Every graduating medical student in the nation has today marked as Match Day. It takes place on the same day, at the same time, at every medical school. It is the day future doctors learn if and where they will do their residency training.
Central Michigan University's College of Medicine today experienced its first-ever Match Day, and each of its first class of doctors-to-be — all 62 of them — obtained placements. Nearly half — 47 percent — were matched to residency programs in Michigan.
This 100 percent placement is especially notable because the number of medical students far exceeds the number of U.S. residencies. In 2016 for example,
more than 10,000 students went unmatched.
"I am excited for my match and for all of my classmates, as everyone matched today," Kush Sharma, a Kalamazoo native, said. "Having been a part of this small of a class, we are like a family."
Sharma was matched with Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners in vascular surgery.
Match Day is the medical school version of March Madness. A computerized mathematical algorithm is used by the National Resident Matching Program to align the specialty and location preferences of medical students with the preferences of program directors to fill positions at U.S. teaching hospitals.
It's a dramatic event, with embargoed match information released to students in sealed envelopes opened simultaneously across the nation at 11:59 a.m. EST.
"Today is a momentous event in the history of our university and our college. This is our inaugural class, and the very first Match Day experienced by our faculty, staff and students," College of Medicine Dean Dr. George E. Kikano said. "It also is an exciting day for the state, because of our unique mission focused on preparing physicians to serve in rural and medically underserved regions of Michigan.
"CMU is changing the face of health care in the state, in this moment."
The 62 students in CMU's inaugural class matched in the following areas:
- emergency medicine – 19 percent;
- internal medicine – 18 percent;
- family medicine – 11 percent;
- psychiatry – 8 percent;
- pediatrics, anesthesiology, obstetrics/gynecology and general surgery – 24 percent; and
- the remaining 20 percent in various other specialties.
"These results mean the mission of the CMU College of Medicine is more than a promise," said Dr. Steve Vance, associate dean of clinical education. "Our mission is now a reality. After years of hard work and a match application process that began last fall, these students are about to discover their roles in our health care system. I'm incredibly proud of this class."
Kikano said CMU is breaking ground in addressing the shortage of physicians in Michigan and the need for quality health care. He notes that CMU students learn the science of medicine while also learning to put the patient first — to consider the whole patient in the settings of their individual communities.
"I'm grateful to our outstanding faculty, our supportive staff, and our incredible clinical partners throughout Michigan who help provide outstanding educational experiences for these students," Kikano said. "Today is a day to celebrate being one step closer to reducing health disparities and improving access to high-quality health care in the state."
"This day means I have a future. I get to train and hopefully make my mom and dad proud," Yasha Parikh, an Okemos native said.
Parikh was matched at Mount Auburn Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the 10th radiologist in her family. Her father, Samir Parikh, is a radiologist with Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson. Her mother, Smruti Parikh, is a radiologist in cardiovascular private practice in Okemos.
"This day means I have a future. I get to train and hopefully make my mom and dad proud."
Yasha Parikh, CMU College of Medicine student and Okemos native
The National Resident Matching Program expects the 2017 match to be the largest in history, exceeding the more than 42,000 applicants who registered for the 2016 match and the more than 4,800 residency programs at institutions across the country that offered more than 30,000 positions last year.
Match Day with CMU's clinical partners
CMU Medical Education Partners, in partnership with the CMU College of Medicine, focused on the opposite end of the matching process, securing residents for its five residency programs to perform specialty training in Saginaw for the next three to four years. CMEP (formerly Synergy Medical Education Alliance) was formed in 1968 to provide undergraduate, resident and physician clinical training. It partnered with the College of Medicine in 2012.
"We have a total of 32 applicants matching in our programs this year," said Dr. Mary Jo Wagner, CMU Medical Education Partners' director of graduate medical education. "We'll have four new residents in the psychiatry program, four in OB/GYN, six in family medicine, eight in internal medicine, and 10 in emergency medicine. One of our goals for these programs is that many of these new doctors choose to stay in our community after they finish their training."
The CMU College of Medicine, established in 2009, has a mission to improve access to high-quality health care in Michigan, especially in rural and medically underserved regions. It was created to address an anticipated shortage of 4,000 to 6,000 physicians in Michigan by 2020. Data released this week by the Association of American Medical Colleges cites an anticipated shortage between 41,000 and 105,000 doctors throughout the U.S. over the next decade.
Students from the inaugural class share why they chose Central Michigan University's College of Medicine:
"With a unique curriculum that was constantly transforming to emphasize teamwork and extracurricular activities that we were able to create, our class was able to set a culture that would be the groundwork of the institution."
-Kush Sharma, Kalamazoo
"The mission of the school truly spoke to me. I was raised in a small Michigan town and want to return there upon completion of my residency. I appreciated that CMED aimed to grow its students as well-rounded people, not just physicians."
-Stephanie Rhynard, Alma
"I was drawn to CMU because of the opportunity to be a pioneer and the sense of community that had already been created at the school. I enjoyed the small class size and innovative curriculum that was implemented over our four years."
-Madeline Brockberg, Birmingham
"When I visited and further understood the CMU College of Medicine mission and focus on the underserved populations I saw myself as part of the creation. I also was really intrigued about being part of a small pioneering class, and I have enjoyed forming bonds and working with my amazing classmates more than anything."
-Emily Fortin, Ann Arbor