Hospital welcomes full slate of residents

GW Hospital will welcome 84 medical school graduates to its residency program in the fall, filling 100 percent of the spots in the program for the first time in several years.

At the same time, the number of graduating GW medical students matched to residency programs – the post-graduate training required for physicians who want to specialize – ranked above the national average for residency matches.

Only 3.6 percent of GW medical graduates were not matched to programs, well below the national average of 6.4 percent, the American Association of Medical Colleges reports.

Forty-seven percent of GW medical students will complete their residency at their first-choice hospital and 81 percent were matched with one of their top three selections, according to a GW Medical Center press release.

Twenty-five percent of GW medical school graduates will remain in Foggy Bottom to complete their residencies.

Medical school administrators credit GW Hospital’s stable foothold as an academic medical center with its attractiveness to graduates.

“We are thrilled with these results and look forward to an outstanding group of new residents joining us later this year,” said Elizabeth Cobbs, assistant dean for graduate medical education at GW’s medical center.

“Given the many positive changes taking place at the medical center – including plans to construct a new University hospital – it is evident that GW is a highly desirable institution for post-graduate medical education,” Cobbs said.

GW Hospital’s recent partnership with Universal Health Services Inc., a Pennsylvania-based for-profit hospital chain, bodes well for a positive future for the facility, said Scott Schroth, assistant dean for student affairs at the medical school. He said it is that kind of stability that attracts students to GW’s residency program.

“The hospital has a stabilized and positive future,” Schroth said.

Medical school graduates around the country were matched with residency programs last month through the AAMC’s National Residency Matching Program, known in med school circles as “Match Day.”

Since 1952, the program has matched medical students with their top-choice hospitals while attempting to meet hospitals’ needs for qualified residents, said John Parker, AAMC’s director of communications.

Parker said students submit a ranked list of the hospitals where they would like to work and hospitals provide lists of their best students. The lists are matched and the information is distributed to medical schools, he said.

Nationally, 79 percent of all students who participated in the program were matched to one of their top three hospitals, AAMC reports.

“We did worse in the sense of lower matches to students top three choices (then in years past),” Schroth said. “We did better in that our percentage of unmatched graduates was smaller.”

Schroth attributes the success of GW medical school graduates to the school’s thorough advising program.

“Each student receives one or two faculty advisors connected with a specialty in (the student’s) area of interest,” Schroth said.

“These figures reflect what we have known all along at GW Medical School, you receive a first-rate education that prepares you for some of the best residency programs in the nation,” said Dr. John Williams, vice president for health affairs in a press release.

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