UC Davis Medical School graduates accepted into residency programs on national Match Day

Medical students rejoice upon the good news © UC Regents
Fourth-year medical students learn on "match day" where they will be completing the next phase of their medical education -- a residency training program.

Program enables couples to match together, too

Posted March 24, 2010

Eighty-nine UC Davis School of Medicine students learned on March 18, 2010, where in the United States they will be continuing their medical education over the next several years as they train to become licensed physicians.

In a gathering filled with anticipation and excitement, the students opened letters of placement at precisely 9 a.m. The announcement of being "matched" with a residency training program is a ritual that takes place simultaneously at medical schools across the nation each March.

The students, who will finish medical school in June, celebrated the news with their family, friends, medical school leaders and staff at a special ceremony held today on the Davis campus. The placements are based on the computerized results of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), which uses a computer algorithm to match the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs at teaching hospitals throughout the country.

From UC Davis, the majority of students (approximately 72 percent) will remain in California for training, with about 23 percent staying within the UC Davis Health System in Sacramento. Just over 40 percent of the students chose residencies in primary care, which include family practice, general pediatrics and internal medicine. About 13 percent of the graduating class picked advanced subspecialty programs such as anesthesiology, diagnostic radiology and ophthalmology. Other coveted specialty programs included psychiatry and general surgery.

"Match Day is an exciting time for our medical school and all of its students," said James Nuovo, professor of family and community medicine and associate dean of graduate medical education. "Our graduates possess an impressive range of interests and accomplishments. After they complete residency training, many of them settle in Northern California where this region truly benefits from having skilled physicians returning to serve the health-care needs of our local communities."

Dr. Nuovo © UC Regents"Match Day is an exciting time for our medical school and all of its students. Our graduates possess an impressive range of interests and accomplishments."
— James Nuovo

This year, a record 16,000 U.S. medical school students participated in the residency match. In addition, thousands of "independent" applicants, including former graduates of U.S. medical schools, U.S. osteopathic students and graduates of foreign medical schools, sought matches for the approximately 25,000 available residency positions around the country.

"This is truly the culmination of all our hard work in medical school," said Tatiana Catanzarite, who was excited about her match to the obstetrics and gynecology program at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine in Illinois. "I'm looking forward to training in a different part of the country in order to broaden my perspective on women's health and learn about the unique challenges facing the patient and medical communities outside of California."

Catanzarite won't be alone as she ventures to Chicago. Her classmate and partner, Bill Luo, made it a "couple's match" by joining her at Northwestern, where he will be doing a residency in general surgery. Participants can enter the Match as a couple by having their choices for residency programs linked together to ensure they both continue their medical training within the same geographic area. Nationally, 2010 was an all-time high for couples in the Match, with 808 around the country, including Catanzarite and Luo, and several others from UC Davis.

"Now I know where we are going and I'm really looking forward to this next phase in my life," said Luo, who found he liked working with his hands while on a surgery rotation at UC Davis Medical Center.

Excited students © UC Regents
A record number of medical students nationwide took part in this year's residency match process. "This is truly the culmination of all our hard work in medical school," said a UC Davis participant.

"Surgeons establish unique bonds with their patients and can follow them for years. I'm really excited about being able to help people and cure them of their illnesses." 

The NRMP is a private, not-for-profit corporation established in 1952 to provide a uniform date of appointment to positions in graduate medical education. The Match is considered a key milestone in the careers of aspiring physicians. This year's 30,543 applicants made up the largest group of medical students in match history.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its specialty- and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For further information, visit the UC Davis School of Medicine Web site.