IOWA CITY — The Ides of March has nothing on Match Day.
Nearly 140 University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine students found what future lies ahead of them Friday morning at this year’s Match Day, the nationwide release of residency placements for graduating medical students.
“Today, it feels like everything was worth it,” said Amy Hanson, a fourth year medical student graduating in May and a Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School graduate. “This is a good feeling. I feel like this ranks on the days of getting married, your first child. I feel like Match Day is in that realm, so this is a good day.”
Match Day is an annual event when residency placements are released by the National Residency Matching Program, a private organization that matches applicants with preferred residency directors. Residency programs are the next step in a doctor’s training following medical school, and can last anywhere from three to six years.
The majority of Iowa’s medical students obtained their match through the National Residency Matching Program. Four students secured residency spots outside of the program, and three students deferred training this year.
Of the 143 medical students graduating from the University of Iowa this year, 136 participated in the matching program and were accepted into programs all over the country in a number of specialties.
Fifty-nine of them are entering primary care training, including 24 in internal medicine, 17 in pediatrics, 15 in family practice and three in obstetrics and gynecology
Fifty have been selected to remain in Iowa for postgraduate training — 33 of them at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.
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Hanson was selected for Morris Green Physician Scientist Development Program at Indiana University in Indianapolis, a program for pediatric residents and fellows who want to develop careers as researchers and scientists. Hanson has an interest in pursuing hematology and oncology within pediatrics.
Other fourth-year medical students, like Chana Sachs, are going much farther.
Sachs was accepted into a pathology residency program at the University of California-Los Angeles. A native of Los Angeles, Sachs said she was excited to “go home” for the next stage of her career.
“I love that fact that everything you do (in pathology) has a direct impact on the patient,” Sachs said. “Even though it’s more behind-the-scenes lab tech work, I just fell in love with the mental problem-solving of everything with making the diagnosis. Everybody I’ve met in pathology is like finding my people.”
Of this year’s graduating class, 46 percent are women and 54 percent are men, according to Carver College of Medicine officials. The overall makeup of the medical school is 53 percent men and 47 percent women.
More women than men applied for medical schools across the country in 2017 and 2018, according to the Association of American Medical Schools — which could indicate why women hold the majority among the first-year medical students in Iowa’s medical school this year at 51 percent.
Hanson, who initially hoped to go into surgery, said she feels there’s still a stigma for women in medicine.
“There’s definitely a stigma with women going into surgery — and I applaud all the women here who are — because if you take off to go to your kid’s soccer game, you’re going to be judged by all the men in the field,” Hanson said. “That’s just how it is.”
But Hanson said she learned to be vocal about her place in the room.
“That definitely determined what I did outside of medicine,” Hanson said. “I did a lot of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) outreach, especially for middle school-aged girls to say, ‘Hey, you can go into medicine and be a doctor, too.’”
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The Carver College of Medicine commencement ceremony for doctor of medicine candidates will take place May 17 at Hancher Auditorium.
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