John Duggan, M.D., has more than a professional interest in Thursday's National Residency Matching Program draw. His daughter, Shannon, is a medical school student at St. Louis University looking for placement in an emergency medical residency.
The recently elected vice president of the American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers also is the medical director of joint reconstruction at the MedPro Orthopedics Institute, a 14-surgeon practice in Phoenix that provides the attendings for the orthopedic residency program sponsored by Maricopa County Hospital.
The program has 15 surgeons in training; three in a rotating, one-year internship at Maricopa and three other participating Phoenix hospitals; and 12 more in a four-year orthopedic residency. Duggan and his residency program colleagues expect to pick up three more medical school graduates from the upcoming match.
Shannon Duggan was not among the several thousand applicants who were notified Monday they had not been matched, so she won't have to scramble for a placement. Still, her father said, "She's anxiously waiting. She's happy she matched somewhere. We'll just have to wait to find out where."
When she opens the envelope containing her placement notice at noon tomorrow, she will be among 20,000 medical school students at Match Day ceremonies across the country who will be seeing their futures for the next couple of years literally unfold before their eyes, according to Robert Beran, executive director of the not-for-profit organization that has run the matching program since 1953.
"The story this year is we had a record number of matches to residency programs," Beran said.
Last year, 23,965 active applicants were in the hunt for residency programs and 18,806 of them, also a record, were matched. The number of programs in 2003 was down 17, but the number of slots was up by about 500.
The placement rate for U.S. medical school graduates last year was 92.9%, Beran said, while about 53% of international medical school graduates were placed.