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Medical school students at Rutgers receive news of future in medicine with 'Match Day'

 The Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Research Tower, which is located in Piscataway, is where medical students conduct clinical research. This year's class had 189 students, which is the largest in school history.  – Photo by Wikimedia

Hundreds of medical school students in the Class of 2019 recently opened envelopes that sealed the fate of their future in medicine, according to Rutgers Today.

Known internationally as Match Day, students in both the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) in New Brunswick and New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) in Newark were all given envelopes that contained which residency program, or medical specialty, they were "matched" to. Students typically spend the next 3 to 7 years training in this specialty. 

“This is a very important event for our students and their families,” said Robert L. Johnson, interim dean of RWJMS and dean of NJMS.

He announced that 96 percent of RWJMS students were matched to a residency program they chose, which is slightly higher than the national average of 94 percent. Of the students in this year's class, 46 percent chose primary care as their specialty. 

As for NJMS, 98 percent of students matched to their chosen residency programs. This year's class at NJMS was composed of 158 students, some of which were matched to institutions including Yale, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, New York University and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Approximately 20 percent of the class, though, will remain at Rutgers to complete specialized training.

The class for RWJMS is the largest in school history, with 189 students. Later in May they will join more than 5,500 RWJMS alumni as physicians after the Convocation Ceremony. Approximately a tenth of the students will remain at the University to complete specialized training, which means they are part of the 18 percent of the class that matched to programs in New Jersey. 

One of the students who opened her envelope on Match Day was Lauryn Adams, who discovered that she would be completing a residency in obstetrics/gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. She previously earned her master's in public health in a dual-degree program with RWJMS and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

“After residency, I intend to do a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Given the fact that more women are delaying pregnancy until later in life, I foresee an increase in the need for these specialists in the future,” Adams said. “I would like to work on a model to provide less expensive care and increase the accessibility of these services to all women who desire them.” 

Akanksha Arya, another medical student, also hopes to improve the lives of underserved communities, and was matched to complete a program in internal medicine with Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Previously completing an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, she plans on utilizing her experiences in business as well as public health.

“I most enjoyed the support and encouragement I received from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to pursue my unique and diverse interests in medicine, including public health, health management and community service,” Arya said. 

Carol A. Terregino, RWJMS senior associate dean of education, gave the opening remarks for the event. She said that many students chose to enter primary care fields, which includes family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology. 

“This class has been such an extraordinary group, as evidenced by the programs (they) matched into,” Terregino said. “Highly selective residency programs choose our students because they know from working with our alumni that (they) are committed to achieving a high level of success. We are proud to have students who have earned placement in competitive residencies, including a program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, that offers only one open spot each year, and this year went to one of our soon-to-be physicians. We are very proud of the achievements of the Class of 2019.” 

A record number of 38,376 applicants participated in Match Day this year, according to the National Residency Matching Program, which coordinates the matching process.

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