In July, the medical school will welcome more than 70 new resident physicians to Kalamazoo and Battle Creek following a successful Match Day that saw the 10 residency programs at WMed fill every available training slot.
The results, announced on Friday, March 15, were part of the 2019 Main Residency Match, which was the largest on record, according to the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).
“We’re excited for our new resident physicians to begin their training at the medical school on July 1, 2019,” said David Overton, MD, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education. The medical school has residency training in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Medicine-Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry, as well as fellowships in Emergency Medical Services, Simulation and Sports Medicine.
In addition to the new residents who will begin their training in July, the medical school will also welcome one new fellow each to its EMS and Sports Medicine fellowship programs.
The group of 72 new resident physicians includes four students from WMed’s Class of 2019. The students were part of a class that saw every student match to a residency program in specialties ranging from Emergency Medicine and General Surgery to Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.
Match Day is a time-honored event held at medical schools across the country and it represents a culmination for graduating medical students as the course of their medical careers is determined and they learn where they will spend the next three or more years for residency training. Residents practice the medicine of their choice in a clinical setting under the supervision of fully licensed physicians.
This year’s Main Residency Match marked a milestone for the medical school’s new Family Medicine Residency Program in Battle Creek, which welcomed its inaugural group of six resident physicians. The new training program is the result of several years of work and collaboration by WMed, Bronson Healthcare and Grace Health to form a new Family Medicine residency in Battle Creek. The medical school also has a Family Medicine residency in Kalamazoo, which includes 24 physicians-in-training.
“The new Family Medicine residency is an exciting joint venture involving WMed, Bronson Battle Creek Hospital and Grace Health,” said Holli Neiman-Hart, MD, program director for the new Family Medicine residency. “It is a phenomenal opportunity to develop a new residency in a community hospital and a federally qualified health center (FQHC) with the support of the medical school. Our residents will be offered a wide variety of experiences and we are looking forward to being involved in the community of Battle Creek.”
The new Family Medicine residents in Battle Creek will receive training at Bronson Battle Creek and Grace Health, Battle Creek’s federally qualified family health center, will serve as the residency site for outpatient training.
The new residency training program in Battle Creek got off the ground in 2016 thanks to startup funding – three $1 million grants – from Bronson Healthcare Group, Bronson Battle Creek Hospital Community Partners and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In providing money for the new program, the donors cited the unique opportunity to strengthen healthcare services in Calhoun County and build a stronger local economy.
“The WMed Family Medicine Residency in Battle Creek attracted many highly qualified candidates,” said Jim McKernan, chief operating officer of Bronson Battle Creek, “and we are delighted with the six outstanding residents who matched to our program. Bronson, Grace Health and our philanthropic partners look forward to welcoming them to the community this summer. These new residents will serve alongside our experienced teams of providers and contribute immediately to improving access to primary care for families in Calhoun County.”
In addition to the new Family Medicine residents in Battle Creek, the medical school, for the first time, welcomed one new resident each to its Family Medicine and Internal Medicine residency programs as part of the new MIDOCs program. MIDOCs, which is an initiative of the MIDOCs Consortium, is a partnership of WMed and medical schools at Central Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State universities, to address the physician shortage in Michigan by increasing the number of available residency training slots while also increasing access to care in high-need, underserved rural and urban areas throughout the state. Residents who enter these new positions will contractually commit to practice for at least two years after residency in a rural or urban underserved setting in Michigan. In exchange, the MIDOCs residents qualify for up to $75,000 of educational loan repayment.
The Main Residency Match process begins in the fall for applicants, usually in the final year of medical school, when they apply to residency programs at which they would like to train. Program directors review applications and conduct candidate interviews in the fall and early winter. From mid-January to late February, applicants submit to NRMP their rank order lists of preferred programs, and program directors rank applicants in order of preference for training. The NRMP uses a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs using the preferences expressed on their rank lists.