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Future physicians find their ‘match’ Friday, March 21

Newly matched physicians will play an integral role in the changing health care delivery system

OHSU Match Day 2014


Friday, March 21, 9 a.m.


Richard Jones Hall atrium
3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239

***Editors: Please call 503 494-8231 if you plan to send a crew.***

Tomorrow is Match Day, a much-anticipated day for fourth-year medical students at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine and all other graduating medical student across the United States. On Match Day, these students will learn where they will spend the next three to seven years of their lives for their ‘residency’ training. This group of newly minted physicians will play an integral role in the changing health care delivery system as it continues to roll out in Oregon and across the nation.

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, as well as 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 Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

"We are enormously proud of all of our students. We learn from them just as much as they learn from our faculty and staff," said Mark Richardson, M.D., M.B.A., dean, OHSU School of Medicine. "Some of our students may travel across the country for residency. Others will travel to other locations in Oregon. Some will remain right here at OHSU. We look forward to watching them all succeed, and we take pride in OHSU’s role in educating the next generation of physician leaders for Oregon."

“Residency is a critical step in the lifelong educational continuum of a physician’s training. Our graduates will become experts in their chosen field and will ultimately decide what type of medical career they will pursue,” said George Mejicano, M.D., M.S., senior associate dean for education, OHSU School of Medicine. “We know that the education our students received will position them to be leaders in their field.”

Simultaneous to the Match Day process, the OHSU School of Medicine also finds out who will ‘match’ to its own highly competitive residency programs. OHSU residency programs in all specialties remain among the most sought-after slots across the nation. For example, OHSU’s primary care residency — comprising internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics — received 5,732 applications for 69 slots this year, according to data from NRMP. More than a quarter of all U.S. graduates pursuing pediatrics apply to OHSU’s residency program in pediatrics.

Following are four profiles of graduating medical students and a brief description of their journey to a career in medicine.

Nicholas Blake, 28

Nicholas Blake grew up in a rural Oregon town called Sweet Home; his father is a family medicine physician there. From a very early age, he was able to see the benefit a physician can have on a community. And, from an early age he remembers being asked one question frequently: “So, are you going to be a physician like your dad?” At first, Nick chose to pursue engineering. He completed his prerequisites at Oregon State University for two years, then got married and quit school, returning to Sweet Home where he found a job at the Lebanon lumber mill.

“What I have since discovered is that I enjoy relationships and the application of science to help the individual far more than the basic science itself.”

While at OHSU’s School of Medicine, Nick participated in a rural rotation, or training, in Baker City during his third year. Early on in his rotation, Nick was called into the hospital to help the on-call doctor perform a specific procedure to remove fluid from a patient’s lung. It was this kind of hands-on experience that Nick enjoyed during his rural rotation.

Nick hopes to practice family medicine in rural Oregon.

Shanley Deal, 26

Shanley Deal grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and was exposed to poverty and illness from a young age. Seeing that contrast when she visited family back in Tacoma, Wash., left a lasting impression. She also developed a strong interest in science, nature, and West Africa culture as she traveled to more than 30 countries during her family’s nine years there. As a result, Shanley knew she wanted to be involved in public service in the future. Her education in the states continued to lead toward health care as she pursued a biology/anthropology degree and decided to become a doctor during the first year of college.

During her schooling at OHSU, which included serving as class president in 2013 and 2014, Shanley felt fortunate to find an incredible mentor: Meg O’Reilly, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the OHSU School of Medicine and director of the obstetrics and gynecology student clerkship program. Along with two other classmates, Shanley teamed up with O’Reilly to create educational videos, hands-on simulation models, curriculum modules and assessment tools for common procedures and surgeries.

“I see myself working at an academic institution in the long run, so I can continue to be involved in medical education at the graduate or undergraduate level. I also hope to explore work in international surgery through education. I would love to go back to Africa and assist with curriculum and infrastructure development for surgical education.”

Shanley would like to practice in Washington or Oregon.

Andy Dworkin, 40

Andy Dworkin was a newspaper reporter in his former life. He spent years writing about health and medicine, and became quasi-obsessed with the topics, wanting to learn much more about them. At the same time, he felt there was a big unmet need for primary care doctors to help people manage chronic disease; he felt he could play a small part in helping address that need.

Andy is a member of the Gold Humanism Society, which recently held a book drive for the psychiatric inpatients at OHSU. They had great response from the community — hundreds of books and dozens of DVDs. Andy was touched by this experience because it benefited a very vulnerable group of patients, who usually have a lot of down time.

“I was glad to see so many students, faculty and staff give to the drive and help these patients out.”

In 2012, Andy was selected as a Swindells Family Scholar, one of the School of Medicine’s most prestigious M.D. scholarship awards. The fund recognizes distinctive histories and strong connections to Oregon.

Andy hopes to practice primary care, internal medicine and geriatrics here in Oregon.

David Simmons, 43

David Simmons always wanted to be a doctor. But before starting medical school, he was a professional opera singer for 25 years. As a single father in his 30s, David couldn't stomach the growing injustice in the health care delivery system. So he began medical school and quickly became interested in rural health.

On Dec. 30, 2012, David was driving back from La Grande with his family —he had been scoping out possible practice locations — when they encountered a tragic bus accident on I-84 east of Pendleton. David and his family made a decision to help the victims and spent the majority of their day climbing in and out of the ravine that the bus had rolled into. This event changed David’s life.

“That was the day I understood the stakes of what we as physicians are working with, and that was the day I realized the commitment we make as doctors: our lives and our families belong to the people we care for now, 24/7.”

David is committed to practicing in Oregon, and as one of the School of Medicine’s rural scholars, he’s committed to working in an underserved area in rural Oregon.

Quick Facts

  • 127 medical students will graduate from the OHSU School of Medicine in 2014.
  • OHSU ranks 10th in the nation for in-state retention of physicians who complete their residencies at OHSU.
  • OHSU ranks third in the nation for excellence in primary care education (U.S. News & World Report).
  • One-third of all physicians in Oregon completed all or part of their training at OHSU.
  • 46 percent of all OHSU medical school graduates end up practicing in Oregon.
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