Grads Will Stay in W.Va. for Residency Training

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Fifty percent of West Virginia University’s School of Medicine Class of 2006 will continue training in the state. Most students learned their selections Thursday, March 16, at simultaneous “Match Day” ceremonies at the Pines Country Club in Morgantown, the Charleston Division Education building in Charleston, and the Eastern Division’s new educational building.

“Forty-five out of 90 of our graduates will stay in West Virginia for training, said G. Anne Cather, M.D., WVU professor of family medicine and associate dean of student services and professional development. “Our students matched in 18 different fields and will go to 22 states.”

Fifty-four percent of the graduates will train in internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, or obstetrics/gynecology, fields that typically represent a person’s primary health care. The balance of the class will study specialties such as surgery, psychiatry, and emergency medicine.

“We are proud that half of our students will continue training in West Virginia,” said John E. Prescott, M.D., dean of the WVU School of Medicine. “Our students recognize the quality education they’ve received at the WVU School of Medicine in Morgantown and at our Charleston and Eastern divisions, and they are truly dedicated to serving our state. And the students who are planning to continue their education elsewhere can be proud knowing that their education is competitive anywhere in the country. We’re hopeful that many of them will bring their specialized skills back to West Virginia in a few years.”

Many of this year’s graduates will remain at WVU for their residencies. “We are the state’s largest provider of graduate programs for physicians,” said Norman Ferrari, M.D., WVU’s associate dean for graduate medical education.

The 40 WVU programs – most at WVU Hospitals in Morgantown, with others at hospitals throughout the state – provide the state with many of the specialized physicians required to deliver advanced medical care. Currently, 338 residents from 56 medical schools across the country are enrolled in WVU programs.

“In many crucial specialties, including anesthesia, orthopedics, neurology and radiology, WVU operates the only program in the state,” Ferrari said.

Residency training typically takes three to five years. Residents practice medicine under the supervision of experienced physicians before being certified in a specialty.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, more than 15,000 U.S. medical school seniors applied for residency positions through the National Residency Matching Program this year, the highest number in more than 20 years.

- WVU -

For more information:
Bill Case, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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