American Family Children's Hospital

Med School Students Staying in State, Pursuing Primary Care

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MADISON – With a record-high rate of graduating medical students matching into their desired residency today, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health leaders are cheering another highlight: more students are choosing to stay in the state for their residency training and about 40 percent plan to pursue a residency in primary care – where physicians nationwide are badly needed.

At today's Match Day ceremony at the school, the 170 graduating students learned where they will spend the next three to five years of their career. Associate Dean of Students Dr. Patrick McBride says 96 percent – the highest match rate in the school's history – matched into their preferred specialty.

"We are thrilled that so many students chose to stay in Wisconsin and to respond to the increased demands in our state for primary-care physicians," said McBride. "We are very happy that our students were able to match into the specialty they want and they are in the very best residency programs in their specialties."

Despite the growing national shortage of doctors in primary care (usually defined as internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics), most medical graduates still opt to enter other specialties such as cardiology, orthopedics and surgery. But McBride says all specialties have shortages, and UW matched students in nearly all specialties, with approximately 40 percent of UW medical-school graduates selecting a primary-care residency.

"The percentages at UW opting for a primary-care residency have been fairly stable in the neighborhood of 40 percent for several years now," he said. "We are very happy that we continue to graduate students to meet the health care needs of our state and nation. Compared to other schools throughout the country we are doing very well in our specialty distribution."

The school also put more students than usual into military positions, including three female students who plan to become military surgeons.

Just more than one-fifth of the student body chose a residency at UW, an outcome McBride says reflects well on the faculty and staff of UW Hospital and Clinics and UW family medicine training programs.

The medical school class of 2009 will graduate in May and most will begin their residencies in June and July.

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Date Published: 04/30/2009

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