Match Day sees many WVU med school grads staying close to home

More than one-third of the Class of 2009 will train in West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University’s School of Medicine continues to produce doctors dedicated to their home state. Thirty-five percent of the Class of 2009 will continue training in West Virginia, results of the nationwide Match Day showed on Thursday.

More than half of the graduating class, which numbers 98, will be either in West Virginia or one of its bordering states for the next three to five years of residency training. The WVU students learned of their selections at simultaneous ceremonies in Morgantown, Charleston and Martinsburg.

Across the nation, the largest Match Day in history took place with some 30,000 applicants learning which teaching hospitals they would be assigned to, the National Resident Matching Program reported.  The majority of medical school seniors – 82 percent – were assigned to one of their top-three choices.

“Our students matched in 21 different fields and will go to 24 different states and Washington, D.C.,” said G. Anne Cather, M.D., WVU professor of family medicine and associate dean of student services and professional development. “But most of them will stay in West Virginia next year or in a bordering state. These are important statistics, because research has shown that residents tend to establish their practices very close to where they train.”

Forty-four percent of the graduates will train in internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine or obstetrics/gynecology – fields that typically represent primary healthcare. The balance of the class will study specialties such as general surgery, emergency medicine, orthopedics, anesthesia and psychiatry.

“We are proud knowing that more than one-third of our students have chosen to continue their training with WVU faculty,” said James E. Brick, M.D., interim dean of the WVU School of Medicine. “Our students recognize the quality of 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.”

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

The National Resident Matching Program reported an across-the-board increase in match applicants this year, attributing the increase to medical school expansion across the nation in anticipation of a future physician shortage.

The most competitive specialties for medical school seniors were dermatology, neurological surgery, orthopaedic surgery and otolaryngology, according to the group.

For more information about where WVU medical school graduates will serve their residencies, see http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/students/aboutSoM/campusSchoolInfo/statistics/matchResults/matchresults2009.asp.


For more information:
Andrea Brunais, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087

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