National Match Day Reveals Future of D.O. Students

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March 26, 2018 | Midwestern University

On the morning of Friday, March 16, students from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine gathered to open a letter. In Glendale, it's sunny and mild. In Wrigleyville, it's chilly. But in both locations, a collection of deceptively unremarkable envelopes contains long-anticipated news of these students' medical futures.

CCOM Match Day
Karen J. Nichols, D.O., M.A., MACOI, CS, Dean, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kelly Mackessy (CCOM 2018), Beth A. Longenecker, D.O., Associate Dean, and Emily Whitis, Assistant to the Dean.

After four years of rigorous studying, osteopathic medical students found out on "Match Day" where they will perform their residencies and in what specialty field. AZCOM and CCOM students opened their envelopes at approximately the same time as other graduating medical students throughout the U.S. and learned where they matched for their residency training out of a wide range of locations and various specialties. Some of the training programs are highly competitive and students vie to fill coveted spots.

"I feel completely ecstatic and relieved," said Dean Karahalios (CCOM 2018), who matched in Pediatrics at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York. "It's a little hard to process now. It just happened a few minutes ago, but I'm very excited."

For some students, the Match Day results were not a complete surprise. A significant portion of each graduating class chooses to participate in the osteopathic match which is held earlier in the year. "I did the D.O. match, so luckily this paper says what my email said a month ago," said Kelly Mackessy (CCOM 2018), who matched in surgery at Ohio Health Doctors Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "I feel great. It was my number one choice. It's where I'm from and all my family is there, so I'm excited to be going home. All my surgery mentors are there so I'm very excited to go forward and be a surgeon."

CCOM Match Day
Kyle and Caitlin Pipkin (AZCOM 2018)

In Arizona, Kyle and Caitlin Pipkin, both members of AZCOM's Class of 2018, waited nervously for the moment at 9:00am when Kyle could open his envelope and find out where he matched. Caitlin, who as a member of the U.S. Navy had already discovered her match results to Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia, was not sure whether she and her husband would be in the same region, let alone the same zip code. After Kyle opened his letter, he wordlessly turned to Caitlin and embraced her -- he had matched to Eastern Virginia Medical School Hospital in Pediatrics. "Now we know we'll get to live together!" Caitlin said happily.

This year, the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) celebrated its largest residency Match Day ever with more than 43,000 applicants from U.S. and international medical schools hoping to fill 31,757 positions.

Students' specialty choices in the match often align with the osteopathic profession's long-standing emphasis on careers in primary care, which includes family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and OB/GYN. Other specialties include emergency medicine, orthopedic surgery, neurological surgery, ophthalmology, radiology, psychiatry, and anesthesiology.

For more information on Match Day, see our Illinois and Arizona Match Day Fact Sheets.