Chicago Medical School and Scholl College Achieve Outstanding Residency Match Rates
The Chicago Medical School and Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at North Chicago-based Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science continue a strong record of successful residency placement, with 98% and 100% respective match rates.
Match Day, the annual rite of passage in which fourth-year medical students across the nation learn where they will complete their residency training in their chosen specialties, was celebrated on March 20. RFU, like dozens of other universities and colleges, held virtual Match Day celebrations in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing measures.
CMS students and their friends celebrated together through live streaming via Zoom Webinar. Scholl College and CMS students, faculty and staff were encouraged to tag RFU on Match Day-related photos and celebrations for reposting on Instagram.
Sam Bonge, who opened a nationally synchronized email at 11 a.m. from the National Resident Matching Program to learn he had matched into his top choice for anesthesiology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, was in a reflective mood. Maybe he would order a pizza, spend time with his roommate and chat with his mother in Canada.
"We're excited about Match Day, even though we're disappointed that we can't gather as a class," Bonge said. "I think everyone understands there is much more at stake than a day of celebration.
"We understand how quickly the coronavirus pandemic is escalating, and we're thinking about our impact -- how can we help prevent the spread, but also, what can we do while still social distancing. As medical students, we understand that the most important thing is to help flatten that curve. We don't want to do anything to increase the spread of the virus."
Future podiatric physician Angie Youssef Hernandez logged into a portal through the Central Application Service for Podiatric Residencies to also discover her first choice. She will spend the next three years at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, IL. She is navigating the uncertainty wrought by the pandemic with insights from a recent rotation at Stroger Cook County Hospital in Chicago, though her duties there were recently suspended to help flatten the curve.
"Regardless of specialty, we're all thinking about how and if we might be called upon in residency to help fight the pandemic, whether through screenings or patient care," Youssef Hernandez said. "We're all committed to the health of our future patients. We all want to help."
Youssef Hernandez and 81 other Scholl College students matched to surgical residencies at health systems around the nation, including Legacy in Portland,; Loyola and Rush in Chicago; Kaiser in Oakland, California; University of Pittsburgh; Yale in New Haven, Connecticut; Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts; and Medstar in Washington, D.C.
CMS students, who once again exceeded the national match rate of 94%, also earned spots in top programs around the nation, including Mayo, Baylor, Emory, Kaiser, Stanford, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Duke and UCLA. Matches in the Chicago area, included Northwestern McGaw/Lurie Childrens, Rush, Loyola, and Advocate/Aurora.
"Our 98% match rate is a direct reflection of the hard work, commitment and sacrifice of CMS students, faculty and staff," said Dr. Ronald Kaplan, interim CMS dean. "Even as the coronavirus upends our routines and cherished traditions, our students continue to model professionalism, compassion and respect. Our university community is proud of these future physicians."
Dr. Stephanie Wu, dean of Scholl College, acknowledged the perseverance and dedication of the Class of 2020.
"The excellence of a Scholl College education is at work across the nation among frontline providers who are delivering the highest-quality medical and surgical care," Dr. Wu said. "We will continue to serve as a resource as our students take up their profession, confident that whatever comes, they can look to their alma mater, their care teams and their family of SCPM alumni for fellowship and support."
Match Day for Youssef Hernandez included plans for a celebration with a small gathering of 10 or less low-risk individuals, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We want to be alongside classmates who are feeling the exact same thing, in the same way," she said.
Bonge, whose parents emigrated from Ethiopia to Toronto, said he was looking forward to enjoying the day at home, in his Chicago apartment.
"The only reason I've come this far is the support I received from the people closest to me and the university," he said. "Match Day is an opportunity to reflect on the last four years and how much I have changed; appreciating the people around me and thinking about the future."