Primary Care Wins the Largest Share of Students in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Class of 2016

The students opened Match Day envelopes Friday that revealed where they will go for residency training: nearly 40 percent of the class – 39 of 99 students – will pursue primary care, the most critical physician shortage in Arizona.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Fourth-year University of Arizona medical student Shawn Ong danced across the stage of DuVal Auditorium Friday after opening his Match Day envelope to learn he will be doing his residency training in internal medicine at Yale – New Haven Hospital.

Ong was one of 99 students in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Class of 2016 who have anticipated this day since their first day in medical school, nearly four years ago. It’s the day they learn where they will spend the next several years as resident-physicians, the next step in building a medical career.

Fourth-year UA medical students Whitney Burns and Jeffrey Robertson, both of whom received their undergraduate degrees from the UA, will marry next month. But on Friday their excitement was all about Match Day. Whitney matched into one of two emergency medicine residency programs offered by the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, where Jeffrey will do his residency in anesthesiology.

“We are so happy. This is our first choice. This is where we want to be,” Whitney said. “We have our roots here, and we have our friends and family here, and we love the faculty here. We are just so happy.”

UA College of Medicine – Tucson officials were equally pleased with the students’ outcomes, with nearly 40 percent choosing residencies in primary care – in which Arizona and the whole nation face serious shortages. Several students matched into prestigious programs out of state, including Yale; Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York and others.

“This is one of the most successful matches we’ve had,” said Kevin Moynahan, MD, deputy dean for education at the college. “It’s really great to see the students’ four years of hard work finally realized, and for them to be able to say ‘I’ve done it.’ Even though graduation may be the ultimate ceremony, this day means the most to the students. They know where they’re going. They’ve been accepted into the profession.”

Said Violet Siwik, MD, the college’s interim associate dean for student affairs, “These students make us proud because of all their community involvement, and their humanism, which they’ve demonstrated every year. And I’m very excited for them.”

Thirty-nine of the Class of 2016 students matched into residencies in primary care fields: 11 in family medicine, 12 in internal medicine and 16 in pediatrics. Thirty-four graduates will complete their residencies in Arizona: 13 in Phoenix and 21 in Tucson. That’s more good news for the state, because of the physician shortage here.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), overall, 38.7 percent of medical and osteopathic students end up practicing in the same state where they received their undergraduate medical education. Notably, nearly half of Arizona medical school graduates end up practicing in state.

For four years, the nation’s medical students anticipate “Match Day,” the annual event culminating the complex process that matches graduating medical students with residency programs. National Resident Matching Program® results are released nationwide at ceremonies coordinated to occur on the same date (the third Friday in March) at the same time (1 p.m. Eastern time), at medical colleges throughout the country. The 2016 Main Residency Match® was the largest on record, with more than 40,000 U.S. and international students and graduates applied to match on Friday with one of the more than 30,000 first-year residency positions offered in this year’s match, according to the NRMP®.

The UA College of Medicine – Tucson held its Match Day ceremony in DuVal Auditorium at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson. An overflow crowd of medical students, their parents, siblings, spouses and children gathered for the event, which featured a skit, titled “Netflix and Match,” written and performed by the students.

UA residency programs provide training in environments known for their diverse patient populations and exceptional faculty-to-resident ratios, and they are crucial in attracting and training doctors who will remain in Arizona.

Sixteen students in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Class of 2016 and two in the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix Class of 2016 matched with the UA College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Program, which oversees 52 residency and fellowship programs in all major specialties and subspecialties, all accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The 18 students will pursue UA residencies in anesthesiology, dermatology, diagnostic radiology, emergency medicine, internal medicine, neurology, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, pediatrics or radiation oncology. The UA College of Medicine GME Program trains more than 600 residents and fellows at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and other major participating institutions in Tucson.

Four students in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Class of 2016 matched with the University of Arizona College of Medicine at South Campus graduate medical education program, which has six ACGME-accredited residency programs—emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, ophthalmology and psychiatry—and one fellowship in medical toxicology. Two of the students will pursue UA residencies in family medicine, two in psychiatry. Each UA College of Medicine at South Campus residency program has achieved continued accreditation from the ACGME. Approximately 110 residents are participating in these programs, which focus on providing health care in rural and underserved areas of Arizona to help reduce the Arizona physician shortage and improve access to health care throughout the state.

Resident-physicians undergo in-depth “on-the-job” training in their fields under the supervision of practicing faculty physicians. Residency programs vary in length from three years for internal medicine and family practice to eight years for the most specialized of surgeons. Most residencies will begin July 1.

Doctor of Medicine degrees will be conferred at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson convocation ceremony on Thursday, May 12.

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About the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is advancing health and wellness through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research, and advancements in patient care in Arizona and across the United States. Founded in 1967, the College ranks among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care and is leading the way in academic medicine through its partnership with Banner – University Medicine, a new division of one of the largest nonprofit health-care systems in the country. For more information, please visit http://medicine.arizona.edu

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs almost 5,000 people, has nearly 1,000 faculty members and garners more than $126 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: http://uahs.arizona.edu

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First photo:

Fourth-year University of Arizona medical student Shawn Ong reacts to the news that he will do residency training in internal medicine at Yale – New Haven Hospital. Photo: UAHS BioCommunications, Kris Hanning.

Second photo:

Soon-to-be-married medical students Whitney Burns and Jeffrey Robertson are ecstatic to learn they will be staying in Tucson for her residency in emergency medicine and his in anesthesiology. Photo: UAHS BioCommunications, Kris Hanning.

Third photo:

Charity Adusei, who moved to Arizona at age 17 with her family from Ghana in West Africa, proudly displays the letter showing she matched with the pediatrics residency program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The first in her family to graduate from college, she will receive a dual MD-MPH degree from the UA in May. Photo: UAHS BioCommunications, Kris Hanning.