WVU medical graduates selected for residency training
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Many of the 88 students in the West Virginia University School of Medicine’s 2008 graduating class will continue their training in the state.  The students learned the news at WVU’s Match Day 2008 ceremonies on March 20.

Match Day refers to the day when students are matched with hospitals where they will complete their residency specialty training, which typically takes three to five years to complete. Residents practice medicine under the supervision of experienced physicians before being certified in a specialty.

The students were matched in 24 different specialization fields, and will practice in 19 different states.  Three quarters of the class will train either in West Virginia or a bordering state.

“Forty percent of our students chose to continue their training in West Virginia,” said John E. Prescott, M.D., dean of the WVU School of Medicine. “Our medical programs and rural rotations expose students to all facets of medical training that the state has to offer.  Their decision to practice in West Virginia and continue to serve the state they’ve come to call home says something of the caliber and character of our graduates.”

 (Clockwise from Left) Shelly Reynolds, Josephine Reece, Sarah Sofka and Becky Reese embrace after learning where they will complete their residency training.  Photo by E. Frye
Fifty-one percent of the graduates will train in internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine or obstetrics/gynecology — fields that typically represent a primary health care.  The remainder of the graduates will study specialties such as emergency medicine, radiology, anesthesia and surgery.

“This is an emotional day for the students and the faculty,” Anne Cather, M.D., WVU professor of Family Medicine and associate dean of Student Services and Professional Development, said.  “We’ve come to think of these students as family and are invested in their success.  We’re sad that this chapter in their lives is coming to a close, but happy to see them successfully matched as they begin the next chapter.”  

“I’m excited to learn that I’m staying in West Virginia,” Kane Maiers, class president, who was matched to WVU Emergency Medicine, said.  “I was a little nervous before I opened the envelope.  Ok, I was a lot nervous before I opened the envelope.  I completed my undergrad and went to med school here.  I really wanted to stay and train with the Emergency Medicine department.”

Classmate Tracey Mehlman, who was matched to WVU’s Radiology department, agreed.

“Before I opened the envelop, I tried to reassure myself that it didn’t matter where I was matched to – I was going to be a doctor no matter what,” she said.  “But this is four years of my life we’re talking about.  I wanted to stay at WVU because I know the faculty members are great at what they do.”

For others, the match process was a time for them to head back to their hometowns outside of the state. 

“I’ve had a wonderful time at WVU and I’m going to miss my friends,” Matt Pihlbald said.  “But I’m going to practice Ophthalmology at SUNY Buffalo which is a great program that’s closer to home.”

Ceremonies took place at the Ramada Inn in Morgantown, the WVU Charleston Division Education building in Charleston and the WVU Eastern Division’s Educational Building.

For more information on the WVU School of Medicine, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/.

- WVU -

For more information:
Cassie Waugh, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
cw: 03-25-08

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