Fourth-year medical students at SMHS receive their residency “match”

“Match Day” for graduating medical students is one of the most important milestones of their young careers. Each year on Match Day, medical school seniors across the country find out where they will complete their residency, a period of advanced intensive training in their chosen medical specialty before independent practice as a physician. Depending on the medical specialty, medical school graduates complete anywhere from three to seven years of residency training after medical school.

Members of the Doctor of Medicine Class of 2019 at UND’s School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) opened their Match Day letters on Friday, March 15, 2019, as well to discover where they will hone their skills as resident physicians.

“I’m very excited,” noted Hoople, N.D., native Tyson Holm, who matched with the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. “I’ve been within a 70-mile radius of North Dakota my whole life—driving back and forth to and from the farm to help out in college. So I was looking for a spot in the Midwest—and got a good one. It’ll be nice to be working with folks who know rural medicine and the ag economy.”

An internal medicine residency match, Holm is among the 34 fourth-year students set to begin a residency in the one of the primary care specialties that include the fields of internal medicine, family medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, and pediatrics. In total, 48 percent of the UND Class of 2019 matched into primary care, with 14 of 71 (20 percent) of the cohort alone set to enter family medicine, a figure more than double the national average of fourth-year medical students matching into family medicine.

Other specialties chosen by this year’s class include anesthesiology, diagnostic radiology, neurology, emergency medicine, pathology, psychiatry, surgery, urology, and otolaryngology.

While Alysa Lerud of Fargo, N.D., will be headed to the University of Iowa to practice pathology, Belcourt’s Shyleen Hall is entering a family medicine residency at Altru Health System in Grand Forks.

“I’m really happy with my placement,” added Faith Thompson of Foley, Minn., who matched with the Blank Children’s Hospital pediatrics program in Des Moines, Iowa. “I applied for peds and family medicine programs, but kids are where my heart is at, so this is good.”

Jared Weinand of Hazen, N.D., who wasn’t initially sure he was interested in medicine, is headed to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill for a radiology match after a “transitional” year in Fargo.

“I grew up on a farm and didn’t really know what I wanted to do [when I was 18],” Weinand said. “I knew UND had a medical school, so I came here and all these years later [the decision] turned into gold for me. I’m excited, and the plan for now is to come back [to North Dakota] after the residency.”

Match Day is the culmination of work conducted by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), a private, not-for-profit corporation founded in 1952 at the request of medical students to standardize the residency selection process and establish a uniform date of appointment to positions in graduate medical education (GME) training programs. It is governed by a board of directors that includes representatives from national medical and medical education organizations as well as medical students, resident physicians, and GME program directors.

The NRMP’s 2019 Main Residency Match was the largest in history, exceeding the more than 43,000 applicants who registered for the 2018 Match and the more than 33,000 positions offered last year. Results of the Match are closely watched because they can predict future changes in the physician workforce.

“This is an exciting time for our fourth-year students,” concluded Joycelyn Dorscher, MD, associate dean for Student Affairs and Admissions at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “This single day is the culmination of four years of hard work. You can imagine that it produces a range of emotions for the participants. But this year’s class should feel very satisfied that their hard work has paid off. They matched into some extremely competitive programs and specialties, including placements at Hawaii, Mayo, California, and other competitive programs across the country, including many here in North Dakota.”

The full Match Day 2019 list can be read here.