UW Med Students in Spokane Met Their Match

Friday, March 16, 2018

On Friday, March 16, 2018, 12 graduating medical students from the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) were in Spokane for an annual rite of passage: the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) 2018 Main Residency Match.

At exactly 12 noon ET/9 a.m. PT, fourth-year med students from Washington State to Maine opened envelopes or checked smart phone apps to see the fruits of their hard work and tenacity. Few events generate as much excitement for the soon-to-be M.D.s as they learned in which residency programs they will train for the next three to seven years. In Spokane at the Hemmingson Center on the Gonzaga University campus, cheers and hugs were not in short supply.    

The NRMP expects the 2018 Main Residency Match to be the largest ever, exceeding the more than 43,000 registered applicants and 31,000 positions offered last year. In Spokane 14 UW students participated in Match at the Hemmingson, while 203 of their UW peers celebrated at regional sites across the five-state *WWAMI region. Of the 217 UW students in total, 32 percent matched into residencies in WWAMI, and 50 percent matched into primary care residencies. This is important to note as results of the Main Residency Match can be used to predict future changes in the physician workforce.

“I vividly recall the Match; I imagine most doctors remember the excitement of that day,” said Darryl Potyk, M.D., Chief of Medical Education for the UW School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership, and Associate Dean for Eastern Washington for the UW School of Medicine. “It’s thrilling to learn where you’ll spend the next three to seven years training in your chosen field. You finally realize how the hard work has paid off. We are very proud of and excited for our students.”

Residency training, also called graduate medical education (GME), prepares those who have recently earned an M.D. degree for particular fields of medical practice. Depending on the specialty, training takes three to seven years. Before a graduate from an M.D. program can practice medicine, they must complete residency training.

For applicants, the Main Residency Match process begins in the fall during the final year of medical school, when they apply to the residency programs of their choice. Throughout the fall and early winter, applicants interview with programs. From mid-January to late February, applicants and program directors rank each other in order of preference and submit the preference lists to NRMP, which processes them using a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs.

*WWAMI, founded in 1971, is a regional, decentralized medical education program run by the UW School of Medicine in Washington (Seattle and Spokane), Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. The program is a key reason why many UW medical school graduates decide to become primary care physicians in rural, underserved communities.  

Follow the Match at #Match2018 and #HuskyMatch.