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It’s March Madness for Creighton Med Students

It’s March Madness for Creighton Med Students

On Thursday, March 18, March Madness wasn’t just about college hoops. Soon-to-be doctors from 125 medical schools across the country, including 110 Creighton University students, gathered anxiously to learn what the next few years hold in store for them.

It was Medical Match Day, when the nation’s fourth-year medical students learn where they will pursue their graduate medical educations and what kind of doctors they will become. The drama unfolded around 11 a.m. CDT, when students names were drawn at random, and they received envelopes matching them to medical residency programs.

Despite the fact that it was “a very competitive year” for placements, 96 percent of Creighton’s 2010 class achieved their first choice for type of residency, said Michael Kavan, Ph.D., associate dean for student affairs for Creighton’s School of Medicine.

The matches took place through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), a private, nonprofit corporation established in 1952 to provide a uniform date and time for these placements.

In recent years, Medical Match Day at Creighton has become a family event, with a mix of students as well as students’ spouses, children, parents and other supporters in attendance. To view the event , go to http://www.creighton.edu/doit/webcasting/.

The road leading to March 18 began last fall, when medical students began traveling around the country to be interviewed for graduate medical training programs. On Feb. 24, students submitted ranked lists of where they preferred to be resident doctors; program administrators also submitted ranked lists of their choices of resident candidates. In the weeks leading up to Match Day, a complicated computer algorithm sorts through thousands of choices and finally pairs each student with a single residency program.

In addition to the March 18 Match Day, an additional seven Creighton medial students participated in other match programs earlier this year. The class of 2010 includes 59 females and 58 males.

This year, Creighton students matched in 16 specialty areas, including 43 students in the primary-care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and medicine-pediatrics, at residency programs around the country. Ten will continue their medical educations at Creighton, and five will participate in Creighton University School of Medicine-St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix programs.

Pictured: Mei Li Kwong of La Crosse, Wis., waits to learn of her match to a general surgery residency at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J.