All Graduating Pritzker Students Find Their Match

Demand Rises for Residencies in Primary Care Specialties

March 21, 2013

It was a perfect match for the 82 fourth-year students from the Pritzker School of Medicine who participated in Match Day 2013 on March 15.

Holly Humphrey, MD, dean for medical education at the University of Chicago, kicked off the annual carnival-like ritual by announcing: “We are 100 percent matched.”

That drew thunderous applause from an overflow Billings Auditorium audience, a celebratory scene repeated at medical schools across the country as graduating students found out simultaneously where they will be doing their residency programs.

“Remember us, and carry with pride that you graduated from Pritzker,” said Kenneth Polonsky, dean of Pritzker and executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Chicago, to the assembled students, parents and other supporters.

Sharon O’Keefe, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, summed up Match Day as an amalgam of the National Football League draft, college basketball’s March Madness and Harry Potter’s sorting hat.

“You’ve spent years and years preparing for your future, and you will be impacting the lives of countless patients going forward,” she said. “Best wishes to you and continued success in your chosen career.”

Humphrey noted that O’Keefe will be greeting some of these students, as many begin their residencies at the university later this year. In all, 13 students will do their categorical or advanced programs at the University of Chicago Medical Center -- by far, the largest single destination for the graduating class.

Underscoring a trend seen across the country on Match Day, more Pritzker students chose one of the primary care specialties for their residency this year than in 2012. In all, 39 of the 82 graduating students, or 48 percent, chose to pursue internal medicine, internal medicine-primary, pediatrics or family medicine vs. 36 percent of the graduating class picking these specialties last year. Last year’s class had 99 matching graduates.

The country is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, and some studies, including one by Elbert Huang, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine, says the poorer parts of Chicago will be hit the hardest.

The National Resident Matching Program said the number of students matching to primary care for 2013 was the largest in its history.

At Pritzker, internal medicine was the top specialty, with 21 matches, followed by pediatrics (11), family medicine (6), and obstetrics and gynecology (6).

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