March 31, 2022 | Midwestern University
Graduating students from Midwestern University’s healthcare professions programs participated in a different kind of March Madness over the past month. Members of the Class of 2022 from the University’s osteopathic and podiatric programs, as well as select students from pharmacy, optometry and clinical psychology, participated in the annual nationwide graduate residency match which paired them with postdoctoral specialty programs.
The nationwide osteopathic match is an annual rite of passage for graduating Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) students like Aubrey Ingram (AZCOM 2022) and Chicago College of Medicine (CCOM) student Robin Schneider (CCOM 2022). When Ms. Schneider opened her envelope, she discovered that she had matched into an ophthalmology residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Ill. “I fell in love with ophthalmology after scribing for ophthalmologists in my gap year before medical school,” she said. “I also enjoy both the clinic and the operating room, so a specialty that offers both medical and surgical aspects was perfect for me.”
Ms. Ingram, who matched to an emergency medicine residency at the Banner University Medical Center in Tucson, AZ., sees her postgraduate destination as a culmination of her passions for diverse interactions, leadership, and advocating for patients. “I feel emergency medicine encompasses the beauty of teamwork, advocacy, and education into one,” she said. “I am forever grateful to Midwestern University for teaching me the value of community, and the importance of community between other health professions. I believe this will result in a generation of providers who value cooperation and holistic, patient-centered care.”
CCOM and AZCOM graduates matched to a wide range of specialties, including general surgery, anesthesiology, neurology, OB/GYN, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and pathology. The largest match groups included family medicine (CCOM: 23%, AZCOM 17%), internal medicine (AZCOM: 25%, CCOM 23%), and emergency medicine (AZCOM: 12%, CCOM: 8%). Between the two Colleges, 450 medical residents will be entering the workforce after celebrating their commencements.
Graduates from the Arizona College of Podiatric Medicine (AZCPM) also received their residency news during March. AZCPM graduates match to a standard three-year podiatric surgical residency program, and this year the College matched 100% of its graduates. “Although all residency programs in our field are three-year programs in both podiatric medicine and surgery, many would be surprised to find how different one program may be from another in terms of emphasis,” says Kayla Vanden Hoek (AZCPM 2022), who matched at Bethesda Hospital East in Boynton Beach, Fla. “One program may have an emphasis on wound care and limb salvage, while another program may have an emphasis on trauma surgery. We work our hardest to get into the best programs that suit our desires and best meet our career objectives in the field of podiatry.”
Among other Midwestern University programs that offer residency matches, the College of Veterinary Medicine's students have the option to pursue postgraduate internships and residencies through an elective matching process that takes place in March. The College of Pharmacy conducts an optional two-stage residency match in conjunction with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) during March and April. Additionally, Midwestern University’s optometry students in Illinois and Arizona can elect to pursue postgraduate residency opportunities during an optional matching period in early March. Meanwhile, the University’s Clinical Psychology programs in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) provided a pre-graduate match for internships during their students’ fourth year of study.
The spring match period signifies an important transition as these students prepare to move from study to practice, but the learning never ends. “A huge part of our education is learning to practice cultural competency, and truly listening to your patients to understand their values, their motivations, and the barriers they face to accessing care,” remarks Ms. Schneider. “Midwestern taught me how to utilize my privilege to amplify the voices of marginalized groups, and make sure that healthcare is a safe and inclusive space for both patients and providers.”