PCOM Georgia Students Celebrate Residency Matches

Staff Report

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

The day that fourth year medical students work toward from their first day of orientation took place last week. Known as Match Day, this date in mid-March, that compares to the baseball draft, but traditionally falls in the midst of basketball’s March Madness, is the day students learn where they’ll be spending their next three to five years in residency training beginning July 1, 2022. 

Board scores, grades, volunteer activities, interviews, geographic location and specialties chosen all contribute to the formula that determines where the student doctors will receive their specialty training. 

99.1% of PCOM Georgia DO students match

More than 99% of PCOM Georgia’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine students matched into 19 specialty areas in the National Resident Matching Program, the Military Match, and the urology or SF (ophthalmology) matches. 

In fact, 58% of fourth year PCOM Georgia students matched into what the Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce considers primary care and core specialty areas. These specialties include family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, general surgery, emergency medicine and psychiatry. Other students matched into specialties including anesthesiology, dermatology, neurology, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, pathology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and radiology. 

Twenty-one percent of graduates will stay in Georgia to complete their residency programs having matched into residency programs in cities including Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Lawrenceville, Macon, Marietta, Rome and Savannah.

Andrea Mann, DO, FAAP, dean and chief academic officer of the PCOM Georgia osteopathic medicine program, said, ““We are very proud of our osteopathic medical students for their outstanding Match this year! The majority have chosen to pursue specialties in primary care. Furthermore, an impressive percentage of our students have elected to continue their training in Georgia to meet the state's healthcare needs.”

Instead of paying tuition to attend medical school, first year residents are paid an average salary of about $59,000 depending on their specialty area. On-the-job training occurs following two years of classroom learning and two years of clerkships or “rotations” with physicians and hospitals.  

According to Tina Woodruff, EdD, PCOM’s senior advisor to the provost for the DO program/career residency planning, “PCOM Georgia campus students excelled in the 2022 match cycles, with close to 100% of our students moving on to graduate medical education programs in Georgia and throughout the country.”  

She added, “The healthcare community will benefit from the clinical skills and compassion these outstanding PCOM Georgia graduates will bring to the patients they will serve.”

Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Pharmacy students pursue residencies

In addition to PCOM Georgia’s osteopathic medicine students matching to residency programs, two Doctor of Physical Therapy students and ten Doctor of Pharmacy students matched to residency programs. The results of the second phase of pharmacy residency matches will be released next week.

Residency programs are not required for pharmacists and physical therapists, but are chosen when these healthcare professionals wish to pursue specialty areas.

Ruth Maher, PT, PhD, DPT, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, congratulated the DPT students. She said, “The PT faculty are extremely proud of Brandon Barnes (DPT ’22) and Daniel Copeland (DPT ’22) in continuing their education and meeting the rigor of the residency programs’ competitive process. We know they will do extremely well.”

Samuel John, PharmD, BCPS, director of the PGY-1 residency program, said, “We’re very proud of our Class of 2022 graduates and wish them all the best in their pursuit of advanced clinical training.”

PCOM Georgia students used such word as “thankful,” “relieved,” “ecstatic,” “elated,” “empowered,” “vindicated,” “surprised, “and “almost disbelief” to describe their reaction to the long-awaited outcome.

Class Representative Hiral Patel (DO ’22) spearheaded a Match Day party for DO students, which attracted close to 100 attendees to The Roof at Ponce City Market in Atlanta. This was a special gathering for the Class of 2022. She said, “We are scattered across the state for rotations at different anchor sites and this is the first time we were able to see everyone since the pandemic began!” 

NRMP match marks milestones

According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the number of US DO fourth year students participating in the NRMP was a record high of 7,303, an increase of 2.8% over 2021.

The NRMP website indicated this year’s Match realized many significant milestones including a record number of US MD and DO senior applicants and the largest number of total and first-year positions offered. 

Donna L. Lamb, DHSc, MBA, BSN, NRMP president and CEO, said, “While all categories of applicants saw improvements over 2021, US DO seniors achieved a 91.3% match rate, a 2.2 percentage point increase over last year. According to Lamb, the 91.3% match rate is the highest on record for DO students, “and a rate on par with the match rate achieved for US MD seniors.”

To read more about PCOM Georgia’s student match information, their reactions to their placements and their advice for first year professional students, click here.