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Medical students at OHSU, around the nation learn where they will train for the next 3-plus years

OHSU Match Day 2012
Friday, March 16, 9 a.m.
Editors: Please call 503-494-8231 if you plan to attend.

After four long years of intense study, fourth-year medical students at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, along with every other graduating medical student in the United States will learn where they will spend the next three to four years of their lives on "Match Day,” Friday, March 16, at 9 a.m.

Their destination is determined by a sophisticated computer algorithm that matches students to graduate medical education, or residency, programs based on their application, interview and program preferences, and the student preferences of the residency program to which they've applied.

Through this tried-and-true system, 85 percent of medical students are accepted to one of their top three choices, and 60 percent are matched to their No. 1 choice, according to the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).

"Match Day is an exciting and emotional time for our students and their families, as well as for our dedicated faculty members who have taught them these past four years,” said Molly Osborne, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. "Our students are eager to learn where they matched and to launch their career in medicine. We are proud of our graduates and know their future leadership and contribution to health care over the course of their careers will be significant.”

The OHSU School of Medicine's nationally ranked primary care residency program — general internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics — remains among the most sought-after programs among residency applicants across the nation, according to data from NRMP, with 4,571 applications for 66 slots. This level of interest is true across all specialties in OHSU's residency training programs.

"Medical students from around the country are eager to join OHSU's graduate medical education programs, and with nearly half of all medical students choosing to practice in the state where they completed their residency, this intense interest is important for expanding Oregon's physician work force,” said Mark Richardson, M.D., M.B.A., dean, OHSU School of Medicine. "Health care reform depends on increasing access to primary care physicians. Supporting the training of residents, graduate medical education in Oregon is critical to its success.”

Following are four profiles of graduating medical students and a brief description of how they determined in which area of medicine they hope to practice.

Stephanie Cheng, 27

Before medical school, Stephanie Cheng taught English at an orphanage in Thailand, which solidified her desire to live a life in service. While at OHSU, she created two electives on physician wellness and integrative medicine, as well as an elective open to medical students from around the country called HEART (Humanistic Elective in Activism, Alternative Medicine, and Reflective Transformation). Stephanie will pursue a career in family medicine.

"What resonates most deeply with me about family medicine is the emphasis on the patient-physician relationship and caring for patients as whole people. Health and disease take place in the context in which one lives life, and I believe that family physicians are uniquely positioned to empower their patients on individual, family, community, state and national levels.”

Daniel Knoepflmacher, 40

Daniel Knoepflmacher has wanted to be a psychiatrist since high school, but he fell in love with humanities during college and moved to Los Angeles to attend graduate school in film. He worked as a motion picture trailer editor for many years until he became disenchanted with the movie business and decided to pursue his teenage dream of becoming a doctor. At OHSU, Daniel served as a dean's adviser, a liaison between students and administration, and volunteered for "Being There,” a palliative care program that provides companionship and nonmedical support to patients with terminal diseases and their families. Daniel plans to pursue a career in psychiatry.

"Psychiatry, as a field, allows me to apply my lifelong interest in human stories to help those struggling with mental illness and the painful stigma that often comes with it. This meaningful work is made all the more exciting by our rapidly evolving understanding of the interplay between the brain and the mind, an area of neuroscience that will continue to change the way we treat psychiatric illnesses.”

Rachel Pilliod, 30

Rachel Pilliod graduated from the University of Oregon, where she served as student body president, with a degree in political science. She has worked on education policy for the Nevada State Assembly and for a nonprofit in Washington, DC. While at OHSU, Rachel served on the OHSU Board of Directors, the Oregon Medical Association Legislative Committee and testified in Salem on issues related to health and education policy. Her research projects focused on health economics and medical decision-making, including a recent cost-benefit analysis on doula coverage for laboring women. Rachel will pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology and hopes to practice in Oregon after her residency. Rachel is a 2010 Swindells Family Scholar Award recipient.

"I would like to serve as faculty at a large academic center, specifically OHSU,” she said. "In that capacity, I would very much like to help further outreach efforts in rural communities through telemedicine and collaborative partnerships.”

Lori Cardwell, 40

Lori Cardwell is a native Oregonian and graduate of Portland's Franklin High. She attended the United States Naval Academy and served as a naval officer in the Supply Corps for a number of years. Following her military service, she worked as a Systems Engineer at Intel Corporation in Hillsboro. She is interested in general surgery and hopes to someday work in rural Oregon.

Quick Facts

  • This year there were 4,571 applications for 66 slots in OHSU's primary care residency program, specifically:
    • 1067 for 12 spots in Family Medicine
    • 902 for 8 spots in Family Medicine Cascade East
    • 914 for 13 spots in Pediatrics
    • 1,688 for 33 spots in Internal Medicine
  • 121 medical students will graduate from the OHSU School of Medicine in 2012.
  • OHSU ranks 10th in the nation for in-state retention of physicians who complete their residencies at OHSU.
  • One-third of all physicians in Oregon completed all or part of their training at OHSU.
  • OHSU ranks third in the nation for primary care (U.S. News & World Report).
  • Nearly half of all OHSU medical school graduates end up practicing in Oregon.
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