For medical students, it’s the equivalent of NFL Draft Day. It’s the day you learn whether a team has picked you.
On Friday, March 15, nearly 500 fourth-year medical students in Indiana—and tens of thousands nationally—ripped open red envelopes at the same instant to learn where they would do their residency training for the next three to seven years.
It’s a high-stress moment, coming after months of interviewing and paperwork. But nearly all the participating students at Indiana’s two medical schools got matched with a residency program: 96.5 percent at the Indiana University School of Medicine (or 331 students) and 98.8 percent at Marian University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (or 158 students).
And many of them will stay close to the area. More than 160 students at both schools (114 from IU and 48 from Marian) complete at least part of their training in Indiana. That's good news for the state, which is suffering from a shortage of doctors. Many physicians wind up starting practices in the state where they completed their residencies.
“We are excited to retain so many of our talented medical students in Indiana for the next chapter of their careers,” said Dr. Jay L. Hess, dean of the IU School of Medicine.
For IU medical students, the top destinations are Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri.
For Marian medical students, the top destinations are Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky.
Students matched into dozens of specialties, from emergency medicine to psychiatry, at programs in dozens of states. That includes some of the most selective programs in the country based at the Mayo Clinic, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California.
So what are the top specialties for this year’s class?
At IU, they are internal medicine, pediatrics, anesthesiology, family medicine and emergency medicine.
At Marian, they are family medicine, internal medicine, anesthesiology, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology.
“We are … excited that 62.5 percent of our graduates will begin residencies in primary care specialties, and that nearly one-third of them will remain right here in Indiana for their residencies,” said Dr. Donald Sefcik, senior vice president of health professions and dean of Marian University’s College of Medicine.
Match Day is a rite of passage for medical students, who have spent four years in course work and clinical rotations, but will soon get an intensive preparation for a medical specialty. Medical residencies are required before a physician can practice independently.
But the residency system nationally is under stress because of meager growth in available residency slots, and some programs receive hundreds of applications but have only a dozen or so slots to offer.
Students at both Indiana medical schools will receive their degrees in May.