by Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Touro University of California College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2019 did better than any previous class in being selected for residency programs, university officials announced. It’s an annual nail-biter all new medical school graduates endure, a school spokesman said.

“During the last year of medical school, students go through a process to be placed (or matched) with a residency program where they will continue their training as an osteopathic physician in a specific practice — for example, family medicine, psychiatry, etc.,” Touro spokesman John Promani said. “Students apply to various hospital residency programs based on their interests, program description, location, etc. As part of this process, students are interviewed by the residency programs and then both submit a ranked choice list of who they would like to be matched with. An independent, third-party organization, the National Resident Matching Program, uses a computer algorithm to then match physicians with residency programs based on these ranked choices.”

“Match day” is the culmination of a person’s time in medical school and a doctor’s first step into their specialty, he said.

“Students compete to be placed among their first choices and usually submit a ranked list of ten residency programs to which they would like to match,” Promani said. “The third-party algorithm completes the matches, and medical students across the country discover at the exact same time whether and where they have been matched. If a medical student goes unmatched — if none of their choices ranked them highly enough to receive a spot — there are further rounds where they can try to match to one of the residency programs that still has an opening.”

How hard it is to get into a program depends on the prestige of the residency, but generally speaking, the higher the match rate, the more successful and prepared the graduating class, he said.

Touro California, on Vallejo’s Mare Island, “celebrated a successful national residency match on Friday, March 15 with students being matched to 17 different medical specialties ranging from internal medicine to emergency medicine to psychiatry,” according to an announcement. “This represents the highest match rate in (Touro California) history with graduates matched all over the country and even one in Europe!”

Speaking on behalf of Touro’s faculty and administration, Dean Michael Clearfield expressed pride in the university’s students “who continually exceed our expectations. …we strive to provide our students with a competitive edge, but it is truly the student body itself that must translate that competitive edge into a tangible reality, which is clearly exemplified with this stellar match. Congratulations to the Class of 2019, the newest generation of osteopathic physicians, as they embark on the next phase of their medical careers.”

Medical school grads from across the country learned where they will be going for residency in a simultaneous release of results nearly two weeks ago, the announcement said. Touro’s Class of 2019 is its 19th graduating class, soon to join more than 2,000 alumni osteopathic physicians in various specialties, according to the announcement.

Highlights of this year’s residency match include:

  • Six graduates in the United States Military Health Professions Scholarship Program, representing the Army, Air Force and Navy
  • Higher match rates than the national average in ALL medical specialties
  • The largest contingent of matches in California in Touro California history at 56
  • Matches from Alaska to Florida, California to Massachusetts and even the first ever match to graduate training in Europe

“Congratulations to the Class of 2019 for having the highest match rate in our history,” said Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Sarah Sweitzer. “We are thrilled not only for you, but for the thousands of lives you will impact throughout California and the rest of the country as you continue to live out Touro’s mission, ‘To Serve, To Lead, To Teach.’”

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