Today was Match Day and few events hold more drama, or have more impact, in the life of a medical student than this nation-wide medical school event. The day is an annual rite of passage for medical students, a day when they learn at which U.S. residency program they will train for the next three to seven years.
"Today ranks as one of my biggest life events," said Phoenix native Katie Gallardo, who ripped open her envelope to find that she had been selected to the prestigious Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Program. "It is very competitive to get into these programs and I knew it would be tough. But, I'll miss my friends and professors at Creighton and St. Joseph's. We have become like a real family here."
Gallardo was one of 42 fourth-year medical students from the Creighton University School of Medicine's Phoenix Regional Campus at St. Joseph's who received assignments for their hospital residency programs. Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and St. Joseph's in Phoenix launched the regional campus at St. Joseph's in 2009. Each year 42 third and fourth year students receive their training at St. Joseph's.
The Creighton students competed in a pool of more than 35,000 medical students vying for a residency position in a desired specialty. The process is conducted by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), and provides a uniform time for both applicants and residency programs to make their training selections without pressure.
"Congratulations to the M.D. Class of 2016," said Dr. Robert Garcia, Associate Dean of Student Affairs. "You have reached an important milestone in your journey to becoming a physician. You are all well prepared to succeed in the next phase of your training wherever it may be. All of the faculty here looks forward to seeing the tremendous positive impact your careers will have on healthcare in the future."
The Creighton students matched in seven different disciplines. Six future physicians will remain in Arizona for their residency programs. Others will travel to university residency programs at places like Harvard, Stanford, and Dartmouth.
In terms of medical specialty, 2016 results showed 10 students chose to pursue a residency in psychiatry. Jason Caplan, MD, Creighton professor and chair of St. Joseph's department of psychiatry, adds: "Having close to a quarter of a medical school class choose psychiatry as a career is likely an all-time national record. We're certainly hopeful that this trend can help to address the severe shortage of psychiatrists both locally here in Arizona and across the nation - especially when we're recruiting from a pool of students as public service oriented as those at Creighton."